The 2019 NFL season has become the 2020 NFL playoffs. Only 12 teams remain standing in the quest to reach and win Super Bowl 54.
The past tells us that once a team is in the AFC or NFC tournament, what happened in the regular season makes no sense. Now it's about warming up and navigating clashes with a greater degree of difficulty to win the three or four games needed to win it all.
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It is time to throw the records, avoid being married to the seeds, consider the odds of bets and then classify the dozen new participants in the playoffs based on their chances of withdrawing from the winners in Miami on February 2.
1. Baltimore Ravens
(AFC No. 1)
The Ravens have won 12 consecutive games to end with a 14-2 franchise, also a better game than the three best teams in the NFC. They have strong odds of +210 (according to BetOnline.ag) to win Super Bowl 54.
That is justified. When Lamar Jackson plays, his offense has been unstoppable. The defense has been rolling, especially in the back-end, since the exchange for Marcus Peters. It's hard to find any weakness in this powerful team. These playoffs are the Ravens against the field.
2. San Francisco 49ers
(NFC no 1)
The 49ers have been tested in battle both at home and on the road before reaching the playoffs. They barely lost to the Crows, beat the saints and rolled the Packers. His offense is difficult to defend with Jimmy Garoppolo with his full complement of weapons, and a strong defense at all levels should be healthier from the divisional round.
It would not be a surprise if there is a rematch of Week 13 and Super Bowl 47 between the Ravens and the 49ers, as the seeds correctly suggest.
3. Kansas City Chiefs
(AFC No. 2)
Patrick Mahomes' offense is accelerating at the right time, with more big plays on the field and more momentum from the field. The defense has become more difficult situationally against runners to build on their dominance against quarterbacks and open receivers.
This is a better version of the Kansas City 12-4 team last year because of that defense and more experience for Mahomes.
4. Saints of New Orleans
(NFC no 3)
The Saints will not have the advantage of a local in the Superdome to make amends for the bad decision that was imposed on them in the NFC championship game last year. But they have proven to be more complete this season with improved defense and special equipment and more ability to win outdoors on the road because of that and their running game.
Drew Brees and Sean Payton can pressure their teams to overcome the harrowing extremes of the last two playoffs, turning that disappointment into a more focused motivation.
5. Green Bay Packers
(NFC no 2)
The Packers are a 13-3 team difficult to understand. They win sometimes with more offense, sometimes with mostly defense. Sometimes it's about the death of Aaron Rodgers; Most of the time it is about the career of Aaron Jones.
Although some of their players have a solid playoff experience, led by Rodgers, this is a different team style under Matt LaFleur that can have a wide range of results from one game to another. The Packers have the feeling of an early exit or an extended race through Miami, with nothing in between.
MORE: updated Super Bowl 54 odds
6. Seattle Seahawks
(NFC no 5)
The Seahawks have lost some shine with two consecutive hard losses and some key injuries on the rise. But like Brees and Payton and Tom Brady and Bill Belichick, Russell Wilson and Pete Carroll form a QB-coach combination that has won it all before, giving the Seahawks a high floor as a dangerous playoff team.
There are some real questions about his offensive line, run-out game and a defense that still has numerous holes that can derail any real opportunity in a hurry. But where there is a Wilson, there is always a way.
7. New England Patriots
(AFC No. 3)
The Patriots have apparently been ruled out for the playoffs, and once again, everyone is ready to follow the lazy narrative that this is the end of their dynasty. But those rumors also existed in the playoffs last year, until the sending of the high-scoring Rams in Super Bowl 53.
Until time runs out and they are eliminated, you cannot count them. That said, their offensive limitations and defensive struggles against better teams are not an attractive combination of how to survive and move forward. However, one should not be surprised if suddenly they make the right adjustments again to outwit the toughest competition.
8. Buffalo Bills
(AFC No. 5)
The Bills have a fearless young quarterback in Josh Allen who chooses good places to run. They have a good offensive line, a talented rookie in the back and first-class smart receivers. They have a good defense of hasty passes and can also cover well, led by the closing corner Tre & # 39; Davious White. They can also alternate well between physical and delicate football.
The Bills could be doomed against a strong team, but they have the makeup to beat anyone. Unexperience is your biggest concern.
9. Minnesota Vikings
(NFC no 6)
The Vikings beat a single playoff team (the Eagles) throughout the season, so they will probably be overcome quickly. At least they have a good fundamental defense with their first seven, an effective execution power game with a healthy Dalvin Cook.
The big questions are about Kirk Cousins rediscovering his best efficiency in his career and defending passes in the field that remains in the playoffs. Saints are bad for them in the wild card round.
10. Tennessee Titans
(AFC No. 6)
Forget the Titans? You can't when they have the NFL champion in Derrick Henry, a great catcher in rookie A.J. Brown and a savior QB in Ryan Tannehill.
They have the offensive rhythm to make noise, but their defense has too much trouble waiting for a long run based on those offensive triplets.
11. Philadelphia Eagles
(NFC no 4)
The Eagles literally limped into the playoffs, but they did so mentally and physically at the playoff level. Carson Wentz can experience the playoffs for the first time, and hopefully many of his teammates believe he can also run like Nick Foles, since most of them have the experience of winning Super Bowl 52 with Doug Pederson.
They are a good race team with a good race defense, but the air game is still compressed, and the pass defense has problems, two elements that will not help in higher scoring games against real good teams that are not in the NFC East.
12. Houston Texans
(AFC No. 4)
Texans are the weakest team in the playoffs. They are highly dependent on Deshaun Watson offensively with an inconsistent race game and a limited reception pop behind DeAndre Hopkins, especially if Will Fuller remains out of the game. His defense is also quite bad.
They should be losing at home again in the wild card round as division champions, this time against the Bills.