Since the conclusion of Sunday's Week 16 games, we have all been beaten to death with the playoff scenarios. The rumors, speculation, and innuendos are enough to choke a horse. If you want to know what the NFL says about it, check it out here.
But the question lies, which of the possible teams to make the playoffs can do the most damage if they get in? Here are the five possibilities ranked from worst to first.
5. Denver Broncos
The Denver Broncos started the season on fire, winning their first six games. Since then, they have gone 2-6. They are great when playing ahead or in an even game, but when they have to come from behind (Sunday's game against the Eagles excluded), they tend to fall apart.
Their defense started out amazing, but is the main reason the team has suffered down the stretch. The offense does not have enough playmakers, so they would probably be a first round exit.
4. New York Jets
A late Christmas present by the Indianapolis Colts is the only reason the Jets are even alive right now. Instead of having a battle against a team in Week 17, Cincinnati will already know if they have a chance for the third seed before the game even starts.
If they don't, then the Bengals will be sitting players like the Colts did.
With a rookie coach and quarterback, this is another one-and-done team, regardless of who they play.
3. Houston Texans
The Texans are playing the best football in franchise history. They have already assured themselves that they will have their best record ever, and they are looking like they could cause some waves in the playoffs.
Andre Johnson is solidifying himself as the second best receiver in the NFL (Larry Fitzgerald already has a lock on number one). The biggest knock on this team is playoff experience, which they have none, and that will matter once the playoffs start.
2. Baltimore Ravens
One of the biggest Jekyll/Hyde teams in the NFL. This team can be amazing one Sunday, and horrible the next. They have a defense that is still solid enough to keep teams out of the end zone, and an offense that can put points on the board.
If the Ravens make it to the playoffs, they will be able to push any of the top four seeds to the brink, and even cause some upsets. Baltimore could end up playing in the AFC Championship again, like they did as a wild card team last year.
1. Pittsburgh Steelers
Call me a homer if you like, but the Steelers have what it takes to make a run at the Super Bowl. Some people will point to the fact that the Steelers have lost to the Browns, Raiders, and Chiefs. While that may be so, they have also defeated the Vikings, Chargers, Packers, and Ravens.
When the Steelers are at full strength (Troy Polamalu in the lineup)—which they will be if they make it to the playoffs—they can beat anyone.
Add to that the playoff experience this team has, if the Steelers make it to the playoffs, teams should be scared. This team could make a Super Bowl run from the six seed. They have done it before.
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