Way too Early Playoff Prediction

October 11, 2022 Uncategorized Comments Off on Way too Early Playoff Prediction

Alright folks…

After the conclusion of week 5, I thought it would be a great time to trigger some people on my projections for the NFL playoffs.

Compared to NFL.com, there’s nothing too crazy on here but there are some differences.

Let’s start with the AFC side.

1 Seed: Bills. I guess some could argue Chiefs here. That’s fine with me, we’ll know more as the two best quarterbacks in the league face off this Sunday at 4:25pm EST. Should be a great game.

2 Seed: Chiefs. The Chiefs defense didn’t look stellar against the Raiders last night; although, I do think the Raiders offense is better than what we’ve seen.

3 Seed: Ravens. I’m really struggling to buy in on the Bengals this year. This is essentially Burrow’s sophomore season (I know it’s his third year but he was hurt his rookie season) and many QB’s fall into the sophomore slump. Meanwhile the Bengals revamped O-line is struggling even after all the offseason acquisitions.

As of now, Lamar is tied for third in the MVP race behind Josh Allen and Patrick Mahomes. Baltimore has the third easiest schedule for the rest of the season while the Bengals have the 12th easiest schedule remaining. Ravens right now have head to head over the Bengals and we’ll see them matchup again in Cincinnati in week 18.

4 Seed: Colts. Buddy at the office said, “You might as well pull a name out of a hat for this division.”

He’s probably right. My argument here for the Colts is they have a solid defense, a veteran quarterback, and last year’s leading rusher in Jonathon Taylor.

Yeah, Matt Ryan has been atrocious. But do I dare say this is his floor? How much worst can he get?

If I didn’t pick the Colts I’d actually pick the Jags. Don’t judge me.

5 Seed: Jets. I love Breece Hall and Sauce Gardner. I think they’re both studs and this is not the Jets we have to come know. Since we’re into the Wild Cards here, its between Jets, Titans, and Jags (Broncos could be here but Hackett has ruined this offense).

Zach Wilson needs some time to develop but he has all the weapons he needs to succeed. The offensive weapons are the main reason I have Jets over the Titans and Jags.

6 Seed: Dolphins: Tua is down but should be back soon. Tua also has the highest QBR average so far. Miami, arguably, has the best receiving duo in the NFL. This team is built on quickness and McDaniel is a great coach.

Not to mention, the defense has exceeded expectations so far this season. Miami has an easier schedule than most, so I feel comfortable adding them into the mix.

7 Seed: Chargers. Herbert is working without his favorite receiver, Keenan Allen. The defense hasn’t been tremendous but the offense has been quietly top tier without Keenan. Most credit should be given to Ekeler here.

The Chargers have the fifth most yards per game and are top 10 in points through 5 weeks.

I’ll take my chances on Herbert over Trevor Lawrence or Tannehill.

AFC Misses:
Broncos: This offense is PAINFUL to watch. Pat Surtain and Chubb are the only shining pieces of this team. Surtain is probably the best corner in football right now.

Jaguars: I may have recency bias here after watching Jacksonville fail to score a touchdown against one of the worst defenses in the NFL. They lost to the Texans… I don’t think this team is bad, but it is the Jaguars.

Titans: Tannehill has been bad this season. He is ranked towards the bottom in QBR and they completely lack offensive weapons beyond King Henry. Titans have a very tough upcoming schedule as well. Again, like my buddy said, “Pick a name out of a hat for the AFC South.”

Alright let’s go through the NFC side.

1 Seed: Eagles. Tied with Lamar, Hurts is in third place to win MVP. Darius Slay has played phenomenal this season. Per PFF highest grades in single coverage, Darius Slay ranks third. As the primary defender, Slay allows a 36.8 QBR on the season.

The Eagles O-line is a little banged up at the moment, but is still in the elite tier.

Hurts has options in A.J. Brown, Devonta Smith, and Dallas Goedert. Philly has given everything a QB needs to be successful in the NFL and Hurts is doing just that – being successful.

We get a really good showdown this Sunday night between the Eagles o-line and the Cowboys defensive front led by Micah Parsons and Demarcus Lawrence. Eagles have the opportunity to showcase why they’re the team to beat in the NFC.

