Top 10 NFL Teams for 2017-2018
With the NFL season coming to an end, it is now time to focus on the upcoming offseason. The NFL playoffs were exciting because of the Minnesota Miracle in the divisional round and the Philadelphia Eagles upsetting the New England Patriots 41-33 in Super Bowl LII to capture its first Super Bowl title in franchise history.
Philadelphia was an underdog every game they played and they proved the doubters wrong. I haven't ranked the top 10 NFL teams since wild-card weekend. Here are the final top 10 NFL teams for this season:
10. Carolina Panthers (11-6): Cam Newton was outstanding in Carolina's 31-26 loss against the New Orleans Saints on wild-card weekend. He threw for 349 yards and two touchdowns and also rushed for 37 yards on eight carries. The Panthers had many opportunities to score touchdowns, but they kicked too many field goals instead. Before wild-card weekend's ranking: 9.
9. Los Angeles Rams (11-6): The Rams were flat against the Atlanta Falcons in the wild card round and that caused them to be bounced early. Despite improving big time during the 2017 season, they didn't come through when it mattered the most. Before wild-card weekend's ranking: 5.
8. Tennessee Titans (10-8): Tennessee came back from a 21-3 deficit against the Kansas City Chiefs on wild-card weekend, but they were bounced against the New England Patriots in the divisional round 35-14. The refs didn't give any calls to Tennessee at all in that game. Tennessee parted ways with Mike Mularkey as head coach and they hired Mike Vrabel to become the next head coach. Marcus Mariota played well in both games for the Titans and he even caught his own touchdown pass off a deflection. Before wild-card weekend's ranking: 10.
7. Atlanta Falcons (11-7): The Falcons were a Julio Jones touchdown on fourth down away from going back to the NFC Championship game, but the offense failed them once again when the game was on the line. The Falcons weren't as great as everyone thought they were. They beat the Rams in the wild card round because Atlanta was ready to play and Los Angeles wasn't. Before wild-card weekend's ranking: 8.
6. Pittsburgh Steelers (13-4): Pittsburgh put up 545 yards in the divisional round against the Jacksonville Jaguars, but they lost 45-42. The Steelers defense didn't show up at all. They were once down 21-0 and 28-7. The absence of linebacker Ryan Shazier proved them costly when it mattered the most. It will be interesting whether or not they bring back running back Le'Veon Bell. The Steelers also let go of offensive coordinator Todd Haley and fans are happy about that. Oh by the way, as long as Tom Brady and Bill Belichick are in New England, Pittsburgh will not beat them. Before wild-card weekend's ranking: 4.
5. New Orleans Saints (12-6): Marcus Williams missed a tackle on Stefon Diggs in the divisional round and it caused the Saints to go home earlier than they anticipated. The Saints have a promising future with all the young talent they have and as long as Drew Brees sticks around. He was tremendous for the Saints in the postseason. Before wild-card weekend's ranking: 7.
4. Jacksonville Jaguars (12-7): The Jaguars surprised many people this season. They were up 10 in the fourth-quarter against the New England Patriots and lost by four. Leonard Fournette was a beast in the playoffs and Blake Bortles played turnover-free ball in all three games. The Jaguars defense was fast, but they couldn't stop Tom Brady when it mattered the most. Before wild-card weekend's ranking: not ranked.
3. Minnesota Vikings (14-4): Stefon Diggs's miraculous 61-yard touchdown against the New Orleans Saints lifted them into the NFC Championship Game, but they were dismantled 38-7 the next week by the Philadelphia Eagles. They will still have a very good roster heading into 2018, but who will be the quarterback? Case Keenum, Teddy Bridgewater, and Sam Bradford are all free agents. Before wild-card weekend's ranking: 1.
2. New England Patriots (15-4): Belichick's decision to bench Malcolm Butler in the Super Bowl was a head-scratcher. Eric Rowe got the start instead and he was torched all game long. Tom Brady threw for 505 yards and three touchdowns in the Super Bowl, but he was surprisingly strip-sacked by Brandon Graham late in the game. Tight end Rob Gronkowski might retire and that would hurt the Patriots. Defensive Coordinator Matt Patricia is taking the Detroit Lions head coaching job and offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels is staying with the Patriots as the offensive coordinator and turned down the Indianapolis Colts job at the last second. Before wild-card weekend's ranking: 3.
1.Philadelphia Eagles (16-3): Doug Pederson had an aggressive approach with his Eagles team throughout the entire game. He had trust in Nick Foles and it paid off. Even though they didn't have Carson Wentz, the Eagles didn't fold and they played as a team. Different players stepped up every game. They had a great running back core in LeGarrette Blount, Jay Ajayi, and Corey Clement. The Eagles made a key play late in the Super Bowl when Brandon Graham strip-sacked Tom Brady and the Eagles recovered the ball. Philadelphia deserves to be Super Bowl Championship and they played great all year. They will be getting Jason Peters, Jordan Hicks, and Carson Wentz back next season. Before wild-card weekend's ranking: 2.