An NFL playoff field with 14 teams is set. When we look at the seven NFC teams and the seven AFC teams as a whole, I feel that the race for victory and victory in Super Bowl 56 is wide open.
The playoffs are often not played on the basis that a higher number will win all the matches they should win, so the number associated with all the contestants at this time of year means little. There’s a reason a dozen teams are now competing on a wild card weekend. This increases the pressure on the favorites and makes the actions in front of the division round more impressive.
Last season, the still-reigning Buccaneers champion successfully won Super Bowl 55 as a NFC No. 5 player. Last year, the Chiefs lifted the Lombardi Trophy as a seed two. The only thing that can be expected in the playoffs is the unexpected.
With regard to seeds, chances, overall potential and how the teams play in the playoffs, here is a special ranking of the strengths of the newest teams after the season in the league, from No. 1 to No. 14, in relation to their odds on the opening Super Bowl at the FanDuel bookmaker. :
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NFL 2021 playoff forces
1. Green Bay Packers (NFC No. 1 seed)
The Packers (+380) deserve to be favorites with their offensive effectiveness led by probably repeated MVP Aaron Rodgers and improved all-round defense. They have made a big breakthrough in three great seasons under the leadership of Matt LaFleur. Deciding to tune in at week 18 can help restore the Lambeau Field mystique at home in the playoffs.
2. Kansas City Chiefs (AFC No. 2 seeds)
The Chiefs (+450) seem to be much more vulnerable with Patrick Mahomes and their defense than in their successive Super Bowl, which have played the last two playoffs. But Andy Reid’s experience and coaching cannot be discounted. They also won it all as No. 2 for the Ravens two years ago. The Patriots are back in the playoffs, but Mahomes and Reid are what the Patriots used to be with Tom Brady and Bill Belichick – a consistent team that can be defeated in the AFC until otherwise decided.
3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (NFC No. 2 Seed)
Buccaneers (+750) face a lot of injuries in the offensive and defensive, but they are also led by KOZA, Tom Brady. He can keep things together and even without Chris Godwin and Antonio Brown, Mike Evans and Rob Gronkowski are dangerous 1-2 strokes. They should also regain key bodies for running and defense, which are two things that supported their winning Super Bowl 55 wild card race. Brady has a big break when he got back to No. 2. Although the Packers are better equipped this time to solve them, the Buccaneers will remain a difficult affair if the NFC Championship retaliation is to take place in Lambeau.
4. Tennessee Titans (AFC No. 1 seed)
The Titans (+850) witnessed Ryan Tannehill break out of his slump of legitimate broad receivers in AJ Brown and Julia Jones, who are healthy and playing key games. There can now be a lot of help on the way in the form of Derrick Henry, who has beaten again in the game of power running to further facilitate what may again be an explosive attack. Tennessee also enjoys practicing with Mike Vrabel and playing great situational football. We must also not forget the key early victories over the Chiefs and Bills or the insidious home pitches that the Titans may have with their loud crowd.
5. Buffalo Bills (AFC No. 3 Seed)
The Bills (+750) felt as if they were ready to oust the Chiefs when they solved them in Kansas City at the start of the season. But they went through their own successful offensive with Josh Allen and also played a part in the shocking defenses of the defense. Just as Mahomes seems to be back on track, Allen relies more on the traditional running game, while the defense is constantly tightening the bolts, especially against passes. If they got another chance for the Chiefs in the division playoffs, nothing would be easy for the second time.
6. Dallas Cowboys (NFC No. 3 seed)
The Cowboys (+1100) decided to play with Dak Prescott and their healthy starters in week 18 against the Eagles and this great victory should inspire confidence that they can break through the tournament as a complete team of Kellen Moore, Dan Quinn and Mike McCarthy. Jerry Jones hired McCarthy because he had experience winning the Super Bowl with Rodgers in Green Bay. Quinn also got the team to the Super Bowl just four years ago. Make sure Dallas gets to LA with a more perfect harmony of attack and defense.
