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NFL Predictions: 5 Teams That Have a Chance at Making the Playoffs

George SeligaCorrespondent IOctober 17, 2011

NFL Predictions: 5 Teams That Have a Chance at Making the Playoffs

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    This year has been filled with exciting games and major upsets. Teams that we expect to do well have not lived up to the hype, while others are exceeding their expectations. The rest of this season should be exciting, especially with a lot of teams fighting for playoff spots. Here are five teams that will find a way into the playoffs and do some damage.

No. 5: Cincinnati Bengals

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    When you look at the AFC North division, the Steelers and Ravens always seem to be at the top. This year is different, especially because of the way the Cincinnati Bengals are playing football. Led by rookie Andy Dalton, the Bengals are quietly sitting at 3-2 and are hanging around the possible chance of getting into the playoffs via wildcard.

    The Bengals need to get a win over either the Steelers or Ravens to keep up with them in the division. The Bengals have been doing a great job on defense, as they are first in total yards given with 279.6 yards per game. If you combine that solid defensive play with their offense, the Bengals have an outside shot at getting into the playoffs.

No. 4: Houstan Texans

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    This could be the year the Texans finally break into the playoffs. With the Colts not dominating the AFC South, it gives Houston a real possibility of winning the South. The key to the Texans is to keep a clean record in their division while getting one or two big wins inside their conference.

    Another big key for the Texans is to stay injury free. The Texans have seen Andre Johnson become frequently injured throughout the past couple seasons and now Mario Williams is out as well. If they can keep the injuries to a minimum, the have a good chance at competing for a playoff spot.

No. 3: Atlanta Falcons

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    This is very surprising because the Falcons should be playing a lot better than they actually are. They have a great offense with weapons at every position and a solid defense. The NFC South has proven that it is the toughest division in football and winning it is very tough.

    The Falcons were a lot of people's picks to win the South and right now, they are having a hard time breaking .500. If the Falcons can get back to their power running and build a strong play action passing game, I can see this team really heat up the second half of this season and make a strong push towards the playoffs.

No. 2: Oakland Raiders

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    Oakland has a very good chance at making the playoffs. Their schedule favors them, especially with a weak AFC West division. The biggest question is how will the backup quarterback replace Jason Campbell? This offense has been rolling and hopefully it doesn't take a few steps back with this injury.

    The Raiders have been very impressive on defense and can only get better with the Aaron Curry trade. They can dominate teams on both lines and like to control the clock. If Oakland can get through the Jason Campbell injury and stay clean throughout their division, I can see the Raiders making some noise in the playoffs.

No. 1: Detroit Lions

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    Right now, this doesn't look like a crazy pick. Detroit has been playing fantastic football and their is no denying it. They have been throwing the football and established a solid run game. Their defense has been scary, especially their defensive line.

    The Lions play in a tough division which can hinder their chances of making the playoffs. They need to get a win against the Packers and Bears to really make a statement in the conference. If they can keep up their recent success, I can see the Lions doing major damage in the playoffs.

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