The NFL playoffs are underway and four teams have already been eliminated. So how does the remaining eight teams in the league stack up from good to best?
The NFL postseason began with a dozen clubs and was quickly reduced to eight teams in the span of two days. We saw both road teams win on Saturday and both the Jacksonville Jaguars and New Orleans Saints hold serve on Sunday.
So now our postseason NFL Power Rankings and the field has gone from 12 to eight. It’s worth noting that both defending conference champions – the Atlanta Falcons and New England Patriots – are still in the mix to get to Super Bowl LII.
How does this group rank from No. 8 to No. 1? Here are thoughts on how the teams currently stand at the moment.
Note: Win-loss records include playoffs
8. Jacksonville Jaguars
11-6 (AFC South champions)
No. 3 Seed in AFC
Last week: Defeated Buffalo Bills, 10-3, in AFC Wild Card Playoffs
This week: at Pittsburgh Steelers in AFC Divisional Playoffs
To date, there have been a total of 492 postseason games played during the Super Bowl Era dating back to 1966. And last Sunday’s 10-3 win by the Jacksonville Jaguars over the Buffalo Bills is tied for the third-lowest scoring postseason contest over that stretch.
It was the franchise’s first postseason appearance and win since 2007. That year, the Jaguars defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers in the AFC Wild Card Playoffs. That after knocking them off during the regular season at Heinz Field as well.
See where this is headed? Back in Week 5, Doug Marrone’s team went to the Steel City and handed the current AFC North champions a 30-9 loss in which Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger produced more interceptions (5) than touchdowns (0). So can these Jags make it two wins over Mike Tomlin’s club for the second time in 10 years?
It’s certainly a tall order but we have learned that nothing is impossible. While the focus this past week was on the erratic play of Jacksonville quarterback Blake Bortles, the league’s top-ranked ground game rolled up 155 yards on the Bills. More than half of that came via the team’s fourth-year quarterback (88). But rookie Leonard Fournette totaled 21 carries for 57 yards and also caught three passes for 21 yards. Back in Week 5 at Pittsburgh, the young running back had 181 yards rushing and two touchdowns on 28 carries. And that was with Steelers’ inside linebacker Ryan Shazier in the lineup.
In any case, last week’s sporty performance by the Jaguars’ offense is certainly reason for concern.