7. Cincinnati Bengals (AFC Seed No. 4)
The Bengals (+1700) got a break in the draw when they first faced the tired Raiders instead of the cunning Patriots. They have an advanced young QB weapon in Joe Burrow that can be quickly fired by top weapons, including Ja’Marr Chase, Joe Mixon, Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd. They also saw that their key defense improvements are paying off, and Trey Hendrickson and the pass rush may be a bigger factor in the playoffs. The only thing that could support Zac Taylor’s team is a lack of experience. But they have an attack to beat anyone in the AFC field and have already proved their worth. Chiefs of the 17th week.
8. Los Angeles Rams (NFC No. 4 seeds)
The Rams (+950) will try to follow the Buccaneers and win everything at their home stadium in Los Angeles. Sean McVay, Aaron Donald and Jalen Ramsey and Cooper Kupp are four good reasons to love them when they play as Super Bowl 53. Then there’s Matthew Stafford. Everyone sees that the talent for passing is there, but here is a reminder that he has never won a playoff match and tends to make critical mistakes against winning opponents in the biggest matches.
9. Arizona Cardinals (NFC No. 5 seeds)
The Cardinals (+2100) didn’t look great as they fell behind the Rams and stayed just ahead of the 49ers in the NFC West. They lost four of their last six farewell matches. But one of those victories came against the Cowboys in week 17 and they have experience playing five of the other 13 playoff teams. There’s also Kyler Murray’s wild card, which can either carry them for a while or burn in the third match with the Rams, who beat them 30-23 in week 14.
10. San Francisco 49ers (NFC Seed No. 6)
The 49ers (+2400) are back in the playoffs after their 2020 hangover in the Super Bowl full of injuries. Kyle Shanahan did a great job turning them back and they have some positive elements that resemble their NFC championship, including a reliable running game, a versatile pass and an active front seven. But the pass is defended and the immediate draw against the Cowboys does not help.
11. New England Patriots (AFC No. 6 seeds)
The Patriots (+2100) are lagging behind in the playoffs and have lost three of their last four games by the end. One of those losses was that the Bills 33-21 broke up at home. A rubber match is coming. The Patriots defeated mostly bad teams and the victory over the Titans seems to be ancient. There is also little belief that Mac Jones will be an above-average newcomer in the post-season. Belichick’s effort to get his team back into the playoffs thanks to the strength of defense and running is remarkable, but for any run he needs more than just hoping for wear and tear.
12. Pittsburgh Steelers (AFC No. 7 deployed)
The Steelers (+7000) can’t be completely ignored, as Ben Roethlisberger and Mike Tomlin have experienced Super Bowl victories, even though parts of their passing and defense are not nearly as championship standards as in the past. Pittsburgh will try its best to bite Kansas City and will play there for the second time in four games after losing 36:10 in week 16. But in the end, if Roethlisberger does not trip deep into the firepower, his career will end against Mahomes in Arrowhead.
13. Philadelphia Eagles (NFC No. 7 seeds)
The Eagles (+5500) didn’t get too big a draw when they had to face the Buccaneers, a running team with a running QB, facing a strong rune defense that should have the top seven back together. On Thursday night of week 6, they played hard with the Bucs at home and lost 28-22. But the Eagles’ fight against running and covering the narrow ends does not bode well for a long stay.
14. Las Vegas Raiders (AFC No. 5 seeds)
The Raiders (+4100) were the last AFC team to qualify with their four-match winning streak by the end of the season, including two crazy wins against the Colts and Chargers in the last two weeks. It’s a nice story of how Derek Carr and their defense gathered around temporary coach Rich Bisaccio in a tumultuous second season in Las Vegas. But it ends in Cincinnati against the rested Burrow and Mixon, who lead an attack they can’t handle. It doesn’t help that the Raiders played well into Sunday night and need to play on the road next Saturday afternoon.