Editor’s know: The Ringer’s NFL power positions return to for the postseason after taking a time out in Week 18 complying with Damar Hamlin’s clinical emergency situation throughout last week’s Monday Evening time Football sporting activity in between the Settlements as well as the Bengals.
I’ve ranked all 32 NFL groups every week largely primarily based on who I believed would in the end make the playoff subject and earn an opportunity to win the Lombardi Trophy in February. That’s why the Eagles spent a lot of the season atop my rankings—that they had the best path to the postseason (although the Jalen Hurts harm made it dicey for some time)—and why the supremely mediocre Bucs had been usually within the mid-teens. Now, we’re lastly right here, with the gathering of the 14 groups that may proceed taking part in. I’ve accomplished away with the tiers and am merely rating the playoff groups by whether or not they have what it takes to outlive the single-game elimination event and win the Tremendous Bowl.
All odds are from FanDuel, and stats are from TruMedia until in any other case famous.
1. Philadelphia Eagles (14-3 | Tremendous Bowl odds: +500)
There’s a case to be made that the most effective three groups within the playoffs are within the AFC. However I nonetheless have a look at the Eagles and see a staff with a whole and deep roster and elite teaching from head coach Nick Sirianni and coordinators Shane Steichen and Jonathan Gannon, and I can’t drop them from the highest spot. When Hurts was wholesome within the first 15 weeks of the season, the Eagles had been 13-1 with the first-ranked scoring offense and sixth-ranked scoring protection. Two weeks of Gardner Minshew shouldn’t distract us from the truth that this was the most effective staff in soccer nearly all of the season, and now they have actually the bye week and home-field benefit all through the NFC playoffs.
2. Kansas Metropolis Chiefs (14-3 | +330)
No staff has higher odds to win the Tremendous Bowl than the Chiefs. Even with the chance that they must play in a neutral-site AFC championship sport (in the event that they had been to advance to face the Payments), Kansas Metropolis has an inside monitor to make it to Glendale, Arizona, as a result of they’ve Patrick Mahomes. It truly is that easy. Mahomes completed the common season main the NFL in anticipated factors added per dropback, passing yards (5,250), and passing touchdowns (41). Mahomes managed to raise the Chiefs offense in a yr when many thought he’d battle with out Tyreek Hill, and he continues to show every week why he’s the most effective quarterback within the NFL.
3. Buffalo Payments (13-3 | +420)
Josh Allen and receiver Stefon Diggs are two of the NFL’s premier gamers at their respective positions, and Sean McDermott and his teaching employees have maximized Buffalo’s expertise on either side of the ball. They’ve impressively rallied via unprecedented adversity following Damar Hamlin’s terrifying harm on Monday Night time Soccer in Week 17. The Payments are a particularly proficient staff with much more to play for as they proceed to honor Hamlin throughout their pursuit of a Tremendous Bowl title.
4. Cincinnati Bengals (12-4 | +750)
The Bengals are among the many league’s hottest groups coming into the playoffs, and also you’d be hard-pressed to discover a extra assured participant within the NFL proper now than Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow. He’s throwing no-look passes and telling the media the Bengals’ Tremendous Bowl window is “at all times open” so long as he’s in Cincinnati. He’s led the staff to 10 wins of their final 11 video games, and the offense ranks third in offensive EPA per drive since Week 6.
5. San Francisco 49ers (13-4 | +500)
Brock Purdy and the 49ers are on a particular, inconceivable run. Purdy has led the San Francisco offense to an NFL-high 194 factors since taking up for Jimmy Garoppolo in Week 13. Purdy joins Dan Marino as the one quarterbacks in NFL historical past to throw a number of landing passes in every of their first 5 begins. Kyle Shanahan and the 49ers’ elite solid of talent gamers nonetheless deserve the majority of the credit score, however that doesn’t imply Purdy isn’t excelling in his offensive position. Mix that with a 49ers protection that completed the common season first in factors allowed per sport (15.2), and you’ve got a possible juggernaut within the NFC.
