NEWS 2023 NFL Playoffs: Ranking all eight division teams, Chiefs and Eagles lead talent

2023 NFL Playoffs: Ranking all eight division teams, Chiefs and Eagles lead talent

This NFL playoff divisional round Arguably the best weekend of the season. All the narratives that demeaned the Super Bowl contenders were thrown out the window as the contenders settled the score on the field.

Watch the Dallas Cowboys vs. San Francisco 49ers matchup. The same goes for the Buffalo Bills and Cincinnati Bengals. All four of these teams are among the best in the league, but this weekend will prove just how good each of those teams are as they face a team with multiple rosters. Teams with equal talent across the field.

Meanwhile, the Philadelphia Eagles and Kansas City Chiefs are trying to prove they are worthy of the top seeds in their respective conferences. On the other hand, the underdogs of the New York Giants and Jacksonville Jaguars are trying to prove that their trip to the divisional round was not a fluke.

While games will be played on the field, how will we rank the remaining eight playoff teams? Part of these rankings calculates the path to the Super Bowl, but the level of talent on the list plays a huge role.

All NFL odds from Caesars Sportsbook.

8. New York Giants

  • Odds of winning the Super Bowl: +3000
  • Odds of winning NFC: +1300

The Giants deserve credit for coming here, beating the Minnesota Vikings on the road for a chance against Philadelphia in the division round. New York doesn’t let the football turn over (a 7.3 percent offensive turnover rate is best in the NFL) and can handle the ball, ranking fourth in the league in rushing (148.2 YPG) and in yards per carry (4.8) fifth.

The offense has scored 30-plus points in just two games all season (although they have each in the past three), ranks just 15th in points per game (21.5) and 18th in yards per game (333.9). The defense ranks 17th in points allowed per game (21.8), 25th in yards allowed per game (358.2), 27th in run defense in yards allowed per game (144.2), and 31st in yards per carry (5.2) .

New York needed one of his best games of the year from Daniel Jones against a bottom-three defense to get past Minnesota. The Giants are 3-6-1 in their last nine games but have reached the quarterfinals.

The difference in talent is obvious when comparing the Giants to other teams in the field. However, Brian Daboll and the coaching staff seem to know what they’re doing, and they play a style of football that helps beat better opponents. Because of these factors, New York has a chance.

7. Jacksonville Jaguars

  • Odds of winning the Super Bowl: +3500
  • Odds of winning AFC Champions League: +1300

The AFC South champions shouldn’t have been here six weeks ago, sitting 4-8 with a slim chance of winning the division. Jacksonville hasn’t lost since then, thanks to Trevor Lawrence’s play and a run defense that has allowed just 90.5 yards in each of its past four games. Then there’s Doug Pedersen, whose in-game adjustments and creative fourth downs helped Jacksonville win games, not to mention his contributions to locker room culture.

Jacksonville is in the divisional round for the first time since 2017, as Pedersen is playing against his former coach, Andy Reed. The Jaguars were still on fire last weekend after they beat the Los Angeles Chargers 27-0 in the first half.

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The Jaguars rank in the top 10 in points per game (23.8) and yards per game (357.4), while Mike Caldwell’s defense has averaged just 13.0 points per game over the past four games. Its 27 takeaways also rank fifth in the NFL.

Don’t sleep on Jacksonville, but the Jaguars have a tough task against Kansas City.

featured games | Kansas City Chiefs vs. Jacksonville Jaguars

6. Cincinnati Bengals

  • Odds of winning the Super Bowl: +800
  • Odds of winning AFC Champions League: +400

The Tigers are hot at this stage of the playoffs, winning nine straight to claim the AFC North title — beating the Chiefs and the Baltimore Ravens (twice) in the process. The defending AFC champion deserves respect as quarterback Joe Burrow throws the ball to playmakers like Jamal Chase and Tee Higgins. Cincinnati showed it could go to Kansas City and win a playoff game last year, so the Bengals’ ability to win big games shouldn’t be in doubt.

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The Bengals have a poor run offense, ranking 29th in rushing yards per game (92.9) and 29th in yards per attempt (3.8). Pass defense could also be a weakness, ranking 23rd in passing yards per game (227.9) despite allowing just 17 passing touchdowns (fourth in the NFL). The Tigers gave up yards but finished sixth in scoring defense.

Offensive line injuries are the reason the Bengals are so low. Losing La’El Collins and Jonah Williams is a huge blow to a team that needs to protect Burrow, and don’t forget Alex Cappa week after week. These injuries may prove insurmountable for Cincinnati, but they shouldn’t count Burrow’s team out.

5. Dallas Cowboys

  • Odds of winning the Super Bowl: +850
  • Odds of winning NFC: +350

The Cowboys have been one of the best teams in the NFL all season, moving the ball as well as any team in the league when Dak Prescott is making no turnovers and the offense is not turning over. The team ranks fourth in scoring (27.5 PPG), despite ranking 11th in yards per game (354.9) and 19th in yards per possession. The runs of Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard made the Cowboys dangerous, even though the Cowboys were only 18th in yards per carry (4.3). Their 24 rushing touchdowns are second in the NFL, and their 71.4 red zone scoring rate is among the best in the league.

