And then there were eight. Seventy-five percent of NFL teams are done for the season, as the remaining quarter battles for the Lombardi Trophy.
As the league heads into the Divisional Playoffs, the editors at cover32 break down the teams still in the hunt. Here’s this week’s Power Rankings:
1. Seattle Seahawks (13-3) – The Seahawks have a rematch with the Saints on Saturday after obliterating them 34-7 in Week 13 on Monday Night Football. While home-field advantage in the NFL seems to be a thing of the past, the one team it still applies to is Seattle. CenturyLink Field is the loudest in the world for a reason, and the Seahawks are the NFC favorites with the 12th man on their side. (LW: 1)
2. Denver Broncos (13-3) – The Broncos draw the scorching hot Chargers on Sunday afternoon, as San Diego was the only team to beat them in Denver during the regular season. The pressure is squarely on the Broncos, specifically both Peyton Manning and John Fox. A loss would be an absolute disaster for a team with this much talent, while a win could help propel a Super Bowl run. (LW: 2)
3. San Francisco 49ers (13-4) – If San Diego is the team no one wants to face in the AFC, the Niners are just that in the NFC. Winning in Green Bay was the first step of a ridiculously hard path to the Super Bowl, but if anyone can pull it off, it’s these Niners. Colin Kaepernick is now 3-1 in playoff games in his career; that’s getting it done when it counts the most. A rematch with Carolina looms this weekend. (LW: 3)
4. Carolina Panthers (12-4) – The Panthers enjoyed one of the more improbable bye weeks this past weekend. Who would have thought they would be in this position after a 1-3 start? Steve Smith’s health is still in question for the Week 10 rematch with the 49ers, having Panthers fans concerned they won’t have Cam Newton’s top target. (LW: 5)