NFL Playoff Power Rankings: Who Are the Top Remaining Contenders?
We are down to just four teams in the NFL postseason.
Each team is very different and brings a unique style of play to the table. Whether you feel their style of play is the key to winning a championship or not, they have been able to ride that style up until this point.
While all of these teams are great, only one team can come out on top.
There has been plenty of debate about which of the remaining teams has the best chance of winning the Super Bowl.
You are sure to hear a variety of opinions as we draw closer to game time, but here is my power rankings for the remaining Super Bowl. contenders.
4. Baltimore Ravens
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The Baltimore Ravens fall to the bottom of this power ranking.
The Ravens still have one of the best defenses in the league, but they are nowhere near what they were several years ago. We saw a T.J. Yates led Texans' offense move the ball on the Ravens' defense. If it hadn't been for the four turnovers by Houston, we may have a very different AFC championship game.
Baltimore still has a very talented defense.
The majority of their issues revolve around their offense. Ray Rice is still the go-to talent on the offensive side of the ball, but it is clear more than ever this season that the quarterback is crucial to a team's success.
Joe Flacco has had an up and down season thus far. His performance against the Texans didn't exactly instill confidence that he was going to be tearing up any defense anytime soon.
The Ravens have just as good of a shot as anyone to win the Super Bowl this year, but they still take the four spot on this power ranking.
3. San Francisco 49ers
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This was the toughest part of the rankings.
The San Francisco 49ers are a fantastic team. They have an incredibly tough defense and their offense has made great strides from where they were at the start of the season.
Alex Smith proved last week that he has it in him to put the team on his shoulders and win a football game. He has some great weapons to throw to in Vernon Davis and Michael Crabtree. Their running game is one of the best in the league led by Frank Gore.
My biggest concern with the 49ers is still Alex Smith.
Despite the fact that he proved he could win a crucial game, I am not completely on board with the idea that he can do it week in and week out.
What Jim Harbaugh has done with the 49ers is one of the best stories in the NFL this year, but I don't believe in them enough to rank them above the number two team on this power ranking.
2. New York Giants
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Even though Vegas has the Giants as the underdogs heading in to the NFC championship, I believe they are the second best team remaining in the postseason.
New York may have the most balanced team left in the postseason.
Eli Manning is playing the quarterback position at an elite level right now. He has several great wide receivers at his disposal including Hakeem Nicks, who is tearing up every secondary he comes across of late.
The Giants' rushing attack may not have finished the season ranked high, but Ahmad Bradshaw and Brandon Jacobs make up a great one-two punch. They are enough to control time of possession and each bring a different skill set for situational football.
The defense isn't perfect, but that defensive line has the ability to generate a pass rush on their own. The benefit of that can not be ignored.
A pass rush by your defensive line allows for more defenders in coverage to cover up holes in your secondary. It won't always hide these flaws, but it goes a long way in stopping opposing offenses.
The Giants have been on fire of late, but they still don't take the top spot on this list.
1. New England Patriots
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It is really hard to bet against the New England Patriots.
They have the best quarterback left in the postseason in Tom Brady and the best head coach left in Bill Belichick. Even when your team has several other flaws, those two positions on a football team are the most crucial.
The Patriots' offense will be very difficult for any defense to stop at this point. They have two of the most dangerous tight ends in football along with great veteran wide receivers in Wes Welker and Deion Branch. New England's rushing attack isn't elite, but they have a variety of backs that can contribute in different situations during the game.
All season long the experts have claimed that the Patriots can't win with their defense.
However, up until this point they have been able to prove everyone wrong. The Patriots' defense hasn't improved dramatically, but it appears that a focus on disciplined football allows them to cover some of their personnel flaws.
The Patriots defense may be the worst left in the playoffs, but there is no denying the advantage they have over everyone else offensively.
Until it is proven that New England's defense is actually going to cost them, the Patriots will remain the top contender.