Every NFL playoff team ranked heading into Wild Card Weekend

·9 min read
Patrick Mahomes signals before a play against the Denver Broncos.
Patrick Mahomes signals before a play against the Denver Broncos.AP Photo/David Zalubowski
  • The NFL playoffs are here.

  • 14 teams will compete for the right to lift the Lombardi Trophy and call themselves champions.

  • Take a look as we break down every team heading into the postseason.

After 18 thrilling weeks of football, the NFL playoffs are finally here.

14 teams remain with hopes of winning the Lombardi Trophy. The Packers and Chiefs stand out as favorites to win their respective conferences, but a slew of other contenders are hoping the stake their own claim to the Super Bowl.

Take a look below at where every team stands heading into the first round of the playoffs. Chances to win the Super Bowl are according to FiveThirtyEight.

14. Pittsburgh Steelers

Ben Roethlisberger signals before a play against the Baltimore Ravens.
Ben Roethlisberger signals before a play against the Baltimore Ravens.AP Photo/Nick Wass

Record: 9-7-1

Chance at winning Super Bowl: 0.3%

Wild Card opponent: at Kansas City Chiefs

One thing to know: The Steelers are the biggest underdogs of wild card weekend and given their situation, it's not much of a surprise. Pittsburgh averaged 15.7 points per game over their last seven outings, including a 36-10 loss at Kansas City just three weeks ago.

Even Ben Roethlisberger seems aware that the deck is stacked against his Steelers. "We probably aren't supposed to be here. We're probably not a very good football team," Roethlisberger said of the current perception of his team. "Out of 14 teams that are in, I think we're probably at number 14. We're double-digit underdogs in the playoffs. So, let's just go play and have fun and see what happens."

13. Philadelphia Eagles

Kenneth Gainwell makes a run against the Dallas Cowboys.
Kenneth Gainwell makes a run against the Dallas Cowboys.AP Photo/Julio Cortez

Record: 9-8

Chance at winning Super Bowl: 0.4%

Wild Card opponent: at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

One thing to know: The Eagles boasted the best rushing attack in football through the second half of the season and averaged 164 rushing yards per game over the final five weeks. With rain and strong winds in the forecast for Tampa, Philadelphia will likely need to lean on its run game again to have a shot at the upset.

12. Las Vegas Raiders

Derek Carr and Hunter Renfrow celebrate a play against the Los Angeles Chargers.
Derek Carr and Hunter Renfrow celebrate a play against the Los Angeles Chargers.AP Photo/Ellen Schmidt

Record: 10-7

Chance at winning Super Bowl: 0.4%

Wild Card opponent: at Cincinnati Bengals

One thing to know: The Raiders squeaked into the playoffs with the help of an overtime win against the Chargers on Sunday night. Because they won rather than tied, Las Vegas moved their position in the postseason bracket to play the Bengals instead of the Chiefs. Still, the Raiders will be short on rest after playing a night game that featured an extra quarter and missing out on a day of practice due to their Saturday kickoff this week.

11. San Francisco 49ers

Deebo Samuel celebrates a touchdown against the Los Angeles Rams.
Deebo Samuel celebrates a touchdown against the Los Angeles Rams.AP Photo/Kyusung Gong

Record: 10-7

Chance at winning Super Bowl: 2%

Wild Card opponent: at Dallas Cowboys

One thing to know: San Francisco was quietly one of the hottest teams in the NFL down the stretch, winning seven of their final nine games to secure a spot in the postseason. Thanks to an innovative offense scheme, Deebo Samuel has quickly proven to be the most versatile weapon in football, with nine touchdowns over his last eight games played, seven of which came on the ground. He'll need another big game to keep pace with the Cowboys this weekend.

10. Arizona Cardinals

Kyler Murray makes a throw against the Seattle Seahawks.
Kyler Murray makes a throw against the Seattle Seahawks.AP Photo/John McCoy

Record: 11-6

Chance at winning Super Bowl: 0.8%

Wild Card opponent: at Los Angeles Rams

One thing to know: The Cardinals have cooled off quite a bit from their hot start to the year, losing four of their final five games heading into the playoffs. Their postseason fate will largely come down to the play of quarterback Kyler Murray, who will still be without superstar DeAndre Hopkins due to injury. The Cardinals split their two-game series with the Rams in the regular season, winning their first matchup by 17 and then losing the rematch by a touchdown. Which Cardinals team will show up on Monday night?

9. New England Patriots

Mac Jones prepares for the snap against the Miami Dolphins.
Mac Jones prepares for the snap against the Miami Dolphins.AP Photo/Willfredo Lee

Record: 10-7

Chance at winning Super Bowl: 2%

Wild Card opponent: at Buffalo Bills

One thing to know: Mac Jones' mid-season stretch had many thinking the Patriots were set for another run, at one time becoming favorites to represent the AFC in the Super Bowl. Things have changed a bit since then. Jones threw five interceptions over the past four weeks, with the Patriots going 1-3 over that span. During New England's seven-game win streak that preceded that, Jones recorded just two picks.

With a blustery day once again expected in Buffalo, turnovers could decide the game. That said, when the Patriots beat the Bills on the road earlier in the season, they needed only three pass attempts from Jones to do it.

