Fantasy Gunslinger

Football with an Emphasis on Fantasy & Gambling

2017 NFL PLAYOFF SEEDINGS – FINAL

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NFC ANALYSIS

NFC EAST: Nothing was to be gained in the East. The Eagles had already secured the NFC East division title & the #1 overall seed. The 6-0 loss to the Cowboys was meaningless. Speaking of the Cowboys, because Atlanta beat Carolina on Sunday, it wouldn’t have mattered if Dallas had beaten Seattle in Week 16. They couldn’t have made it in without Atlanta losing.

NFC NORTH: Minnesota clinched the #2 overall seed with a win over the Bears. The Vikings could have lost & still secured the #2 seed because both New Orleans & Los Angeles lost their season finales. I think what’s most interesting about the final seedings is that the Lions wound up the #7 seed, just outside of the playoffs. The Lions are in the same boat as Dallas. The loss in Week 16 to the Bengals doesn’t really mean that much. Detroit needed Atlanta to lose to Carolina. They didn’t so even if Detroit had beaten Cincinnati, it wouldn’t have mattered in the end.

NFC SOUTH: It makes sense the South got 3 teams into the playoffs. I think New Orleans, Carolina & Atlanta showed they were 3 of the best 6 teams in the NFC this season. I also think the Saints winning the division worked out as well. The Saints beat Carolina twice this season. It would have been odd to see the Panthers win the division despite never beaten New Orleans.

NFC WEST: The Rams settle in as the #3 seed even with losing the 49ers to end the season. Los Angeles rested all of their players so they clearly weren’t playing to win & were choosing a week of rest in order to get ready for the playoffs. The Seahawks couldn’t get a win over the Cardinals, but it hardly mattered because the Falcons didn’t lose. Beating Arizona might not have led to any consequence, but how in the world does Blair Walsh keep his job?

WILD CARD GAMES AFTER WEEK 17

#6 ATLANTA @ #3 LOS ANGELES
#5 CAROLINA @ #4 NEW ORLEANS

No changes from last week. These games should be fantastic. We have the defending NFC Champions going up against an up start team in LA. The Rams have had a home playoff game in Los Angeles since December 31st, 1989 when Jim Everett & Greg Bell led the Rams over the Eagles 21-7! In the other wild card game we have a NFC South rivalry game between the Saints & Panthers for the 3rd time. Can the Saints beat Carolina 3 times in one season!? It’s really kind of interesting. When you think about the quarterbacks involved, you could easily see the Falcons & Saints meeting up in New Orleans in the NFC Championship game pitting Matt Ryan against Drew Brees. The Saints would have to win in Minnesota and the Falcons would have to in in Philadelphia, but those seem like winnable games. The one team that could upset the apple cart is the Minnesota. Everyone might be underestimating Case Keenum, and I’m of the opinion that Mike Zimmer is the best head coach in the NFL not named Bill Belichick.



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AFC ANALYSIS

AFC EAST: The Patriots had to play their starters against the Jets because you had to assume Pittsburgh would beat Cleveland, but as usual, New England played their starters the entire game. It’s kind of risky but you really can’t argue with the Patriots methods after winning 5 Super Bowls and appearing in 7. The amazing thing about the East is that the Bills got into the playoffs. They needed a 44-yard last minute TD pass from Andy Dalton to Tyler Boyd which put the Bengals ahead of the Ravens, but that’s what they got & the thank you cards to Cincinnati should be coming any day now!

AFC NORTH: The Steelers needed to beat Cleveland and have the Jets upset the Patriots to get the #1 seed. New England won so the Steelers clinched the #2 seed. The big news is Baltimore giving up the late TD to the Bengals which demolished their playoff hopes as Buffalo beat Miami to clinch the #6 seed. That’s a tough way to go out to be sure. I think it’s interesting that when you look at the final seedings, you see 3 AFC North teams in the top-9 seeds. That’s more than any other division. To a certain degree it feels as if the North has been a disappointing division. The Bengals finished 7-9. The Browns went 0-16 and the Ravens didn’t get into the playoffs, but for the most part this was a competitive division.

AFC SOUTH: The Jaguars were locked into the #3 seed regardless of outcome in Week 17 so I’m not overly concerned that they didn’t play at 100% against the Titans. To be fair, if I had to pick one team to play in the wild card round between the Titans, Ravens & Chargers, I’d take the Titans. The Jaguars held up their end of the bargain. The Ravens didn’t. It sort of works out though because the Jaguars will play Buffalo in the Wild Card instead of the Titans. I think Jacksonville could give Pittsburgh or New England some trouble in the divisional round, but I also think the Jaguars could use the confidence of winning a playoff game before playing the Steelers or Patriots. I think, despite losing to Tennessee, Jacksonville actually got fairly lucky because they’ll avoid the Chargers & Ravens in the wild card. The Titans got a win when they most needed it. They also slip into the #5 seed and will travel to Kansas City for their wild card game. Who knows with Tennessee?

AFC WEST: The Chiefs beat Denver to finish up the season & KC has won their last 4 contests. Kansas City actually enters the playoff on the biggest winning streak of any AFC team. In fact, the only better winning streak than Kansas City’s at the moment is the 49ers streak of 5 wins! Is Kansas City peaking at the right time or are they simply taking advantage of a schedule that hasn’t been all that difficult in the final quarter of the season? The Chargers were able to win but came up just short. LA needed the Jaguars to beat the Titans to get into the playoffs. Jacksonville didn’t deliver so the Chargers will head home despite finishing the season 6-1 in their last 7 games. LA has to be kicking themselves after this season. The Bolts lost their first 6 games by a combined 32 points. Los Angeles finished the season 9-7 but they were THIS CLOSE to being 14-2. That would have been the best record in the NFL.

WILD CARD GAMES AFTER WEEK 17

#6 BUFFALO @ #3 JACKSONVILLE
#5 TENNESSEE @ #4 KANSAS CITY

Football is a crazy sport. The AFC sent home QBs such as Joe Flacco, Philip Rivers, Derek Carr & Andy Dalton while QBs like Marcus Mariota, Blake Bortles & Tyrod Taylor all have a shot at reaching the Super Bowl! There is no question that QB is the most important position on a football field, but it’s always good to remember that it’s not the ONLY position. The AFC Wild Card games got a lot more interesting when the Chargers & Ravens failed to get into the playoffs. I think LA & Baltimore would have won their games easily to advance to the divisional round. The games we have? Who knows. Jacksonville should be able to beat the Bills on talent alone, but Blake Bortles really can’t be trusted fully and I don’t think anyone would be surprised should Bortles throw 3 picks & Buffalo escape to get a third game with the Patriots. The Titans & Chiefs could be really good if the Titans commit to running Derrick Henry 30-35 times. Henry is a horse who gets better and better as the game goes on and I could see Henry wearing out the Chiefs defense behind a solid offensive line. On the other hand, the Titans could get cute and allow Kansas City to dominate the game with Travis Kelce & Kareem Hunt. It’ll be interesting to see the Vegas lines on these games because anything can happen.

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December 31, 2017 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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