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If the Playoffs Started Today – NFL Week 8

Chiefs vs Seahawks: Week 8's prediction for the Super Bowl

The NFL season is now half over for many teams, and while many divisions have a clear leader, nobody has really carved out a definitive niche for themselves thus far. The Broncos and Chiefs continue to be the premier race. The Wildcard races for the final seeds are particularly hot, as it’s looking like .500 could be enough to make the postseason, particularly in the AFC. With everyone still jockeying for position, let’s look at what would happen if the playoffs started as of Tuesday, October 29:

NFC

#1 Seattle Seahawks

Seattle picked up a gritty win over St Louis, but lost Sidney Rice for the season to an ACL tear in the process. Still, Seattle has a dynamic quarterback with a few more weapons to use, and their defense showed yet again what they can do. They’ve built up another three straight wins, and are one of the NFC’s biggest threats.

#2 New Orleans Saints

With questions surrounding Jimmy Graham’s health, both he and the Saints exploded for a 35-17 win over Buffalo. After a hangup against New England and a bye, New Orleans proved that there’s nothing to worry about.

#3 Green Bay Packers vs #6 Detroit Lions

Detroit had to mount a literal last-minute comeback against Dallas at home to maintain the sixth spot, while Green Bay‘s offense carried the day once more in Minnesota. With the sheer size and ability Calvin “Megatron” Johnson gives Detroit, Green Bay can win by keeping up their offense and keeping close tabs on Johnson.

#4 Dallas Cowboys vs #5 San Francisco 49ers

While Dallas was letting Detroit back in the game which resulted in a loss, San Francisco was busy laying a 42-10 smackdown on Jacksonville. While that win was more of a statement than anything else, with the NFC East struggling the way all four teams are, San Francisco shouldn’t have too much trouble.

AFC

#1 Kansas City Chiefs

With a close win over Cleveland, Kansas City moved to 8-0 to remain the NFL’s only unbeaten team. They’ve won plenty of games more closely than they would like, but with their defense, they can afford that for the time being. We’ll see how they do against a team like Denver later on, but Kansas City is a threat.

#2 Cincinnati Bengals

With the Jets riding high after beating New England, Cincinnati promptly brought them back down to Earth to the tune of 49-9. Cincy still isn’t getting much thought from the public about being a serious contender, but they have all the young guns they need to make a deep run no matter what.

#3 New England Patriots vs #6 San Diego Chargers

It was another tale of two halves for New England, but this time, their second half was the better one in their win over Miami. Yet, the injury bug struck again, with Sebastian Vollmer out for the season with a broken leg; his unsettling scream was heard clear as day on the game’s audio feed after players rolled over his leg in the pile. All these injuries should become too much eventually, but for now, with San Diego being a hit-or-miss team, Tom Brady should be able to win the day, assuming his throwing hand isn’t bothering him as much as many think.

#4 Indianapolis Colts vs #5 Denver Broncos

Who wouldn’t love to see another Peyton Manning visit to his old team? In that game, Indianapolis held Denver to a paltry, season-low 33 points. Indy has also been fairly consistent with their point totals, but in the 20s and 30s instead of 30s and 40s (and 50s). With Reggie Wayne having a torn ACL, things just got that much tougher for the Colts to match Denver’s offense, which was already difficult anyway.

What Might Change Next Week:

  • With Detroit on a bye, look for Carolina to move into their spot based on conference record.
  • San Diego faces a tough test in Washington, and a loss could very well mean that Tennessee takes their spot.

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