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2016-2017 NFL Playoff Predictions

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Lia Tassinari, Social Media Editor

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There are only four weeks left in the regular season of the National Football League – FOUR, PEOPLE! I know that my football lovers are already thinking (and stressing) about this season’s playoff picture, so I am going to give you all an image of what teams I believe will be in the playoffs in both conferences.

American Football Conference (AFC)

  1. Oakland Raiders (10-2)

I’m putting the Raiders at my number one seed in the AFC and not the Patriots because all around, this team is untouchable. The defense is relentless and the offense isn’t too shabby either with wide receivers like Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree playing successfully and consistently. If the offense and defense continue to play healthy and vigorously, they will for sure remain as the number one seed in the AFC.

  1. New England Patriots (10-2)

Before my fellow New England fans freak out because they are all so used to Tom Brady and the Patriots being #1, hear me out. Sure, Tom Brady just recently passed Peyton Manning in the most touchdown passes and became the most winningest quarterback in NFL history. Sure, he may or may not be the GOAT. But have you ever heard of the saying, “Defense wins championships?”

  1. Baltimore Ravens (7-5)

This team’s offense has been a little shaky over the course of the season. However, the defense has always remained strong for the most part. But when the offense and the defense both click on game day, the Baltimore Ravens have the potential to make it to the Super Bowl. Look at what they did to the Dolphins on Sunday! The Ravens embarrassed Miami and beat the team 38-6. If this team still has the same fire and ambition that it showed on Sunday, Baltimore could be unstoppable.

  1. Indianapolis Colts (6-6)

Yes, the Texans are currently the leaders in the AFC South division, but I believe that the Colts are going to come out on top and take the division. When Andrew Luck is on fire, the offense is easily one of the best in the AFC. I’m not sure if Brock Osweiler has what it takes to keep his team at the top of his division.

  1. Kansas City Chiefs (9-3)

It is still very possible for the Chiefs to take the AFC West division from the Oakland Raiders. However, if the team does not, it will still make the playoffs regardless. Nothing left more to say other than the fact that the Chiefs is definitely an all-around talented team.

  1. Miami Dolphins (7-5)

Sure, the Dolphins suffered a horrible loss to the Baltimore Ravens and it was probably one of the most embarrassing games I’ve watched this season. But it was a game that brought this team back down to earth after such a bad loss. I’m not putting the Broncos or the Steelers in as the 6th seed because both teams have relatively tough schedules. So, for those reasons, I believe that the Dolphins still have it in them to pull off a couple of more wins and earn its way to the playoffs.

National Football Conference (NFC)

  1. Dallas Cowboys (11-1)

This one’s easy. The Cowboys have already clinched its spot at the one seed and the team earned it. Nothing left here to say other than a nice “God bless you” to the team that has to play the Cowboys in the playoffs.

  1. Seattle Seahawks (8-3-1)

This team had its ups and downs but recently the Seahawks have been consistent for the most part. It will win the division with the Cardinals and Rams a little too far behind. When Russell Wilson and the stingy Seattle defense are healthy, everyone better watch out.

  1. Atlanta Falcons (7-5)

The Falcons are currently in the 4th seed spot in the playoffs, but I think it’ll have a better record than the Lions by the end of the season based on its easy schedule. The defense needs to improve dramatically. However, the team’s offense is easily one of the best in the NFL. It’s going to be interesting with regards to how this team will be in the playoffs.

  1. Detroit Lions (8-4)

What a year it’s been for Matthew Stafford and the Lions. Stafford has been very consistent this year – more consistent than I’ve seen him in the last couple of years. This team has a fire in it that will be hard to stop in the playoffs.

  1. New York Giants (8-4)

Eli Manning had a horrible game against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday, throwing multiple interceptions in the red zone. However, I do believe that this team will certainly be in the playoffs despite Eli’s mistakes. The team’s defense is decent and if Eli corrects his mistakes, the team could win it all (as history shows).

  1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (7-5)

It is a close call as to which team will win the 6th seed spot in the playoffs, but as of right now, the Bucs have my vote. The only tough team that this team will have a hard time playing is the Dallas Cowboys on December 18th. However, the Bucs shouldn’t have a problem beating the Saints twice and the Panthers in the next upcoming games. For that reason, this team will hold this playoff spot for the remainder of the season.

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