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If the Playoffs Started Today – NFL Week 5

Falcons vs Ravens: Week 5's prediction for the Super Bowl

As quickly as Week 5, no more unbeaten teams are left. Though there are three winless teams, and surprisingly, none of them are the Lions or Rams. The Chiefs defense looked pretty good, but after losing several gambles and not scoring a touchdown against the Colts, how long can the Chiefs keep it up? And what’s going on with the Chargers and 49ers? Fortunately, for all teams involved, there’s still 11 or 12 games left in which to turn things around. So where do the league’s best stand up? Let’s look at what would happen if the playoffs started as of Tuesday, October 12:

NFC

#1 Atlanta Falcons

After dropping their opener, Atlanta has won four straight, though the last was to Cleveland. Big deal. They have the most explosive offense amongst NFC playoff teams, but how can their defense stand up? Pretty good, actually. They also have the NFC playoff field’s best defense. 43 net points? They’ll be fine.

#2 Chicago Bears

Who knew Julius Peppers would have been that crucial? Again, big deal, beating Carolina. But still, They’ve been very impressive this year. Jay Cutler is starting to come into his own, and the Bears are getting more and more ferocious by the game. They’ve got the potential to go quite far in January.

#3 Washington Redskins vs #6 New York Giants

Everybody loves post-season inter-divisional games. While it isn’t always easy for Washington, they’re hanging in there. Washington won a close game against Green Bay, while the Giants thwomped Houston on the road (Washington couldn’t do it at home) most recently. It’d be a tough game, but Washington has been a bit more consistent thus far.

#4 Arizona Cardinals vs #5 Tampa Bay Buccaneers

You really have to blame Cincinnati for their meltdown against Tampa, and the Cardinals got it done against the defending champs. But the Cardinals have given up 138 points in five games, ahead of only Buffalo. That would still be fine, except that Kurt Warner is retired.

AFC

#1 Baltimore Ravens

This team is good. They have Flacco and Rice to worry about, and a vicious defense at that. They were good enough to end Pittsburgh improbable run, and they are one of the few Super Bowl caliber teams out there.

#2 New York Jets

After not doing so well in Week 1, which is why the Ravens are #1, the Jets have been nastier than the East River. Maybe they’ve just been harassing women all this time because they’re good enough to get away with it with nothing more than a slap on the wrist. And who would’ve thought Sanchez would have been this decent a fantasy option?

#3 Kansas City Chiefs vs #6 Pittsburgh Steelers

Kansas City may have been great on defense against Indy, but they couldn’t capitalize on it. If Matt Cassel couldn’t get it done against Pittsburgh with New England, how can he get it done with Kansas City? And as long as we’re talking about harassment, Pittsburgh’s resident rapist is back in the fold. We all saw your interview where you disavowed it, Ben. None of us believe you.

#4 Houston Texans vs #5 New England Patriots

Houston may have given up 136 points so far, but the Patriots don’t exactly have a good defense either (see Buffalo and St. Louis [preseason]). This is the game that busted Wes Welker last season, and Houston will want to do the same again (or at least overtax him).

What Might Change Next Week:

  • Baltimore’s visiting New England, which even after last playoffs’ first round, opens the door for the Jets to take over the top honors.
  • Jacksonville hosts Tennessee and Houston hosts Kansas City. If Indy can get it done in D.C, they could easily take over the division once more.
  • New Orleans could get it done against the Buccaneers, if the world’s karma returns to normal. That would also be good news for Green Bay, which is needed since they’re now the Boston Red Sox of football with all the injuries.

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