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MainePatsFan26

Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job
Today tells us a lot about the NFL playoff field this season. Although we could evaluate based on record, I believe these elimination style games reveal the character and resolve of teams in a more accurate manner. And the league of Goodell left us wanting. So without further ado...

In the first tier, there are the Patriots and Vikings who took care of business when necessary and in relatively convincing fashions. For me, that places both of these teams at the top of the heap.

Then there is the second tier with the Falcons, Steelers, Kansas City, and... Buffalo. The Falcons, despite an uneven season, are in the big dance after winning in a potential elimination game and could pose a threat down the line. That makes them my second most dangerous team in the NFC. If Ryan plays decent, this team can do damage. Speaking of damage, Pittsburgh is always a threat but they slide down to this second tier because of mental lapses: they didn't play to win by resting Bell and the Rapist (which feels like a quitters move) and they managed to lose the iconic Harrison to New England thus improving us and dealing them damage to their morale. Kansas City is another team who could do some damage... if they can regain their sense of purpose. That happening is 50/50, but in any case I'm rooting for Buffalo against Jacksonville so we don't have to see Kansas City in the divisional round. Speaking of the Bills, I'll throw them in this tier because they won a must-win and are the squirrely sort of team who could upset someone. I hate to say it, but Buffalo is the dark horse.

In the third-tier is Philadelphia, the Rams, Panthers, and Saints. All of these teams are "meh" heading into the playoffs whether due to injury or failing to achieve victory under important circumstances. The mojo isn't with these teams. Maybe they wake up and realize their "first-tier" talent, but it is just as likely they decide to hibernate. Although Philadelphia didn't have anything to play for, laying an egg is never a good way to enter the postseason. Without their starting qb, the Eagles are unlikely to win two straight in the playoffs despite being at home. The Rams, Panthers, and Saints all have solid records and a good pedigree, but something is off about them squandering opportunities as they prepare for the do or die postseason. They could be Super Bowl champions, but frittering away opportunities does not augur well.

Lastly, there are the floundering Jaguars and Titans. A third battle between these two mediocre teams was narrowly avoided by the Ravens collapsing. Thank the football gods! Now we will likely see the Chiefs and Bills roll over these pretenders on their way to playing the Steelers and Patriots in the divisional round. Look for the Patriots to win in a nail-biter (as defeating a team three times is difficult) and for the Chiefs to stun a complacent Steelers team. Cue a week 1 grudge match between the Patriots and Chiefs.

On the NFC side, look for the Falcons and their playoff experience to help them to an upset over the inconsistent Rams. Also look for the Saints to recover against the Panthers at home. This scenario means the Falcons will play the now beatable Eagles and the Saints will travel to Minnesota. Minnesota prevails and then defeats the Falcons at home in the championship game.

A New England and Minnesota title match in a toss up. We've got the better offense if Brady can return to his play of a month ago, and them the better defense by a hair. Special teams may have to bail us out.
 
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NormZauchin

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So we have to worry about a Vikings team whose record in the playoffs is 19-28 and whose Super Bowl record is 0-4? Oh, I forgot. They're led by Case Keenum, a career .500 quarterback who has been playing over his head this season.
 

MainePatsFan26

Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job
So we have to worry about a Vikings team whose record in the playoffs is 19-28 and whose Super Bowl record is 0-4? Oh, I forgot. They're led by Case Keenum, a career .500 quarterback who has been playing over his head this season.
Heh. That's the NFL this season. I don't think they have a great offense or anything. But they do have a solid enough offense to give us trouble. Ultimately, the two best teams in the league are the Patriots and Pittsburgh, followed by the Vikings. But I believe the Chiefs, if things go down as I predicted, could pull off an upset in Pittsburgh.

I'm seriously scratching my head about the Bills being a 7-8 point underdog against the woeful-looking Jaguars.
 

IcyPatriot

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I scratch my head every time I see the word worry?
I doubt any player or coach on the Patriots worries about any opponent.
You are champions by beating the best - not taking the easiest path.
 

Ice_Ice_Brady

Team Bill's Worst Nightmare
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I thought this season highlighted the randomness of the NFL. So many major injuries (Rodgers, Wentz, Luck, Tannehill, Watson, Watt, Sherman, Hightower, Yanda) and meanwhile Gronkenstein is out there playing like a 19 year old who’s never taken a hit. You marvel at how bad Joe Flacco is and then wonder how on earth that team was 9-6. You watch the Raiders and wonder how they were vying for the top AFC seed last year. Weren’t the Cowboys and Seahawks on a collision course for the NFC Title? Meanwhile in a seemingly alternative universe, Case Keenum leads the Vikings to 13 wins in a QB driven league. Jared Goff, who was formerly a sure fire bust, sets the league on fire. The Patriots are hugely disappointing and left for dead and still cover the absurd Vegas over of 12.5 wins.

So I have no idea what to expect in the playoffs.
 

MainePatsFan26

Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job
Could it be that they took into consideration McCoy's sprained ankle and that he might be limited????? It will be interesting to see if the line moves with the injury report this week...
With how the Jaguars have been playing the last six weeks, the cast of the Mighty Ducks could beat them. Buffalo isn't expected to win by the pundits, and that should help them play carefree versus the Jaguars who are considered a better club despite only having one more win to their name.
 

Ring 6

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Could it be that they took into consideration McCoy's sprained ankle and that he might be limited????? It will be interesting to see if the line moves with the injury report this week...
I would think Jax -8 vs Buffalo is expecting buffalo to be 100% healthy.
 
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