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It’s NFL playoff time and the twelve teams that qualified will have their work cut out for them. With all the craziness of the regular season, the cream of the crop get to show us what they’re made of. Which team will bring their top game to the postseason and which team will look like they don’t belong?
1. Baltimore Ravens (14-2)
The Ravens are the obvious favorite and for good reason. They probably have the best combination of offense, defense and healthy players of any team still playing. Them having M.V.P. favorite Lamar Jackson at quarterback doesn’t hurt.
2. San Francisco 49ers (13-3)
San Francisco has a great chance to get back to the Superbowl for the first time since the 2012 season. The bye week will give some players a chance to heal up. It will also give Kyle Shanahan a chance to draw up some more innovative plays to add to his offensive playbook.
3. New Orleans Saints (13-3)
If experience counts, then look no further than the Saints. There may be only a couple other playoff teams that have been battle tested more the past few years. Drew Brees desperately wants to capture another title before he hangs it up for good.
4. Kansas City Chiefs (12-4)
The Chiefs are the most dangerous overall team in the playoffs. In six straight wins to finish the regular season, their defense has allowed an average of 11.5 points per game. We all know what the offense can do.
5. Green Bay Packers (13-3)
Has anybody had a more quiet 13 win season than this year’s Packers? They will be tough to beat at Lambeau field, only losing once there all season.
6. New England Patriots (12-4)
Everyone that is writing the Patriots’ eulogy needs to just wait and let this play out. Bill Belichick is the master at game planning and adjustments. The loss to Miami might have shown something other teams could exploit but history shows it has most likely led to some new wrinkle in the New England game plan.
7. Seattle Seahawks (11-5)
The Seahawks should be steaming mad heading into the playoffs. They are the most dangerous road team in the playoffs and they have the pedigree to go all the way.
8. Houston Texans (10-6)
The Texans have the same home record as they do on the road. The most up and down team in the NFL will have to rely on its stars to step up their game more than any other team still playing.
9. Buffalo Bills (10-6)
The Bills’ defense gives them a chance to beat any team on any given day. They used week 17 as a virtual bye week to rest up their starters, so they should be fresh heading up to Houston.
10. Philadelphia Eagles (9-7)
The Eagles have the toughest task of any home team but they might be the hottest team heading into the playoffs. Four straight wins, two of which were essentially playoff games have them ready and focused on the task at hand.
11. Minnesota Vikings (10-6)
The Vikings will have to be road warriors working their way through the NFC side of the playoffs. If they can stay away from turnovers and foolish penalties, they could end up playing for the Lombardi trophy.
12. Tennessee Titans (9-7)
The Titans have nothing to lose and everything to gain in the playoffs. They have the ability to control the clock with Derrick Henry and the rushing attack. They also have a resurrected Ryan Tannehill trying to prove he belongs as a starter in this league.