Fantasy Gunslinger

Football with an Emphasis on Fantasy & Gambling

2017 NFL PLAYOFF SEEDINGS AFTER WEEK 5

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NFC ANALYSIS

NFC EAST: The East breaks down according to record which is easy enough but so far the East has been somewhat of a disappointment. The Giants are downright horrible and now without both Odell Beckham and Brandon Marshall, the offense looks bleak. The Giants have no offensive line and no runners worth a darn. This is shaping up to be a 1-15/2-14 season, and that kind of season might be enough for Eli Manning to take his 2 Super Bowl rings and go home. At 2-3 the Cowboys are turning into a disappointment. The Eagles of course are the class of the NFC and this makes sense really when you think about the make up of the team. Nobody is beating Philly in the trenches. The Redskins aren’t bad off at 2-2. It’s interesting that a lot of people thought the East would get a couple of teams in the playoffs, but that is looking fairly remote at this point. The division’s best hope for a wild card is the Washington Redskins.

NFC NORTH: The Lions own the tiebreaker over the Vikings which is why they rank ahead of them an nab the last wild card spot. The other teams follow record. I don’t think there is much to say about the North to be honest. It’s going to plan at this point. The Sam Bradford injury is brutal for the Vikings and they need to figure that one out. Bradford had to be pulled against Chicago on Monday night because he didn’t look right. Minnesota needs him long term because even without Dalvin Cook this is a team that could make significant noise in the playoffs because of their defense. Three of the top-7 teams according to seeding come from the North which is about what we would expect.

NFC SOUTH: The Saints win over Carolina gives New Orleans the tiebreaker over Tampa Bay. It sounds odd saying the Bucs are in last place despite being 2-2, but that is what happens when you play in the best division in football. The rest of the division goes by the record. Carolina is ahead of Atlanta because a 4-1 record is better than a 3-1 record, but this isn’t the Falcons fault as they were on bye in Week 5. The play of Carolina is a bit surprising I suppose, but when looking at the defense and the roster, it makes sense for the Panthers to be a pretty good team. Should they have beaten New England in Foxboro? Probably not, but those are the kinds of games you need to win if you are going to be a division winner. The Saints were on bye this past week keeping their record at 2-2, but something is clicking for the Saints because they’ve won their last 2 games by the combined score of 54-13. Did New Orleans figure out a way to play defense? If so, that is a game changer for the rest of the teams in the division.

NFC WEST: Seattle’s win over the Rams in Los Angeles rights the ship in the NFC West. Granted, the Seahawks are the #4 seed right now, but getting that win over LA gives them the division lead which is where they need to be. Don’t be surprised if Seattle wins up 13-3/12-4. The rest of the division follows their records. I think it’s safe to say the Rams are better than the Cardinals and that the 49ers are the worst team in the division. If you are looking for an interesting team to watch it might be San Francisco. In the 49ers last 4 games, they’ve lost all 4 by a combined 11 points including their last two losses which came in overtime. Sure SF’s “worst” case scenario is 0-5, but their “best” case scenario record is 4-1 which would lead the West. Right now the 49ers are 0-5 in close games and their TO margin is zero. If they can get some regression going this season and win some games they shouldn’t, I think the 49ers can potentially climb out of the NFC West basement.

WILD CARD GAMES AFTER WEEK 5

#6 DETROIT @ #3 CAROLINA
#5 ATLANTA @ #4 SEATTLE

It’s instructive note the QB on Wild Card weekend as compared to what the AFC QBs looks like (See below for a discussion on AFC QBs who are currently in and currently out of the playoff picture). The NFC in the Wild Card has Matt Stafford, Cam Newton, Matt Ryan and Russell Wilson while Carson Wentz & Aaron Rodgers have 1st round byes. The elite QBs not in the playoffs if the season ended after Week 5 are: Kirk Cousins & Drew Brees. The Atlanta/Seattle matchup above is a rematch of last year’s divisional round game that the Falcons won on their way to an NFC Championship game. Obviously Matt Ryan v. Russell Wilson is a marquee matchup. The Lions/Panthers game would be pretty interesting as a contrast of styles. The Panthers want to ground and pound quite a bit while the Lions feature more of an aerial attack given their lack of credible running options. It would be interesting to see which offense won out.



