1. New England: This isn’t a shock seeing they just beat their top competition in the AFC. That being said, the Patriots are not unbeatable. The Steelers showed the league how to beat this team, for three Quarter’s. Play man and hit Brady, but then you leave Gronk one on one and he destroys you. They aren’t unbeatable, but you have to play your best ball for 60 minutes to beat them.
2. Los Angeles Rams: There isn’t a weakness on this team, the offense is unstoppable on a good day and will drop 20+ points on a bad one. The defense is coming into form, Aaron Donald steals the headlines but Michael Brockers is one of the best defensive linemen in the league. The lack of experience is a bit concerning, talent beats experience in my book though. Oh, and how can you forget Todd Gurley who is currently my pick for offensive player of the year. The guy is the best RB in the league. That’s right I would take him over Lev Bell any day.
3. Minnesota Vikings: The Vikings have the best defense in the league. People are sweeping this team under the rug after getting super excited about them on Thanksgiving. Why? Just because they lost a very close game to a very good Panthers team while they had a shorthanded o line does not mean they are a bad team. Is it because of Case Keenum? Get over it people, it’s 2017 nearly 2018 and Case Keenum is a consistent NFL QB. With the right pieces around him he could win a Super Bowl. Who does he have around him? Oh let’s see, how about all pro wide out Adam Thielen. Thielen has 83 catches this year for 1,191 yards and 4 touchdowns. Oh that game against the panthers? He had 6 catches for 105 yards and a Touchdown. Give the Vikings some respect they should be considered Super Bowl favorites.
4. Carolina Panthers: The way Cam Newton has played over the past 3 weeks is reminiscent of his MVP season two years ago. With impress numbers like these, 562 yards 7 touchdowns and 1 interception, and the Panthers dominant defense (if Thomas Davis stops blind siding people) the Panthers can absolutely make a deep playoff run. Carolina was widely criticized for trading Kelvin Benjamin at the deadline, but it hasn’t hurt them at all. That’s mainly because of Rookie sensation Christian McCaffery. McCaffery isn’t anything special in the running game but he’s the Panthers second leading receiver. 592 yards and 5 touchdowns, the guy is the ultimate satellite back. Get him in space and he will make things happen. Devin Funchess I rounding into a number one wide receiver as well. As Cam’s favorite red zone target he has 7 touchdowns. Johnathan Stewart has seemingly helped the Panthers find a good ground game over the past 3 weeks as well. If they can continue the offensive success they are having right now, the defense can carry them to a Lombardi.
5. New Orleans Saints: The Saints have scared me in a bad way the last few weeks. If Alvon Kamara is taken out of the game plan they suddenly implode. With that being said when Kamara is in the game and getting touches this team is impossible to stop. They will drag you down the field kicking, screaming, and gassing your defense. All the way to the red zone where Drew Brees throws a floater touchdown to Michael Thomas. The defense has come back to earth, but on the right day this team can beat anyone in the league.
6. Philadelphia Eagles: Nick Foles is not going to be what sinks this team. Nick Foles does not play defense, Nick Foles did not allow the Giants to put up 30+ on this team. Foles is a serviceable QB with great pieces around him. If the defense steps up this team can win a Super Bowl.
7. Pittsburgh Steelers: This of course is assuming Antonio Brown returns to the playoffs. The Steelers pushed the best team in the league to the Brink. Unfortunately they have to get past that team to get to Minneapolis. Ben Roethlisberger has played some of his best ball over the past month but can it keep up through the playoffs?
8. Jacksonville Jaguars: Ok, this may be a long shot. Blake Bortles has sucked me in. He is not the turnover prone game wrecker he was last year. Yes, he has had bad games, but his good games out way the bad ones. Bortles has thrown for over 3000 yards. Only 8 interceptions this year, 8 isn’t that many. That’s half of what he threw last year. Bortles has done his part and with a fantastic defense, why not? Why can’t the Jags win a Super Bowl?