The cream has risen to the top in the NFL, but which playoff team is the most dangerous threat to the rest of the field vying for a Super Bowl?
It’s getting to the point in the season where we know what teams are good and which ones aren’t. The Wild Card races are still fluid, but the best teams have established themselves heading into the final stretch of the season.
The question is, which top-tier playoff team is the best of the bunch? Note that this isn’t a ranking of which team is better, it’s about which team is the most dangerous. Final two minutes of a tie-game, which team is the one that should strike the most fear into an opponents soul?
Let’s dive right in and see who really stands above the rest.
NFC North, (8-2)
Week 11 Result: Beat Los Angeles Rams 24-7
One Weakness: Case Keenum will continue to be the biggest question mark about this team, no matter what he does. So far he has managed to stay out of his own way well enough so that the defense and do its job. Come playoff time, however, he will be challenged in ways that he hasn’t been in the regular season.
In the playoffs, the loss of Dalvin Cook is going to be felt in a big way. Keenum can get by now, but teams will force him to beat them through the air and stack the box against Latavius Murray and Jerrick McKinnon. So far Keenum, to his credit, has been a serviceable quarterback and shown an ability to game manage. How long into the postseason that lasts is a big question that will haunt Minnesota until we have an answer.
Why They’re Legit: Minnesota’s defense is the real deal, and we saw the best case for that argument on Sunday. The Vikings battened down the hatches against the NFL’s highest-scoring offense and body slammed the Rams back to Earth. It was a defacto playoff game, and the Vikings have notched their first big confidence boost of the Playoff season.
Beating the Rams now gives the Vikings the confidence to know it can be done again. It also established Minnesota as a defense that shouldn’t be trifled with, no matter how prolific an offense you might have to match up against it.