Who will make the NFL playoffs from here?

SEN - Wed, 13th Nov 2019 - 0 Comments

The NFL’s playoff picture is looking quite muddled heading into the back-half of the season.

While a group of teams have separated themselves from the pack, a much larger bunch are fighting for the remaining spots.

Here’s some predictions for who will make the playoffs and who will miss out.

New England Patriots (8-1)

The Patriots are 8-1 and are every chance to go 15-1 given their soft schedule and incredible defence. Not much more needs to be said.

Prediction: Number one seed in the AFC

New Orleans Saints (7-2)

The Saints were whacked by cellar-dwellers Atlanta on the weekend and it may have been the wake-up call they needed. Given their schedule, they could win their remaining seven games and control home field in the NFC.

Prediction: Number one seed in the NFC

San Francisco 49ers (8-1)

The 49ers suffered their first defeat on Monday in overtime to the Seahawks. Barring something catastrophic, they’re making the playoffs.

Prediction: Number two seed in the NFC

Green Bay Packers (8-2)

The Packers haven’t quite looked in the same tier as the teams above, but their record suggests otherwise. They’re a lock to make the playoffs, but will need to beat the 49ers if they want a first-round bye.

Prediction: Number three seed in the NFC

Houston Texans (6-3)

The Colts have dropped away given their injury issues, while the Titans and Jaguars are middle of the road teams at best. The Texans should comfortably break double-digit wins and make the playoffs. They hold a tiebreaker win over the Chiefs.

Prediction: Number two seed in the AFC

Kansas City Chiefs (6-4)

Their loss to Tennessee was disappointing and exposed the flaws in their defence, but their explosive offense and Patrick Mahomes returning to full health will see them win 11 games and make the playoffs.

Prediction: Number three seed in the AFC

Baltimore Ravens (7-2)

The Ravens have been one of the darlings of the NFL after knocking off the Patriots and it’s hard to see a situation where they don’t win the AFC North and lock themselves into the top four of the conference. Facing the Texans, Rams, 49ers and Bills in the next month will be quite the challenge.

Prediction: Number four seed in the AFC

Philadelphia Eagles (5-4)

You might as well flip a coin to decide who will win the NFC East and it might come down to the match-up between the Eagles and Cowboys in week 16. Philadelphia’s schedule is reasonably soft and gives them a better chance of getting to 11 wins.

Prediction: Number four seed in the NFC

Seattle Seahawks (8-2)

The Seahawks could jump the 49ers and grab themselves a home playoff game, but a lot will need to go their way, despite their huge win over them on Monday. Seattle is still a class above the remaining NFC teams.

Prediction: Fifth seed in the NFC

Minnesota Vikings (7-3)

The Packers will likely hold off the Vikings in the battle for the NFC North, but coming off a big win in Dallas, they are in great form and could comfortably win 12 games. They should separate themselves from the middle-tier NFC teams.

Prediction: Number six seed in the NFC

Oakland Raiders (5-4)

It’s incredible to think the Raiders are in the box seat for a playoff spot, given all the drama before the season. They currently sit 5-4 and have one of the easiest remaining schedules. They’ve proven they’re a competent team and should be able to find themselves with nine or 10 wins, which is all you will likely need in the AFC.

Prediction: Fifth seed in the AFC

Pittsburgh Steelers (5-4)

The Steelers lost their veteran quarterback in week two and it very quickly looked as though their season was over. They have rebounded in the last month, winning four games in a row on the back of their defence, and are as good a chance as any to make up the numbers.

Prediction: Sixth seed in the AFC

Those that miss out

Buffalo Bills: The Bills will have to trip over their own feet to not make the playoffs. Sitting at 6-3, they need four wins to likely lock themselves in. They should beat the Dolphins, Broncos and Jets, but will have to steal one against the Cowboys, Ravens, Steelers or Patriots.

Dallas Cowboys: They will likely have to beat the Eagles in Philadelphia to make it if both teams get to 10-5. Dak Prescott is playing well enough to do that, but we will have to wait and see.

Los Angeles Rams: Their offense has completely broken down, their defence is no longer elite and Jared Goff is just plain average. In the toughest division in football, they appear well and truly cooked.

Tennessee Titans: They picked up the biggest win of their season against the Chiefs, but this team is too inconsistent to win 10 games this year.

Indianapolis Colts: Dropping games to the Steelers and the tanking Dolphins in successive weeks, they have shot themselves in the foot. With injuries mounting, they now face a steep climb back into the playoff mix.

Carolina Panthers: It’s hard to see the Panthers and Kyle Allen doing enough to get to the 11 or 12 required wins to make the playoffs in the NFC.

The Rest

The Jaguars and Chargers will need everything to go perfectly to make the playoffs in the AFC, while the Browns must run the table. No other team in the NFC is in the mix given how far ahead the Vikings and Seahawks are.