NFL Playoffs 2019: Pretenders vs. contenders entering Week 6

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NFL Playoffs
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AFC No. 6 Seed: Oakland Raiders – Pretender

What the Oakland Raiders have done through the first five weeks is both surprising and impressive. While everyone was making jokes at Jon Gruden and Mike Mayock‘s expense throughout the offseason, it’s clear that this team has a direction they want to go in and that they are decidedly heading that way. They’re, without question, the most surprising of the 12 current playoff teams.

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Having said that, Gruden and Mayock’s full vision for this team is not yet realized. They are too limited offensively and too inconsistent defensively to take seriously as a postseason threat. For my money, the Raiders aren’t going to be in the playoff mix after 17 weeks, even if they still end up far better than most people projected them to be this year.

AFC No. 5 Seed: Buffalo Bills – Contender

In a general use of the word, the Buffalo Bills are not a fun team to watch. They’re a defensive-minded team that strives to make things ugly. The Bills are going to make some mistakes on offense with Josh Allen at the helm but are also going to grind with the run game and make big plays in the passing game. And again, their defense is going to make it near-impossible to consistently move the ball.

While it might not be entertaining and earning the Bills style points, what they’re doing is effective. This team went up against the Patriots and, when everyone thought Buffalo would be proven fraudulent, they gave New England all that they could handle. Sean McDermott‘s team is never going to dominate the highlight reels but they are going to be a highly difficult team to overcome in the NFL Playoffs.