With Week 17 of the NFL Regular Season coming to a close, the Wild Card Round will kick off the NFL post season on Sunday morning. We take a look at the things we are looking forward to seeing from the 2017/18 playoffs.
Will the Patriots go back-to-back?
With their 6-26 win over the New York Jets at Foxborough, the Patriots clinch the #1 ranking in the AFC. The signing of former Steelers outside linebacker James Harrison has paid immediate dividends with 5 tackles, two sacks and two QB hits although you know coach Bill Belichick will detest the attention and controversy he brought across with him.
The key to the Patriots success has been the ability of Tom Brady to stay healthy. Whilst Green Bay, Houston and Philadelphia all struggled with injuries to their QB, Brady has played every game this season and as long as he is on the field you wouldn’t bet against the Patriots winning another Super Bowl.
Can the Eagles recover from the injury to QB Carson Wentz?
Are the Eagles still the best team in the NFC? It’s been just over two games of football for Philadelphia to build momentum for their Super Bowl campaign without their star quarterback and so far not many people are convinced they will be playing in the biggest game of the year.
Whilst Punters shouldn’t take too much from their 0-6 loss to the Dallas Cowboys which was played in absolutely frigid temperatures without many of their best players, it is simply a case of Wentz making everyone around him better. Nick Foles is still a great player and he would be comfortable as the starting QB at many other NFL teams, however without Wentz the Eagles will struggle to defeat any one of the Vikings, Saints or Rams in the their playoff journey.
Are the Jacksonville Jaguars the biggest challenger in the AFC?
We really enjoyed following the Jaguars progression this season. Jacksonville have stumbled in the last couple of weeks against San Francisco in a shootout (44-33) and Tennessee (10-15). The Jaguar’s ‘wildcard’ ranking in the playoffs is incredibly accurate in the sense that we believe they are the team most likely to challenge the Steelers or Patriots for the AFC Title.
With one of the best defences in the NFL and an offence that has progressively improved throughout the season we think that if a couple of things go their way we might see them playing for a spot in the Super Bowl.
You wouldn’t want to play the Vikings in the NFC.
Minnesota are the best team in the NFC, entering the playoffs with a 13-3 record. The Vikings are the #1 ranked defence in the NFL and QB Case Keenum has shown remarkable development for a player that was once a third-string quarterback behind Teddy Bridgewater and Sam Bradford.
Whilst Keenum is unproven in the Playoffs he will have the advantage of playing at US Bank Stadium where the Vikings have a 7-1 record in the regular season.