NFL 2017/18: Top 10 teams entering wild card weekend
Here are the top ten NFL teams heading into the wild card weekend.
With the NFL regular season now in the rear view mirror, it is time to focus on the NFL playoffs. This will be the last time I will be doing the top 10 NFL rankings until after the Super Bowl. Here are the top 10 teams entering wild card weekend:
Also Read: NFL Top 10 teams entering Week 17
#10 Tennessee Titans (9-7)
Derrick Henry rushed for 51 yards on 28 carries, but he had a 66-yard touchdown reception on a screen play in a 15-10 win against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Marcus Mariota played well enough to win but he needs to elevate his game in the postseason. The Titans have a solid defensive front, but can the secondary limit the big play?
Last week's ranking: not ranked
#9 Carolina Panthers (11-5)
Cam Newton was awful in Carolina's 22-10 loss against the Atlanta Falcons. He completed 14-of-34 passes for 180 yards one touchdown and three interceptions. If Newton does that in the wild card round against the New Orleans Saints, the Panthers won't be going anywhere. The defense is good enough to keep them in games.
Last week's ranking: 8
#8 Atlanta Falcons (10-6)
Matt Ryan threw for 317 yards and a touchdown in Atlanta's 22-10 win over the Panthers to get them back into the playoffs. Devonta Freeman only rushed for 23 yards, but he had nine receptions for 85 yards and a touchdown. The Falcons are going to have to be on the road for the entire playoffs and that will be tough for them.
Last week's ranking: not ranked
#7 New Orleans Saints (11-5)
The Saints lost on a last second touchdown against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Luckily for the Saints, they still won the NFC South and will host a playoff game next Sunday against the Carolina Panthers.
Alvin Kamara was a wrecking ball once again for the Saints. Kamara returned a 106-yard kickoff return for a touchdown and also had 44 rushing yards on nine carries and a touchdown. Drew Brees completed 22-of-30 passes for 245 yards and a touchdown.
Last week's ranking: 5
#6 Kansas City Chiefs (10-6)
The Chiefs might be the hottest team in the NFL right now. They have won four straight games and they rested Alex Smith, Tyreek Hill, and Travis Kelce in Sunday's 27-24 win over the Denver Broncos. Patrick Mahomes made his NFL debut and he threw completed 62.9% of his passes for 284 yards and a interception.
Kansas City is also forcing turnovers and they might be the only team in the AFC that could win in both Pittsburgh and New England. Kansas City is looking like the team they were in the beginning of the season.
Last week's ranking: 7
#5 Los Angeles Rams (11-5)
Even though the Rams lost to the San Francisco 49ers without Jared Goff, Todd Gurley, and Aaron Donald, the Rams are still in good hands heading into wild card weekend against the Atlanta Falcons. The Rams could be the most complete team in the NFC heading into the postseason.
Last week's ranking: 3
#4 Pittsburgh Steelers (13-3)
The Steelers didn't play Ben Roethlisberger and Le'Veon Bell in week 17 against the Cleveland Browns and they still won 28-24. Pittsburgh will be on a bye this week and it is important that Antiono Brown gets healthy enough for the divisional round. JuJu Smith-Schuster is going to be a major x-factor for the Steelers.
He had nine receptions for 143 yards and a touchdown and also returned a kickoff for a 96-yard touchdown in the third-quarter and it happened to be the game-winner. The Steelers defense has been good at sacking the quarterback this season and they had six on Sunday against the Browns.
Last week's ranking: 6
#3 New England Patriots (13-3)
The Patriots quietly dominated the New York Jets 24-6. They have the number one seed once again in the AFC playoffs. New England should make it to the Super Bowl, but they could run into a red hot Kansas City Chiefs team. The Patriots are fortunate they play in a weak conference.
Last week's ranking: 4
#2 Philadelphia Eagles (13-3)
There is room for concern right now with the Eagles heading into the bye week. Nick Foles only played a quarter and a few minutes, but he was out of sync. Foles only threw for 39 yards and a interception. The Eagles defense looked good, but they will be tired if they are constantly on the field in the playoffs. Philadelphia needs to play agressive when the playoffs arrive.
Last week's ranking: 1
#1 Minnesota Vikings (13-3)
Case Keenum is the story of the year for the Vikings offense. The Vikings defense continues to get in team's faces and make key stops. They could very well play the Super Bowl on their home turf come February.
Last week's ranking: 2