2 Seed: Buccaneers. Sure they’ve looked shaky so far. But these projections are based on year end finish, not after five weeks of football.

One player you don’t want to see in December-February is Tom Brady. Tom Brady has a passer rating of 93.6 on average in the month of December.

His O-line has been banged up all season along with his receivers. Luckily, the Buccaneers division is weak with the Saints being the only competitor. Another division win for the Buccaneers is a safe bet especially when this team heals up.

3 Seed: 49ers. There are only three acceptable answers for best defense in the NFL so far. 49ers are one of them, and I think they’re the best. They did just lose Emmanuel Moseley for the season and Nick Bosa is banged up.

But overall, this defense is tough to score against and Deebo is still an elite talent with the ball in his hands.

A lot of chatter around the league about Jimmy G and his ability to win for the 9ers but at the end of the day, he doesn’t have to win games for the 9ers. Jimmy G just can’t lose games for the 9ers. Jimmy G didn’t make a turnover on Sunday against the Panthers and completed 60% of his passes.

Remember, Jimmy G was the starter when the 9ers went to the NFC championship last January.

9ers also have an easy path from here. The average opposing team win percentage for the remainder of the teams they face is 45%. This ranks as the 5th easiest remaining schedule in the league.

4 Seed: Vikings. Again, recency bias may be kicking in here, Packers just lost to the Giants. And no, I cannot buy into the Giants.

Vikings right now, per PFF are 3rd in the league in run blocking.

Controlling the ground is a huge advantage. Not to mention, they have arguably the best WR in the game right now.

I guess this division could go either way, I’m okay with flipping the Vikings and the Packers.

5 Seed: Cowboys. This defense is absurd. This may be the scariest wildcard team you can face. Micah Parsons looks to be a legend in the making, Demarcus Lawrence is an offensive tackles nightmare, and this team is 2nd behind the 49ers in sacks this season. Not to mention, Trevon Diggs has improved his coverage ability from last season.

The offense is the question mark. Cooper Rush has been able to keep the train rolling with the Cowboys returning to a balanced attack.

Last season, this was a pass happy team. Since Dak has been hurt, Kellen Moore has returned to the ground game and it has paid off.

Once Dak comes back and if the coaching staff can stick to a balanced approach, this should be a +10 win team in the Wild Card.

6 Seed: Packers. The Packers defense has underperformed this whole season. Preseason, this was supposed to be a great defense. This defense gave up 27 points to the Giants led by Daniel Jones.

Aaron Rodgers still needs time to work with his young receivers and build trust with them.

Aaron Rodgers is not the kind of quarterback to let his team fall out of games. I expect Packers to be in every game they play especially in a favorable division.

This team can only get better as the season progresses and I expect them to make the cut into January.

7 Seed: Rams. This one was tough. The Rams are at the point where they should be pressing the panic button.

Their O-line has been atrocious and has been dominated by every defensive front this season.

Stafford has minimal time to get the ball out and the run game has suffered. The Rams have the worst run game in the NFL so far this season at 62 yards a game. What keeps them in the game is their above average defense and Cooper Kupp. Jalen Ramsey is ranked fourth among corners this season and Aaron Donald is ranked as the 2nd best interior defender in the league.

Cooper Kupp will find holes in any defense and is the best safety blanket for a QB in the NFL.

The star power on this team with Sean McVay should get this team playing in January to defend their title.

NFC misses:

Saints: This is a tough team to place in the playoffs, Jameis is too careless with the football to be able to make it to January, and The Saints give up nearly 26 points a game. The only positive for the Saints is their schedule isn’t too competitive, so it’s possible they make it to wild card weekend.

Giants: I will die on this hill. I cannot believe in Daniel Jones or this team. Saquon Barkley is a stud and that’s about it. The Giants are in a tough division against the Eagles and Cowboys and their schedule is going to get tough.

Cardinals: Cardinals may have the worst defense in the NFL. PFF agrees. They are last in defense, and they have the third worst overall team grade according to PFF. Their schedule will not be kind down the road either.

We’re not even a third of the way through the season but this is gut feeling and eye balling a few stats.

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