NFL Playoff Picture

Lukas Bobak-Rouce, Staff Writer

The NFL playoff picture is heating up with 5 teams that could legitimately finish with the best record in NFL history. Many teams are in the Wildcard Hunt in both conferences, looking to make a final push for the playoffs.


The Ravens are sitting at 1st place in the AFC, and it doesn’t look like this will change any time soon. They have a relatively easy schedule ahead of them with the only playoff teams left being the Steelers. Lamar Jackson’s playing has been outstanding. Their worries now are to make sure that Jackson does not get injured.


The Patriots have been historically great, especially their offense. Obviously, Tom Brady is not what he used to be but the defense has taken a step forward and is one of the top defenses in the league. They are an unproven team with their biggest win was against the Bills, but are always good in the playoffs.


The Texans are in a heated Divisional race with the Titans, which they still have to play once but they hold the tiebreaker. If they want to win the division, If they lose, they could still make the Wildcard. But they will most likely win the division since the Titans still have to play the Saints.


The Chiefs won their division. They will likely be the 3rd or 4th seed unless major movement happens in the AFC. Patrick Mahomes is playing great but their defense is a concern they will need Mahomes to play big if they want to make it far in the playoffs.


The Bills are playing very well this year. Not many people expected them to make the playoffs, let alone be in contention for the division still. They have a tough game ahead of them with the Patriots. They’ve already clinched the playoffs so the division is now the focus.


The Steelers have bounced back significantly from all of the adversaries that they have experienced this season. They started the year 1-4 after losing Ben Roethlisberger to injury for the remainder of the season. Mike Tomlin has rallied the troops and found a way to win. With backup and third-string quarterbacks, they have been able to get the job. Just a year ago people were calling for Mike Tomlin to get fired, but now he is one of the top candidates for coach of the year.


The Titans are pushing for a wildcard position or a division victory. They could very easily get either one of those. The Titans have not lost since they benched Marcus Mariota for Ryan Tannehill. They are making a strong case for the division but the Wild card spot is not out of the question.


The Saints Have Clinched their division and are competing for the number one seed. Their loss to the 49ers won’t help the matter, so they will likely be a number 2 or number 3 seed.


The Packers lost the tiebreakers to the 49ers so it is unlikely they will be the number 1 seed. They could lose their division to the Vikings though who they have yet to play. They will probably make the playoffs but where they will end up is still a mystery.


The 49ers have been one of the biggest surprises of the year. They are sitting an uncomfortable lead in the NFC. With the Seahawks creeping up behind them, they could still lose the division. It doesn’t look like that will happen particularly after Jimmy Garoppolo’s shootout victory over the Saints.


The Cowboys are in the worst division in the NFL. They are sitting at 7-7 but still are in the lead for a playoff spot. The Eagles, however, could take over their division lead. Their roster is very skilled but their coaching is less than average. People have been calling for Jason Garrett to get fired for a while now, and if the Cowboys don’t make the playoffs, his job will probably be gone.


The Seahawks are competing for the division as long as the wildcard. Their loss to the Rams won’t help either of those cases. They still have to beat the 49ers if to get the best seed. That game will likely decide who will be the winner of the division.


The Vikings are in the race for the wildcard and the division. They could really be any seed in the playoffs but probably won’t be higher than the 3rd seed. They need to win out and the Packers need to lose two.


The Eagles, because of the Cowboys failures, are still able to win the division. If they win out they will make the playoffs, so they control their own destiny. They need to beat the Cowboys who are ahead of them due to their lead to head victory. The winner of the Eagles vs Cowboys will win the division.


The Rams are a long shot to make the playoffs, but it is still possible. They showed signs of life against the Seahawks, but it might be too late for them to make a strong push for a spot after the dreadful loss to the Cowboys.