What if the NFL decided their playoffs the same way the NCAA does? After 13 weeks, beyond Carolina, there is really no predicting the top 4 seeds in the NFL. So rather than letting then numbers play out, I need something to write about, so here goes nothing. Welcome to my committee.
For the sake of parity I will extend my playoff to 8 games (As the NCAA should do as well) and break down how it would all go down. Eliminate divisions and conferences in your mind. We are selecting the best 8 teams for a 3 game playoff.
Carolina Panthers 12-0
New England Patriots 10-2
Arizona Cardinals 10-2
Denver Broncos 10-2
Cincinnati Bengals 10-2
Seattle Seahawks 7-5
Minnesota Vikings 8-4
Green Bay Packers 8-4
Kansas City Chiefs 7-5
#1 Carolina Panthers vs #8. Seattle Seahawks
#2 Cincinnati Bengals vs #7 Minnesota Vikings
#3 Arizona Cardinals vs #6 Green Bay Packers
#4 Denver Broncos vs #5 New England Patriots
How I decided.
Carolina at 1 is an easy choice. Undefeated. I don’t think they’re getting enough credit. Being an underdog against a 3-7 Cowboys team on Thanksgiving is downright disrespectful. The Tully committee sees the Panthers as the #1 team and as the team with the best chance of winning the Super Bowl in Santa Clara.
Seattle vs Kansas City was my choice for the final spot at #8. Kansas city has won 6 in a row, but Seattle wowed the committee with a dominant win over another playoff team, the #7 Minnesota Vikings 38-7 on the road. Russell Wilson is a late season riser and should be invited to New York for the Hypothetical NFL Heisman for his efforts in the last few games.
The Cincinnati Bengals are a team to be cautiously hopeful for. If they can get a win in the playoffs they will probably win all of their games. I like this matchup for them against Minnesota. The Bengals defense has been excellent of late with the one exception being a slip up to the NFL’s best offense in Arizona.
If the playoff started today Minnesota would come in reeling after a blowout loss to Seattle. One more loss and I’d be hard pressed to but Kansas City in over this team. If the Vikings can get healthy on D this game could really go either way.
Arizona is hotter than a Phoenix summer right now. Carson Palmer is dealing like he’s wearing a tuxedo in Las Vegas. They’ve put up 26 points every week since week 7 with the exception of a final drive win against surprisingly competent San Francisco and Blaine Gabbert.
Coming in at 6 is the most mysterious team in football, the Green Bay Packers. Their once deadly offense has looked putrid at times, and struggled mightily against Detroit and Chicago on back to back Thursdays. The Rodgers squared duo hooked up for a Hail Mary to sink the Lions last week and that might be enough to spark their team. Offensive line is a huge concern, as their Injury Report grows on the front five.
4 and 5 were a toss up to me. New England and Denver are pretty evenly matched right now, with Denver taking the head to head, so based on that I have to put them at 4. Injuries have hurt the Patriots, but they are healthy at Quarterback, which in the NFL is enough to keep you in contention. Denver on the other hand has been playing behind the 8-ball with Brock Osweiler who has looked like 2015 Peyton Manning minus the interceptions. For a team with a defense as good as Denver’s that’s probably all they need.
How it all plays out
Carolina over Seattle
Cincy over Minnesota
Arizona over Green Bay
New England over Denver
Carolina over New England
Cincy over Arizona
Cincy over Carolina.
Something about Ohio and the new Playoff System