A look at the Playoff Picture

The 2016 NFL season flew by, and we are officially headed to the postseason after a quiet and lousy week 17. I’m going to lay out the playoff picture (schedule) and give my thoughts about each team/game.

AFC Playoff Picture

First Round byes:

#1 Patriots. #2 Chiefs

Wild Card Round:

Saturday 4:30 p.m. #5 Raiders @ #4 Texans

Sunday 1 p.m. #6 Dolphins @ #3 Steelers

Thoughts:

  • The Patriots road to the AFC Championship couldn’t get any easier after the Chiefs secured the AFC West and a first-round bye in week 17. They will likely face the winner of the Raiders vs. Texans game, two teams who are without a legitimate starting quarterback. Think they can outscore Brady in Foxboro?
  • The Chiefs not only get to rest their players for a week, but also avoid traveling to Foxboro until the AFC Championship game. They are a great home team, and they will likely play the Steelers at home in the divisional round. The Steelers haven’t been great on the road (especially Ben Roethlisberger), so that could be a really tough matchup for them.
  • In sum, the Raiders vs. Texans game really means nothing in my opinion. The winner will lose in Foxboro the following week. The Steelers vs. Dolphins game is interesting because Miami beat Pitt earlier in the season, but I doubt they can repeat that in Pittsburgh. I think we’re going to see the Chiefs @ Patriots in the AFC Championship game, and I truly think it’ll be a better game than everyone thinks. Either way, it looks like we’re headed for a solid AFC Championship game, but the rest of the AFC playoffs will be pretty boring besides the likely divisional matchup between Pitt and KC.

NFC Playoff Picture

First Round Byes:

#1 Cowboys. #2 Falcons

Wild Card Round:

Saturday 8:30 p.m. #6 Lions @ #3 Seahawks

Sunday 4:30 p.m. #5 Giants @ #4 Packers

Thoughts: 

  • The NFC playoff games will be a lot more entertaining than the AFC games. Giants vs. Packers obviously is the highlight game of the weekend, but I’m interested in Detroit/SEA as well.
  • Giants/Packers is a great matchup because Aaron Rodgers and the Packers are red hot, but the Giants have the best defense in the entire NFC. The Packers are really hot, but this is probably the worst matchup they could have gotten.
  • DET/SEA: I don’t think either team has a legit shot at going to the NFC Championship game. Detroit is terrible defensively, and Seattle is a mess on the offensive side of the ball. They have no offensive line, no run game, and two key playmakers in Tyler Lockett and CJ Prosise are out. Seattle will likely escape the first round, but I don’t see them going any further than that.
  • I think the Falcons are going to make serious noise in the postseason. They’re kind of being slept on, but they have the best offense in the league. I think they can score 30+ on Seattle at home, and I have them making the NFC Championship game no matter who their opponent is in the divisional round. What makes it fun, though, is how experienced Seattle is and how well-coached they are. You can never really count them out, but without Earl Thomas on that defense, I just think they are too vulnerable.
  • All eyes will obviously be on the Cowboys’ rookie backfield, and rightfully so. They’ve had a legitimate magical season, but have had serious trouble against one team: The Giants. It’s very possible they face them in the divisional round at home, and the winner of that game could be headed to Houston for the Super Bowl.
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