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AFC ANALYSIS

AFC EAST: What a wild division. Buffalo had a chance to put some distance between themselves and the Jets & Patriots, but instead lost a game to the 1-3 Bengals! Good job Bills, but it wouldn’t be the Bills if they didn’t lose games like this. Amazingly enough, the Jets beat the Browns and are on a 3-game winning streak!! What in the world is going on? New England did beat Tampa Bay on Thursday night which was a solid win, but they didn’t look anywhere close to being a Super Bowl contender in that victory. Divisional tiebreakers keep New England behind the Bills & Jets for now, but New England plays the Jets next week and Buffalo is on a bye week. By this time next week the Patriots could very well be the #2 seed in the AFC and things will at least appear like they are back to normal. If the Jets figure out a way to beat New England, the Jets could be the #2 seed in the AFC after 6 weeks, in which case, we’ll all be checking to see if Hell really did freeze over.

AFC NORTH: The Steelers beat the Ravens earlier this season so Pittsburgh has the division tiebreaker even though both have the same records. The Bengals & Browns break down easily because of record. You have to give a lot of credit to Baltimore & Cincinnati for winning big games this week that felt like must-win games given who they were playing. Cincinnati took advantage of a Bills team that were probably going to come down to their actual level of play at some point and the Ravens pounded a Raiders team that had to start EJ Manuel at QB because Derek Carr was injured. The Browns are certainly a mess and are now starting to play with Deshone Kizer’s head by pulling him as their starting QB. As always Cleveland is a mess and a possible 0-16 season is on the table.

AFC SOUTH: The storylines in the South are INCREDIBLE. The Jaguars hammered Pittsburgh & now find themselves in the #3 seed knocking on the door of the #2 seed and a first round bye in the playoffs! The Jaguars are playing to their strengths & the defense might be the best in the NFL. The Texans were dealt a MASSIVE blow when JJ Watt broke his leg Sunday night in Houston’s loss to Kansas City. The Texans played without Watt for the majority of last season & still made the playoffs. I’m not sure a repeat is going to happen. Tennessee without Marcus Mariota in the lineup is an absolute disaster. If Mariota doesn’t play, then the Titans might very well be the worst team in this division. The Colts beat the 49ers to get to 2-3, but Andrew Luck’s return now seems likely and Indianapolis is only a game behind the Jaguars. Could getting Luck healthy combined with everything else going on in the division push the Colts back into division title contention!? The AFC South has to be the wildest division in the NFL!

AFC WEST: The Chiefs simply keep winning and are easily the #1 seed with a 2-game lead on their nearest opponent. KC dominated the Texans on Sunday night despite the final score. Alex Smith is the MVP of the league right now and the offense is humming at pace I haven’t seen out of Kansas City in a very long time. The Raiders are a different team without Derek Carr and that’s unfortunate. By the time Carr gets back, Oakland might be out of it. It doesn’t seem like a big story because the Chargers are still just 1-4, but getting that first win could galvanize the Bolts into a legitimate playoff contender. The wild card teams are 3-2 and LA is 1-4 which is only 2 games out. There aren’t many easy games on the schedule for the Chargers, but they get a road game against Oakland next who’ll be without Derek Carr and after that they get a home game against the Broncos which won’t be easy, but it’s still a home game. That could push them to 3-4 before heading to Foxboro to take on New England, but you have to sort of like the Chargers in a way because of the Patriots problems on the O-Line and LA’s incredible pass rushing abilities.

WILD CARD GAMES AFTER WEEK 5:

#6 NEW YORK @ #3 JACKSONVILLE
#5 DENVER @ #4 PITTSBURGH

Raise your hand if you thought after Week 5 we’d potentially have a wild card game between the Jaguars & Jets!? In an odd way, this sets up very well for Ben Roethlisberger who is the most playoff experienced QB in the playoffs at this point. Right now the QBs who are in the playoffs are: Alex Smith, Tyrod Taylor, Blake Bortles, Ben Roethlisberger, Trevor Siemian and Josh McCown. The QBs who are on the sidelines are Tom Brady, Andy Dalton, Joe Flacco, Andrew Luck, Philip Rivers and Derek Carr. That’s incredible when you think about it. As the playoff stand now, the best we could hope for in the AFC Championship would be Alex Smith against Ben Roethlisberger, but that would require the Jets to knock off the Jaguars so the 6th seed would play the 1st and the 4th seed would get the 2nd. As for these wild card games now, Steelers/Broncos would be a fantastic game while Jaguars/Jets would be more novelty. Like I wrote earlier, don’t be surprised if this works itself out quickly. The Patriots should lead the East after Week 6 which will certainly change the outlook of the AFC playoff picture.

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October 10, 2017 - Posted by | Uncategorized

2 Comments »

  1. Injuries will impact severely Houston, Minnesota, Raiders and the Giants of course. Buffalo and the Jets are overrated.

    Comment by usfman | October 10, 2017 | Reply

  2. Agree on all fronts.

    Comment by nosleeptillfootball2011 | October 10, 2017 | Reply


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