Entering the final weekend of the 2016 NFL season, the playoff picture was already penciled in, with the exception of a few spots. The Cowboys, Patriots, and Giants knew that they were in and what place they would finish. Everyone else still had something to play for. The AFC teams had all been settled by the previous weekend, but there was still potential shuffling among the seeds from the outcomes of the final weekend. The NFC had a couple more teams in contention going into the last weekend; but at the end of the day, the six teams for the NFC were set, and so was the playoff picture. So now that the contenders are set, who is going on to win the Super Bowl?
Before you go buying any NFL playoff tickets, let’s examine who has a realistic shot.
A preseason favorite–and still the popular pick–to win it all is New England. Not a surprise when you consider that Brady/Belichick-led teams have made it to six Super Bowls, winning four of them. If they win again, they might be considered the best coach and quarterback ever. Before you hand the Lombardi trophy to the Patriots, though, remember that the team who beat them in both of their Super Bowl defeats has again made it to the postseason. Though the Giants are going to be the fifth seed in the NFC, do not count them out. In 2007, when they were also a five seed, they went on to beat the top-ranked Cowboys, take down Brett Favre in his last game as a Packer, and win Super Bowl XLII against the heavily favored, undefeated Patriots.
The Patriots are not the only team looking for redemption against the Giants, though. The Dallas Cowboys (0-2 against the Giants this year) are led by two sensational rookies and are looking to continue their stellar regular season with a deep postseason run. What Dak Prescott has done this year is somewhat reminiscent of what Ben Roethlisberger did in his rookie season, leading the Steelers to a 15-1 regular season and the AFC title game. Prescott could become the first rookie to start an entire season and win a Super Bowl, while Roethlisberger–who is again in the postseason–looks to give the Steelers a 3rd Super Bowl victory while he is under center and a franchise-record 7th all-time Super Bowl win.
Andy Reid again has a playoff contender with his Chiefs, who along with the Oakland Raiders represent the AFC West as hopefuls. Raider Nation, though, is without starting QB Derek Carr and could need some breakout performances to win a title. It is never wise to sleep on the Seahawks, and Aaron Rogers said the Packers would run the table. Enough said on Green Bay.
When the dust clears though, who wins?
The Patriots. But that is only in pencil. These games are going to be exciting, and NFL playoff tickets would be a welcome gift to any fan.