Who is Playoff Bound?

Which team is going to show the world their might and be among the best this year

Jonathan Rios, Journalist

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NFL: Who is Playoff-Bound

 

After an exhilarating Super Bowl and a pre-season hyping up thousands of fans, 32 teams from 30 different cities clash to battle for the 53rd Super Bowl title. However, a lot has changed and other teams have a chance to make the big game.

 

Starting off with the American Football Conference East, the New England Patriots are no strangers to the playoffs. Quarterback Tom Brady and tight-end Rob Gronkowski have been there many times. The main struggle for the Patriots this year is their defense, and their defensive coordinator Matt Patricia moving to the Detroit Lions.

 

On offense, Tom Brady passed for 4577 yards in the regular season and over 1000 yards in the playoffs

New England Patriots tight-end Rob Gronkowski spiking the ball in the endzone celebrating a touchdown

. Rob Gronkowski is considered one of the best tight-ends in recent times with 1084 yards receiving last year. New England legend Danny Amendola has signed with the Miami Dolphins this season, so Julian Edelman and Josh Gordon will need to step it up in the receiving game. Defenses across the nation will need to guard the skies from the deadly New England passing game.

 

In the AFC, West the Kansas City Chiefs have the best chance for a playoff appearance not only making the playoffs last season, but having wins against some of the most notorious teams in the NFL like the Patriots and Steelers. Alex Smith, who passed for 4000 yards, has left the organization and has been replaced with Patrick Mahomes.

The Chiefs still have a lethal weapon in their arsenal in running back Kareem Hunt. Hunt rushed for 1327 yards last season with his speed and strength. Receivers Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce both recorded over 1000 yards last season, and they are sure to help Mahomes in catching the ball.

The Jacksonville Jaguars were one game away from the Super Bowl last year, so they are going to run away with the AFC South championship. Blake Bortles’ offense was a spectacle last year with Leonard Fournette recording 1004 yards last season; however, Leonard Fournette is injured this year. If Fournette can come back later this season, Jacksonville could be unstoppable.

 

The afc north is dominated by the Pittsburgh Steelers most years nowadays and this year is very much the same. Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger passed 4251 yards and running back Le’Veon Bell rushed for 1291 yards and 9 TDs. The receiving was strong last season with Antonio Brown receiving 1533 yards with 9 TDs and JuJu Smith Schuster receiving 917 yards with 7 TDs.

This season Roethlisberger, Brown, and Schuster will be playing full force and trying to lead their team to victory. However, Le’Veon Bell is on reserves and currently cannot be playing. The ACF North is not known for having lots of high competition but Bell’s absence makes a well-rounded offense into a, predictable, pass heavy offense.

 

In the National Football Conference East, the Philadelphia Eagles could win the big game again. The Eagles where a mighty offensive force in the regular season, but Carson Wentz got injured allowing backup quarterback Nick Foles to show his might and lead the Eagles to an upset victory against the Patriots this year at Super Bowl 52, 41-33.

 

This year Carson Wentz is returning to the gridiron, but Legarrette Blount is gone which means the Eagles will have to rely on running back Jay Ajayi to carry the ball through the red-zone (within 20 yards of the goal line); however, he’s injured which means Wendell Smallwood and Corey Clement must carry the rock. Receivers Zach Ertz and Nelson Agholor have been deadly threats in the past with 824 and 786 yards respectively.

                                                                                                                                                         

The NFC West went to the Los Angeles Rams last year and this year I predict the same outcome. The Rams’ quarterback Jared Goff passed for 3804 yards last season and running back Todd Gurley recorded 1305 yards last season along with 13 touchdowns. The Goff and Gurley duo could be a problem for many defenses this season.

 

The NFC North was dominated by the Minnesota Vikings last year so it would not be too farfetched to assume they will make the playoffs this season.Quarterback Case Keenum left for the Denver Broncos this year and was replaced by former Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins. Keenum led the Vikings to the NFC Conference Championship after a last-second victory against the New Orleans Saints in the divisional round. Sadly, their season ended with a loss to the Eagles.

Stefon Diggs Makes a catch for a last-second touchdown in the NFC Divisional Round against the New Orleans Saints to take the lead at the end of the game 29-24

Cousins looked good with the Redskins passing for 4093 yards, but with the Vikings he will be throwing to Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen. Thielen and Diggs recorded 1276 and 849 yards respectively. Cousins will feel confident going into this season with two star receivers to catch his amazing passes.

 

The Atlanta Falcons have two NFC South championships in a row and are trying to get their third in a row and finally win a Super Bowl after two previous attempts and a legacy of trying. Quarterback Matt Ryan dominated the NFC in the 2016 season which ended with a tough loss in Super Bowl 51 against the New England Patriots in overtime. Last year Ryan and receiver Julio Jones were able to lead the Falcons to the divisional round against Super Bowl 52 champions, the Philadelphia Eagles.

receiver Julio Jones making an amazing catch in a game against the Green Bay Packers

The Falcons were a mighty offensive force in 2017 and they have the potential to do that again with Ryan passing for 4095 yards and Jones 1444 yards receiving last season. The team has been to and lost many NFC championships and NFC divisional rounds. The Falcons will need to overcome those hurdles to win their first Super Bowl  

 

America is ready for football to begin and many people are rooting for their favorite teams, but the NFL can be unpredictable and anything can happen, sending teams into a spiral of problems or into a shrine of greatness and a mountain of wins.

About the Writer
Jonathan Rios, Journalist

I am Jonathan Rios, a freshman at Pahrump Valley High. I love football so much I play on the Junior Varsity football team. I would like to be a computer...

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