With the 2013 NFL season coming to an end this past Sunday, the real fun will just be beginning. The twelve teams below are all of the teams that have made it to the playoffs. Their months of hard work and dedication will now truly be tested over the course of the next few weeks. While teams such as the Seahawks and Broncos are heavily favored to make it to the Super Bowl, upstart teams such as the Colts and the Chargers will be looking to shock the world.
Over the span of the next few weeks I will continue to do my “Power Rankings”. The only thing is, I will not be including the teams that either failed to make the postseason or were eliminated from them. I will start with all twelve teams this week and continue to work my way down until I get to the final two Super Bowl teams which will be my Super Bowl prediction article.
Good luck to all of the teams that will be fighting for their right to advance this weekend.
Number 1: Seattle Seahawks (13-3)
The Seattle Seahawks are the obvious choice of many to win the Super Bowl. Not only do are they heading into the postseason tied for the best record in the league, but they also have home field advantage throughout the playoffs. Over the past few seasons, this team rarely loses games at home. Russell Wilson has played spectacular throughout the season and should continue that throughout the postseason. And before you ask, yes, this is my pick to win the Super Bowl.
Number 2: San Francisco 49’ers (12-4)
Next to the Seahawks, this is a team that I really like. The 49’ers will be entering postseason play with six straight wins. What is even more impressive is the teams that they beat (Seattle and Arizona). Apart from their impressive record, everything seems to be headed in the right direction for them. Colin Kaepernick has shrugged off his early season struggles and is making tremendous decisions with the football. Michael Crabtree is also healthy and will play a big role in making sure Kaepernick continues to play as exceptional as he has.
Number 3: New England Patriots (12-4)
The New England Patriots are my pick coming out of the AFC. I don’t care that they don’t have Aaron Hernandez or Rob Gronkowski because they have Tom Brady. New England has fared just fine without all of their weapons this season. Heck, Tom Brady turned a college quarterback into a 100 reception, every down receiver. This team also has something that they have lacked over the past years, a running game. That is going to play a huge role in their later playoff games in the cold.
Number 4: Denver Broncos (13-3)
I don’t care about 55 touchdowns. I don’t care about most passing yards. I care about history and history shows me that Peyton Manning is no good in the playoffs. I expect them to win their first playoff game, however, I do not see this team getting past Tom Brady. They cannot defend the pass very well and are just okay in terms of running the football. The games will be played in Denver and chances are they will need to run the ball due to the weather. Call me whatever you wan’t, I’m just not sold on the Broncos.
Number 5: Carolina Panthers (12-4)
The Panthers have seemed to struggle a bit as of late. A last second drive by Cam and a poor performance against the Falcons might have a lot of people worried about how this team will perform. Personally, I think they’ll be just fine. They have the talent to win a playoff game, and I think they will, but unfortunately, I don’t see them getting past San Francisco or Seattle. I’m just really hoping that Cam Newton can prove me wrong, because I really would like to see him succeed.
Number 6: Kansas City Chiefs (11-5)
This is another team that has struggled down the stretch. All of a sudden their defense has decided to give up a ton of points and yards. One thing that they have been able to work on has been their offense. Jamaal Charles is an absolute stud and when it comes down to it, the Colts mediocre defense will have problems stopping him. If this game turns into a shootout I think Kansas City will prevail due to the fact that they have an experienced quarterback and more weapons and speed.
Number 7: Cincinnati Bengals (11-5)
The Cincinnati Bengals are a team that I really wan’t to like coming into the playoffs. Unfortunately, after Sunday’s performance I am having a hard time buying this team. Yes, they won big time. In fact, they doubled the Ravens score. The only problem I have with them is the fact that Andy Dalton threw four interceptions. That might be acceptable in the regular season, but it is not in the playoffs. He needs to learn how to protect the ball better if the Bengals want to have any shot at success. He has had problems doing that all season and until he can prove me wrong, I will continue to expect interceptions and turnovers.
Number 8: Indianapolis Colts (11-5)
Andrew Luck is on his way to becoming a superstar. He has made the transition from Peyton Manning an extremely easy one, as he has led this team to the playoffs two straight years. The Colts have won four out of their last five games to close the season and they have done so in impressive fashion. I just don’t believe this team is ready enough to take the next step. They’re on their way, however, I don’t believe it will be this year. They have a really tough opponent ahead of them who specializes in running the football. The Colts biggest weakness; defending the run.
Number 9: Philadelphia Eagles (10-6)
The Eagles barely made their way into the playoffs. They struggled against a team with a historically bad defense and a back up quarterback. Luckily for them, that game decided the division, guaranteeing them a home playoff game. To top that, they will be playing a team that cannot play on the road. The weather might not be good, but it’s a good thing they have LeSean McCoy. Look for him to completely take over this game, leading Philly to a playoff victory.
Number 10: Green Bay Packers (8-7-1)
I don’t know how this team survived without Aaron Rodgers. It is remarkable that they used multiple quarterbacks over the past months and still put themselves in a position to make the playoffs. With Aaron Rodgers now back and fully healthy, you have to keep your eyes on this team. Will they be able to beat San Francisco? I don’t think so. Will I be surprised if they do? Absolutely not. As long as Aaron Rodgers is throwing the ball for Green Bay, you have to somewhat believe in them.
Number 11: New Orleans Saints (11-5)
Again, I do not care about records. The NFL is a what have you done for me lately league and as far as I’m concerned, the Saints haven’t done very much. Sure, they defeated a four win Buccaneer team to close out the season. Bravo. This team will not host a home playoff game this season and are a completely different team on the road. Heading into Philadelphia is going to be a real challenge for New Orleans. Not only are they not a good outside team, but the chances of inclement conditions are going to be very high. I do not like their chances against Philly.
Number 12: San Diego Chargers (9-7)
This team should not even be in the playoffs. If it wasn’t for the blown call by the officiating crew, the Pittsburgh Steelers would be in the postseason. Oh well, that’s the past and I guess the only thing we have to look forward to is the future. Match-up wise, the Chargers are not looking very good against Cincinnati. Cincinnati has a fierce defense and can really control a game because of that. There is a way for San Diego to win this game, however. The pass defense must step up. Andy Dalton makes a lot of mistakes and that could be something Philip Rivers takes advantage of.
Tags: Carolina Panthers Cincinnati Bengals Denver Broncos Green Bay Packers Indianapolis Colts Kansas City Chiefs New England Patriots New Orleans Saints Philadelphia Eagles San Diego Chargers San Francisco 49ers Seattle Seahawks