8. Cincinnati Bengals

Joe Burrow and Ja'Marr Chase celebrate a touchdown against the Chiefs.
Joe Burrow and Ja'Marr Chase celebrate a touchdown against the Chiefs.AP Photo/Jeff Dean

Record: 10-7

Chance at winning Super Bowl: 3%

Wild Card opponent: vs. Las Vegas Raiders

One thing to know: Joe Burrow and the Bengals offense are appointment television. Rookie receiver Ja'Marr Chase just finished one of the greatest debut seasons at his position. If Burrow and Chase are firing on all cylinders, they are one of the most dangerous duos in all of football.

7. Los Angeles Rams

Matthew Stafford signals before a play against the San Francisco 49ers.
Matthew Stafford signals before a play against the San Francisco 49ers.AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill

Record: 12-5

Chance at winning Super Bowl: 4%

Wild Card opponent: vs. Arizona Cardinals

One thing to know: Matthew Stafford has gone without an interception six times this year, and the Rams are 6-0 in those games. When he throws one interception, the Rams are 4-2. When he throws two or more picks, the Rams are 2-3.

If Stafford can avoid the turnover bug through the postseason, the Rams could very well lift the Lombardi Trophy, but one missed throw could change their fortunes entirely.

6. Dallas Cowboys

Micah Parsons celebrates a play against Washington.
Micah Parsons celebrates a play against Washington.AP Photo/Roger Steinman

Record: 12-5

Chance at winning Super Bowl: 7%

Wild Card opponent: vs. San Francisco 49ers

One thing to know: The Cowboys are one of the more intriguing teams in the NFC playoff picture. When their offense is humming, few can keep pace. But when things hit a snag, they can go downhill fast. The return of de facto Defensive Rookie of the Year Micah Parsons and Pro Bowl corner Trevon Diggs should set the defense up a potential run at the Super Bowl.

5. Tennessee Titans

Derrick Henry breaks through a tackle against the Buffalo Bills.
Derrick Henry.AP Photo/John Amis

Record: 12-5

Chance at winning Super Bowl: 12%

Wild Card opponent: Bye

One thing to know: It's difficult to remember a top seed in a conference getting brushed over as much as this year's Titans. Despite being the only team in the AFC with a playoff bye, and needing just two wins to reach the Super Bowl, it feels like the NFL world at large still sees them as an also-ran compared to the potential of the Chiefs, Bills, or Bengals. But with the potential return of game-breaking running back Derrick Henry looming, the Titans could be a team that proves far more dangerous than many expect.

4. Buffalo Bills

Josh Allen makes a run against the New York Jets.
Josh Allen makes a run against the New York Jets.AP Photo / Jeffrey T. Barnes

Record: 11-6

Chance at winning Super Bowl: 8%

Wild Card opponent: vs. New England Patriots

One thing to know: When Josh Allen is playing his best, few can compete with him. The question is whether or not he can rattle off four straight games of brilliance. Given the responsibility he has as the leading figure in both the Bills' passing and rushing attacks, Buffalo's postseason fate will largely come down to what he does with the ball in his hands.

3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tom Brady makes a throw against the Carolina Panthers.
Tom Brady makes a throw against the Carolina Panthers.AP Photo/Mark LoMoglio

Record: 13-4

Chance at winning Super Bowl: 13%

Wild Card opponent: vs. Philadelphia Eagles

One thing to know: The reigning Super Bowl champions face a tougher test heading into this year's postseason. After spending 2021 as the healthiest team in football, the Buccaneers are facing shortages in the receiving corps thanks to the late absences of Chris Godwin and Antonio Brown. Still, Tom Brady has been known to make lemonade out of potential lemons at wide receiver, and with Rob Gronkowski as his safety net, there's no reason to doubt the Tampa offense will put points on the board.

2. Kansas City Chiefs

Patrick Mahomes signals before a play against the Denver Broncos.
Patrick Mahomes signals before a play against the Denver Broncos.AP Photo/David Zalubowski

Record: 12-5

Chance at winning Super Bowl: 21%

Wild Card opponent: vs. Pittsburgh Steelers

One thing to know: After a mid-season slump that raised questions as to whether their defense was such an anchor to drag the entire team down, the Chiefs found their stride and rattled off nine wins in their final 10 games to close the season. Patrick Mahomes is still the most dangerous man in football with the ball in his hands. While the AFC playoff picture is still a rather crowded mess, the Chiefs are undeniably the favorites to win the conference and earn their third straight Super Bowl berth.

1. Green Bay Packers

Aaron Rodgers and Matt LaFleur watch from the sidelines during a game against the Detroit Lions.
Aaron Rodgers and Matt LaFleur watch from the sidelines during a game against the Detroit Lions.AP Photo/Duane Burleson

Record: 13-4

Chance at winning Super Bowl: 27%

Wild Card opponent: Bye

One thing to know: Aaron Rodgers is a man on a mission. On the verge of his second straight MVP award, Rodgers and the Packers offense have looked unstoppable over the final few weeks of the season, and thanks to their status as the top seed in the NFC, the road to the Super Bowl goes through the blistering cold of Lambeau. After falling short in the NFC title game last year, it's Lombardi or bust for Green Bay.

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