2014 NFL Playoffs: Power Ranking the 12 Postseason Teams
Power Ranking The 12 Playoff Teams
The 2013 NFL regular season is in the books and boy, it was one of the most memorable seasons to remember. Regardless of all the issues off the field for certain teams and players, the main memories were made while the teams were actually playing the games.
Throughout the regular season, we saw several different teams emerge as the best team in football. It was not until the second half of the season that a true league leader emerged: the Denver Broncos. Peyton Manning played outside of his mind, leading the league in almost every passing category. Regardless of what fans may say, Seattle is not the best team in football, even with their lights-out defense.
Denver and Seattle traded places multiple times throughout the regular season as being the top-ranked team, but it ultimately came down to the play of Manning and Wilson. Manning turned out to be more consistent and had a better supporting cast of players around him.
The debate about which team was better during the regular season could go on for days, especially with those fans that make mention of the Kansas City Chiefs and how they started off the year 9-0. As impressive as that feat was, ending the season at 11-5 was far more embarrassing then their previously held 9-0 record.
Regardless of what team you support, you just have to agree with the fact that some of the bigger teams in the NFL played this season poorly. It is also clear that some teams overcame adversity and are incredibly deserving of a playoff spot.
Here for your consideration is the 2014 NFL Playoff Power Rankings for the 12 Postseason Teams.
Baxter Colburn is a NFL writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @Baxstar20, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google
12. San Diego Chargers
A very fitting spot for the team that went 9-7 and was the third team from the same division to qualify for the playoffs. Honestly, this team had no business even making the playoffs, much like the next team in the rankings. The fact of the matter is though, they did make it in. Certain teams in the AFC played exceptionally horrible this season, like the defending Super Bowl champions Baltimore Ravens. San Diego has a chance in their opening game against the Cincinnati Bengals, but Andy Dalton has been way too hot for the shaky Charger secondary to slow him down.
11. Green Bay Packers
In all honestly, I am a Green Bay Packers fan, but considering how poorly the team has played this season, especially the past few games, even I had my doubts about their playoff chances. Aaron Rodgers has been hurt and Clay Matthews has also been back and forth with injuries. Unfortunately, at the end of the day, those two players do a great job of masking all the numerous issues that Green Bay possess on both offense and defense. Having Rodgers back is a huge plus for the Packers, but with them facing San Francisco again in the playoffs, it spells disaster for Green Bay’s Super Bowl hopes.
10. Cincinnati Bengals
The red hot Andy Dalton will be the source of the Bengals' offense during the second half of the season. Dalton finished off the regular season with 4,296 passing yards and 33 touchdowns, the only concern of his 2013 performance being his 20 interceptions. Wide receiver A.J. Green has also been the backbone of the passing attack, hauling in 98 passes, 1,426 receiving yards and 11 touchdowns. The Bengals have the proper personal to make a run through the first round of the playoffs, but they may come into serious issues when they take on either New England or Denver.
9. Indianapolis Colts
It has been said before and it will be said again, the Indianapolis Colts miss Reggie Wayne. Coming into the 2013 season, the Colts were a playoff contender, but only a serious one if Wayne was a part of their attack. Instead of finishing second in their division as projected, Indianapolis jumped into first place and stayed there, as they finished four games ahead of the Tennessee Titans, going 11-5 on the season. Facing the Chiefs in the first round of the playoffs will be a huge test to start off. On the bright side, it will be a home game and also a chance to beat the Chiefs for a second time this season.
8. Kansas City Chiefs
The Chiefs are a candidate for the most disappointing team of the year, not in terms of starting off the season 9-0, but for finishing the season at only 11-5. Multiple weakness were finally exposed in the Chiefs' offense and defense, allowing teams like Indianapolis and Denver to tear them apart. One other thing people need to remember, Alex Smith is a good quarterback, but not a Super Bowl winning caliber quarterback. Kansas City’s defense will only be able to carry them so far in the playoffs. The saying does go “defense wins championships” but if the offense is not able to match the level of play of the defense, Kansas City could see an early exit for the playoffs.
7. New Orleans Saints
Jimmy Graham and Drew Brees, are two of the best at their position in the NFL. Graham exploded onto the scene this season more than any of his previous seasons, posting a career-high in touchdowns, with 16 for the season. Brees continuously plays with the type of fire in his belly that most players wish they could have. New Orleans defense will be tested to the fullest when they take on the Philadelphia Eagles in the first round of the playoffs. Seattle found a way to shut down the Saints' electric passing attack, but will the Eagles be able to do the same? The Saints have a great chance at pulling the upset in the first round and moving deep into the playoffs.
6. San Francisco 49ers
The San Francisco 49ers are a team that will not go away…ever. Fans of the 49ers will tell you how much they love their team’s ability to pull out wins in big games and how defense crushes opposing quarterbacks like a fly on the windshield of a car. Colin Kaepernick is one talented quarterback. Combine his play with the running of Frank Gore and the receiving ability of Anquan Boldin and Vernon Davis, and you have a scary team. The 49ers were robbed last season in the Super Bowl, and will be looking to make a return trip this postseason.
5. Carolina Panthers
Riding on the cap of Superman himself, the Carolina Panthers find themselves with a favorable first-round bye and the chance to make the Super Bowl for the first time in 10 seasons. Cam Newton has perfected the Panthers offense and will continue to reign fire down on opposing defenses. On the flip-side of things, Luke Kuechly leads the Carolina defense and placed fourth in the NFL for total tackles with 156. All signs point to a Carolina, Philadelphia second-round match-up, a game that would test the Panthers completely.
4. Philadelphia Eagles
The Eagles are a team that has the right coach, the right players and the perfect playoff schedule to make it to the Super Bowl. Nick Foles deserves ever possible award he can win with how well he has been playing this season. Chip Kelley has brought the Eagles out of the dark and helped them accomplish one of their better seasons in a long time. Lesean McCoy and Desean Jackson lead a high-flying offense that will be incredibly hard to slow down. Philadelphia has all the right pieces to make a Super Bowl run, but can they put them all together?
3. Seattle Seahawks
Yes, this rank may have shocked a lot of people, but it is all very easily explained. Russell Wilson is a terrific quarterback, there is no doubting his ability, but he is not in the same boat as Peyton Manning and Tom Brady. Wilson is one of the up and coming elite quarterbacks in the league, but he still is not capable of what guys like Manning and Brady do each and every game. Seattle has a terrific defense and will make life a living you know what for opposing offenses, especially if the game is being held in the Emerald City.
2. New England Patriots
Tom Brady — what else must be said here? Honestly, not much else needs to be said because of what this man has already accomplished during his career. Brady is the absolute heart and soul of the Patriots organization and will be until the day he hangs-up his cleats. New England has gained a lot of momentum heading into the playoffs and adding a first-round bye will only increase their chances of being the AFC representative in Super Bowl XLVIII.
1. Denver Broncos
Peyton Manning is a force to be reckoned with. The offense of the Broncos is so dangerous and mind-blowing that it will make opposing defenses wish they were home instead of dealing with Manning and his mind games. Manning is nearing the end of his career and would love to end with another Super Bowl victory under his belt. Add on his record-setting season, and he is probably the best player to ever set foot in the NFL. Denver is a heavy Super Bowl favorite and for good reason. Watch out for the Broncos to bring another trophy back to the mile high city this February.