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Big Chief: Ranks the 12 NFL playoff teams, Saint are #4

Deke Bellavia
January 03, 2018 - 6:49 am
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@dekebigchief

Seven of the 12 NFL playoff teams were not in the post season tourney a year ago.  Will it be the same ole same ole in the AFC [layoffs?  Jacksonville, Tennessee and Buffalo make up half of the AFC playoff field.  

Playoff newcomers Philly and Minnesota crash the NFC party landing the #1 and #2 seeds, while the Rams and Saints gobbled up the other host seeds at #3 and #4.  Vegas’s Top 4 going into the playoffs are New England, Minnesota, Pittsburgh and New Orleans.

Some say the playoffs are wide open - that any team can win it all.  I say that’s truer about the NFC than the AFC.  If you are looking for a sleeper to go with, I’d say pick the Falcons in the NFC and the Chiefs in the AFC.  Now neither are really legit sleepers.  But Atlanta is the #6 seed and the Chiefs lost six straight after a hot 5-0 start to the season.

Here’s how I rank the playoff teams.  

1.    Minnesota Vikings - They have the best defense left.  They play a nasty, physical brand of football.  The Vikings could very well play all post season games at home - even the Super Bowl.  And if you didn’t know that, now you know!  

2.    New England Patriots - Yea, yea, yea…we know, we know, we know.  The Patriots are the favorites in the AFC and to win it all again.  Will someone finally keep the pretty one and the hooded wearing one out of the Super Bowl?  Or will the super model QB get one more super chance?  

3.    Pittsburgh Steelers - Okay, the Steelers are (I think) a Super Bowl caliber team.  But will Big Ben and his coach finally win a MEANINGFUL game against the Patriots?  If not, this season - then NEVER I say.  

4.    New Orleans Saints - Hey, I’m not the only one who has the Saints this high on the playoff food chain.  Vegas also has the Saints as the 2nd best NFC playoff team.  I am concerned about who else the Saints might lean on in the playoffs other than Kamara, Ingram and Thomas.  Are you?  Hell, maybe they don’t need anyone else!  Oh, yes, the Black & Gold still have Drew Brees!  

5.    Los Angeles Rams - If the Rams play like they did against Seattle late in the season, they can go all the way.  But we all know about if’s and but’s.  You can ask my aunt and uncle about that one!  And even though he’s already known league wide, this post season the rest of the world could get to know a man named Aaron Donald.  Just think, the playoffs are going-going, going-going back to Cali, Cali!  

6.    Atlanta Falcons - A very dangerous team that has a Super Bowl experienced QB and a dangerous RB, plus a defense that’s better than they’ve had - perhaps ever.  If you’ re looking for a Wild-Card team to go all the way, here’s the one to bet on.  Falcons fans may be able to sing “Matt and Julio wearing their rings down by the school yard.”  

7.    Kansas City Chiefs - I think the Chiefs are going to validate their excellent 5-0 start that petered out during the middle of the season.  Just think about it, KC started the season 5-0, then they went 0-6.  And finished the regular season 5-0.  This team may find their way into the AFC Title Game.  

8.    Philadelphia Eagles - Is Carson Wentz that damn good?  Okay, yes, he’s an outstanding young QB with what looks to be a great future.  But he’s been in the league only two seasons, and the Eagles have had over a month to prepare for life without their young gun.  NO EXCUSES.  This is the NFL.  

9.    Carolina Panthers - Carolina is hard to figure out.  With all of their ups and downs this season the Panthers can turn back into a contender, if they win a couple of playoff games.  It’s all on Cam.  And you know this man!   

10.     Jacksonville Jaguars - I only hope the Jags defense turns back into Sacksonville…and RB Leonard Fournette is at his best.  If that happens, a lot of LF jerseys will be ordered over the weekend!  

11.    Buffalo Bills - Man, what a feel good story.  The Buffalo Bills are the lone team from the Empire State in the post season, but their feel-good story will end soon.  The upside? Their future looks as good as it has since the ole Marv, Jim. K, Bruce Smith and Thurman Thomas Days in Orchard Park.  

12.    Tennessee Titans - A playoff team fires their head coach?  I truly think the Titans may fire Coach Mike Mularkey.  Itt’s simply because the Titans did not progress after a very good 8-4 start to the season.  

Here is the playoff schedule...

WILD CARD WEEKEND

SATURDAY, JANUARY 06

3:35PM CT
TITANS AT CHIEFS 

7:15PM CT
FALCONS AT RAMS
 
SUNDAY, JANUARY 07

12:05PM CT
BILLS AT JAGUARS
 
3:40PM CT
PANTHERS AT SAINTS
 

DIVISIONAL PLAYOFFS

SATURDAY, JANUARY 13

3:35PM CT

NFC lowest Wildcard round seed AT EAGLES
 
7:15PM CT

AFC lowest Wildcard round seed AT PATRIOTS
 
SUNDAY, JANUARY 14

12:05PM CT

AFC highest Wildcard round seed AT STEELERS
 
3:40PM CT

AFC highest Wildcard round seed AT VIKINGS
 

CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIPS

SUNDAY, JANUARY 21

2:05PM CT

AFC Championship
 
5:40PM CT

NFC Championship
 

SUPER BOWL

SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 04

5:30PM CT

 

 

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