NFL Playoff Preview- Can Anyone Dethrone the Patriots?

Photo Courtesy: Keith Allison

Author: Scott Reichel

With the NFL Playoffs rapidly approaching, it is time to start wondering who can potentially dethrone the New England Patriots and win the Super Bowl.

It didn’t matter who got into the playoffs in the AFC, I cannot see any AFC wildcard teams defeating the Patriots.  It has been the Patriots against everybody else throughout the decade. With the Patriots having home-field advantage throughout the playoffs, one has to ask which team can go into Foxborough and beat the Patriots on the road.

As of right now, I do not believe that the Steelers are good enough to win in New England due to their leaky defense and the calf injury to star wide receiver Antonio Brown. I also do not think that the Chiefs are good enough to defeat the Patriots in the playoffs due to a lack of consistent success on the offensive side of the ball.

The only team that I can see in the AFC potentially beating the Patriots are the Jacksonville Jaguars. This Jaguars team has one of the best all-around defenses in recent memory and has the ability to generate tons of pressure against Tom Brady.

Furthermore, the Jaguars have elite playmakers in the secondary with Jalen Ramsey and A.J. Bouye who can lockdown these Patriots receivers. The only concern for Jacksonville is if quarterback Blake Bortles can keep up his strong play in from weeks 13-16. Although I personally expect him to regress like he did against the Titans, the Jaguars can still beat the Patriots if Bortles does not turn the ball over.

In the NFC, the entire conference is somewhat up for grabs. Although the Eagles currently have the best record, the injury to quarterback Carson Wentz is a huge loss and Nick Foles is not good enough to lead the Eagles to a Super Bowl.

The Vikings are also an elite team in the NFL but they have a similar situation at quarterback.  Case Keenum is also not good enough to lead the team to a Super Bowl.  There are two teams that I think are truly good enough in the NFC to win the Super Bowl. Those teams are the Saints and the Rams.

The Saints have an elite quarterback in Drew Brees and arguably the best rushing attack in the league with Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara. However, the biggest change has been on the defensive side of the ball. With the addition of Marshon Lattimore to its secondary, the Saints finally have a defense that can get crucial stops and potentially make enough big plays for the team to make it to the Super Bowl.

The Rams are the best team in football at the moment. The team went into Seattle and won 42-7 in week 15. This team has a great offense that ranks second in the league in points per game and also has a great defensive line led by defensive tackle Aaron Donald. The Rams can win in a variety of ways which makes them so difficult to beat. They can either win by scoring 30 or more points or put the clamps down on defense and win in a defensive showdown.

As for my prediction, the Patriots will be playing the Rams in the Superbowl. The winner remains to be seen.