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Dallas has the most takeaways in the league (33) and has one of the top five defensive players in Micah Parsons. They rank fifth in the league in points allowed (20.1 PPG) and eighth in passing yards allowed (200.9). The obvious weakness is the run defense, which ranks 22nd in yards allowed per game (129.3) and 17th in yards allowed per carry (4.4). Over the past four games, the run defense has allowed just 96.8 yards per game — huge for a team that has struggled at times.

Dallas has the most experienced quarterback of Prescott’s remaining NFC clubs, but can this team beat San Francisco? Can it beat Philadelphia with a healthy Jalen Hurts? It’s a Super Bowl contender, but it has its problems.

featured games | San Francisco 49ers vs Dallas Cowboys

4. San Francisco 49ers

  • Odds of winning the Super Bowl: +380
  • Odds of winning NFC: +160

How can a team as talented as the 49ers be in the middle? All San Francisco has done is win 11 straight games — six of them with a third-string quarterback posting a 121.4 passer rating in the starters. Brock Purdy has been great, but he hasn’t faced the pass rush that can reach the quarterback the way Dallas and Philly have. Sunday will be Boddy’s biggest test of the season.

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There’s a lot going on with this 49ers team aside from Purdy’s retention. They have Christian McCaffrey, Deebo Samuel and George Kittle — all considered top five for their positions. Brandon Aiyuk is also a very good receiver, and Kyle Shanahan is a master at getting these guys in top shape to win football games. San Francisco ranks sixth in points per game (26.8) and yards per game (365.6), while the rushing offense has averaged 175.3 rushing yards per game over its past six games.

The 49ers’ defense ranks first in points allowed (16.3) and yards allowed (300.6), while allowing the fewest points per possession in the league. The run defense ranks second in yards allowed (77.7) and yards per carry (3.4), but the pass defense ranks 20th in yards allowed (223.2). That said, the unit does have the most interceptions in the NFL (20).

San Francisco is the NFL’s hottest team, but its road to the Super Bowl is very difficult. This is another team that has a reason to be No. 1.

3. Buffalo Bills

  • Odds of winning the Super Bowl: +350
  • Odds of winning AFC Champions League: +165

Buffalo is easily No. 1 on this list because of the talent on this list. The Bills are aiming to win the Super Bowl this season with Josh Allen at quarterback and rank second in the league in scoring (28.8) and yards per game (399.1). Buffalo — not known for running teams — also finished seventh in rushing yards per game (137.6) and yards per carry (5.2). The Bills also rank second in points and yards per possession, making this offense one of the most dangerous in the NFL. Their three losses add up to nine points.

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The defense ranks second in points allowed per game (18.6) and fifth in yards per game (313.9). They rank in the top five in run defense in yards per game (100.9) and seventh in rushing touchdowns allowed (10). Buffalo’s pass defense isn’t as strong as it has been in years past (15th in passing yards allowed and 13th in passing touchdowns allowed), but that defense creates turnovers (27 takeaways are fourth in the NFL) ).

This Bills team is good enough to win the Super Bowl, and if they do, they’ll benefit from playing the Chiefs in a neutral-site championship game. If Josh Allen can handle the football, Buffalo will be tough to beat — even if its road to the Super Bowl includes Cincinnati this week.

featured games | Buffalo Bills vs. Cincinnati Bengals

2. Philadelphia Eagles

  • Odds of winning the Super Bowl: +525
  • Odds of winning NFC: +165

Somehow, the Hawks didn’t get the respect they deserved all season. The team is No. 1 in the NFC, going 14-1 with Jalen Hurts starting at quarterback. Maybe a shoulder injury affected Philly, but the reality is that the Eagles have home-court advantage with just one win in their past three games and an extra week off to prepare for their next opponent — which is a big deal. They mean a lot of damage and offense.

Philadelphia ranks third in points per game (28.1) and yards per game (389.1), while boasting a top-five rushing offense (147.6 YPG) and leading the league in rushing touchdowns (32). It also ranks in the top five in scoring and yards per possession.

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The defense is also top-five, ranking eighth in points per game (20.2) and second in yards per game (301.4). Philadelphia has the No. 1 pass defense (179.8 YPG) in James Bradberry and Darius Slay, and has 70 sacks on the season. The Eagles had four players with 10 or more sacks, the most by any team in NFL history.

The Eagles are one of the most complete teams in the NFL, and the Hurts have had enough rest to get their shoulders back to normal. This team wins when Hurts is on the court.

featured games | Philadelphia Eagles vs. New York Giants

1. Kansas City Chiefs

  • Odds of winning the Super Bowl: +310
  • Odds of winning AFC Champions League: +145

Not only is the Chiefs the top seed in the league, but Kansas City is head coached by Andy Reed and quarterbacked by Patrick Mahomes. Those two factors alone make Kansas City dangerous this time of year (remember, Mahomes has never played in the playoffs on the road, nor has he failed to make the conference title game in a season as a starting quarterback).

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The Chiefs have the highest scoring offense (29.2) and the highest yards per game (413.6). They have a top-notch offense in terms of points and yards per possession, and their run game has improved dramatically over the final nine weeks of the season. The defense put pressure on the quarterback (second in the league with 55 sacks) and ranked the defense in points allowed per game (11th) since Steve Spagnuolo took over as defensive coordinator in 2019.

Kansas City has lost to Buffalo and Cincinnati this year, but the team has the ultimate advantage of Reed and Mahomes. That makes the Chiefs the best team left in the playoffs.

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