6. Dallas Cowboys (12-5 | +1300)
Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy mentioned he isn’t a “burn the tape” man, however it’s in all probability greatest for McCarthy’s staff to shortly transfer on from all the things that occurred Sunday in opposition to Washington. QB Dak Prescott performed one in all his worst video games of the season and led the Dallas offense to a season-low 182 yards in a 26-6 loss to the Commanders. Don’t let recency bias idiot you into considering the Cowboys aren’t critical contenders. Main as much as the blowout loss in Week 18, Prescott and the Cowboys offense had been red-hot. Dallas rated second in offensive EPA per drive and first in offensive factors per sport in weeks 7 via 17. Prescott is Steven Ruiz’s highest-ranked quarterback competing within the NFC playoffs and may have the Cowboys contending for an NFC championship.
7. Los Angeles Chargers (10-7 | +2100)
The Chargers are simply too inconsistent to rank any larger on this checklist because the playoffs start. Of their 23-17 win over the Dolphins in Week 14, head coach Brandon Staley put collectively a masterful sport plan to restrict the high-powered Miami offense, and Justin Herbert threw for a season-high 367 yards. That was their solely win over a playoff staff this season and the most effective they’ve regarded by a major margin. That very same Chargers staff is 0-5 in each different sport in opposition to a playoff contender, and that very same Chargers staff performed its starters deep right into a meaningless Week 18 sport in opposition to the lowly Broncos, wherein Mike Williams suffered a again harm and the staff in the end misplaced. Nonetheless, Los Angeles is more healthy than it was within the center portion of the season and can at all times have a combating probability in any sport so long as Herbert is quarterbacking the staff, however it’s anybody’s guess which Chargers staff will present up within the playoffs.
8. Baltimore Ravens (10-7 | +3700)
Based on ESPN’s Adam Schefter, there’s a “robust probability” that Lamar Jackson will begin for the Ravens of their wild-card matchup with the Bengals on Sunday. Jackson hasn’t practiced in additional than a month and reportedly nonetheless has swelling in his knee, however Baltimore merely doesn’t have an opportunity in opposition to Cincinnati with out him. The Ravens averaged 24 factors per sport with Jackson in weeks 1 via 12; they’ve averaged simply 12.5 factors per sport since he’s been out. The excellent news is that the staff’s protection has stepped up in Jackson’s absence and may give Baltimore an opportunity in opposition to most AFC playoff opponents. Since Week 13, the Ravens rank second in factors allowed per sport (13.5).
9. Minnesota Vikings (13-4 | +3000)
The Vikings protection may cost the staff an opportunity at a playoff run. Since their Week 1 blowout of the Packers, the Vikings have allowed fewer than 22 factors to solely three teams: Miami, Washington, and Chicago. The opposing quarterbacks in these three video games had been Skylar Thompson and Teddy Bridgewater for Miami, Taylor Heinicke for Washington, and Nathan Peterman and Tim Boyle for the Bears. (They gave up 24 factors to the Daniel Jones–led Giants once they performed their eventual wild-card opponent in Week 16.) Minnesota completed the season twenty ninth in factors allowed and thirty first in yards allowed. Kirk Cousins and Justin Jefferson have been unbelievably good late in so many one-possession video games this season, however they’ll’t maintain tempo with the most effective of the convention with the state of their protection.
10. Jacksonville Jaguars (9-8 | +4800)
The Jaguars are 7-2 of their final 9 video games, however they opened as a 1.5-point residence underdog regardless of beating their wild-card opponent, the Chargers, 38-10 in Los Angeles in Week 3. Jaguars head coach Doug Pederson placed on a grasp class in offensive play-calling of their early-season demolition of the Chargers, and Trevor Lawrence had one in all his greatest video games of the yr, with greater than 250 passing yards, three touchdowns, and 0 picks. Getting previous the Chargers is nicely inside attain for Jacksonville, however surviving the onslaught of the remainder of the AFC is a tall order. Nearly as good as Lawrence has been this season, it’s arduous to think about him beating some mixture of Herbert, Mahomes, Allen, and Burrow to get to the Tremendous Bowl.
11. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (8-9 | +2800)
Tom Brady must be otherworldly to guide the Bucs deep into the playoffs. Since Week 9, Tampa Bay ranks twentieth in offensive EPA per drive and is tied for twenty fifth in factors allowed per sport. The one groups they’ve defeated in that stretch are the Seahawks (in Germany), Rams, Saints, Cardinals, and Panthers. One of the best three groups the Buccaneers have performed this season, that are the 49ers, Chiefs, and Bengals, beat them by a mixed 49 factors. The offense has excessively relied on Brady to be a magician late in video games due to painfully conservative and predictive offensive play-calling, and the protection is not the juggernaut it was when Brady led the staff to a Tremendous Bowl two years in the past.
12. Seattle Seahawks (9-8 | +8500)
Seattle has sufficient expertise on either side of the ball to be aggressive within the postseason, however they’re working right into a buzz noticed within the wild-card spherical. The Seahawks are a 10-point street underdog in opposition to the 49ers, with their staff whole set at 16. On the Seahawks’ final street journey to San Francisco, the staff’s solely landing got here on a blocked subject aim returned for a landing. When the 2 groups confronted off once more in Seattle in Week 15, the 49ers led 21-6 going into the fourth quarter and closed out the win comfortably. Geno Smith greater than exceeded expectations because the staff’s starter and must be in line for an enormous contract extension early within the offseason, however it feels just like the Seahawks are nonetheless at the least one yr away from making a deep playoff run.
13. New York Giants (9-7-1 | +5500)
Nobody can take away the truth that the Giants have had a spectacular and stunning season. First-year head coach Brian Daboll must be within the dialog with Sirianni for Coach of the 12 months honors, and each Daniel Jones and Saquon Barkley have had large success in contract years. Defensive coordinator Don “Wink” Martindale, that may very well be a reputation to look at on this yr’s head coach hiring cycle, has maximized the staff’s expertise on that facet of the ball together with his aggressive play-calling. Nevertheless, the ceiling for the Giants continues to be far decrease than that of the most effective NFC contenders. New York is 2-6 in opposition to playoff groups, as well as the one staff they beat by greater than eight factors this season was the hapless Jeff Saturday–coached Colts in Week 17. Daboll and Co. will put up a battle in each sport they play, they usually definitely have a shot in a rematch in opposition to the Vikings this weekend, however no quantity of battle will likely be sufficient to beat extreme expertise disparities on a three-game run to the Tremendous Bowl.
14. Miami Dolphins (9-8 | +6500)
Tua Tagovailoa continues to be in concussion protocol, and Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel received’t talk about the prospect of his taking part in in any sport, together with their wild-card matchup with the Payments, till he’s medically cleared. Tagovailoa’s extended absence is devastating to the Dolphins’ Tremendous Bowl hopes, however it’s the precise transfer for his well being. With out him, Miami doesn’t have a possibility within the playoffs. Miami opened as a ten.5-point street underdog in opposition to Buffalo, which is the biggest unfold of any wild-card sport, and cash will proceed to come back in on the Payments if Tagovailoa is certainly dominated out this week. Miami’s solely win in a sport with out him got here in opposition to Joe Flacco and the Jets in Week 18. Tagovailoa additionally completed the period third in EPA per dropback (0.18), behind Mahomes as well as Allen; backups Teddy Bridgewater as well as Skylar Thompson averaged minus-0.03 as well as minus-0.27 EPA per dropback, respectively. The one method the Dolphins are even a top-10 staff on this checklist is that if Tagovailoa can begin within the playoffs, as well as with the present (as well as comprehensible) uncertainty about his well being, they’ve obtained to be last.