January 19, 2010

Rank of the teams remaining in the NFL playoffs

Holy shit. There were definitely some upsets that were unexpected this weekend (some of which were very good for me personally) as well as some clear reassertions by powerful, powerful teams. Here's where the four remaining teams rank:

1. Minnesota Vikings: This team is scary. Yes, I remember that I put them as the weakest team in the NFC playoff picture a while back, but I kind of overestimated Favre's weaknesses and forgot to take into account his schedule. Obviously the two big issues that have affected him down the stretch just weren't there this playoff season. For starters, the injury that hurt him while with the Jets seemed to have been a serious contributor to his decrease last year, explaining why his production fell. More importantly, the fact that the Vikings have not and will not play any more cold weather games means that Favre is set. He doesn't have to worry about the cold, he clearly can throw well in moderate temperatures, as evidenced by his 4 touchdown passes. This team is the one most likely to make it to the Superbowl. If you had to pick only one game to watch next week (though you should watch both) watch this one.

2. Indianapolis Colts: The only reason the Saints aren't 2nd is because of the Vikings. Odd as it may seem, the Colts have an easier path through the playoffs with what seems to be the weaker opponent. That's not saying much, though, as the Jets are pretty nasty with a good defense. Of course, Baltimore has a good defense and look where it ended up. Despite the ability of the Jets to stop the passing game and the relative weakness of the Colts' ground game, I'm willing to bet that Peyton Manning will be able to find the non-Darrelle Revis covered receivers enough to make the big plays. I mean, he has to, right? He's Peyton Manning.

3. New Orleans Saints: Yeah, they had a pretty impressive victory against the Cardinals, but they were playing against a second-string secondary. Their defense managed to pull one together, though, which is a good sign. I am uncertain as to whether the Saints have cured their offensive woes for real or not. Only next Sunday will tell. They will need their offense to be at the top of its game, because against the Vikings' offense I'm not willing to count on their defense.

4. New York Jets: The fact that they even made it here is a miracle. Their final two games were victories against two other teams that made it to the playoffs, one of which they've already eliminated and the other they face this week. Their victory against the Chargers was very impressive, and their secondary showed their ability to shut down a quality quarterback. They will need to do the same against Peyton Manning. I'm not sure how long their streak can last, so I'm putting them as the team in the weakest position. Of course, chances are they'll prove me wrong and ride a streak right into the Superbowl.

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