There are only eight remaining teams in the NFL playoffs with Super Bowl LVIII just 25 days away. Of the eight remaining teams, it’s hard to argue that any of them aren’t among the league’s upper echelon.
Five of the six remaining teams who played last weekend defeated a lower-ranked team at home. The lone exception was the Packers, who shocked the No. 2-seeded Cowboys after putting 48 points on the board. By virtue of their performance in that game, the Packers should be considered as one of the league’s top teams and a legitimate threat moving forward.
The Packers have a daunting test in front of them, though. Up next for Green Bay is a 49ers team that is oozing with talent and coming off a bye week. It was a similar scene in 1995, when a young quarterback named Brett Favre dethroned Steve Young and the rest of the defending champion 49ers in San Francisco in the divisional round.
Both the 49ers and Packers are included in our rankings of the eight remaining playoff teams. We’ll see how accurate our list is when the divisional round wraps up next Sunday night in Buffalo.
I’m not taking anything away from Houston and the awesome season they’ve had. But someone has to be last on this list, and that distinction unfortunately goes to a Texans team that has the most question marks of any of the remaining teams.
The Texans have a rookie phenom in C.J. Stroud, but they don’t have a proven running game that can back him up. Houston has a young and talented defense that has been stellar against the run. But its pass defense (much like Detroit) can be a liability.
No one should be surprised, however, if Demeco Ryans’ team manages to surprise anyone this weekend by pulling off a major upset. The Texans are a confident team that doesn’t look at themselves as underdogs. That mindset alone gives Houston a puncher’s chance against Lamar Jackson and the top-seeded Ravens.