2023 NFL Playoffs:

Madden Rausch, Staff Writer

Season Conclusion:

The Regular Season is officially over with twists left and right. Teams you didn’t expect to be anywhere close have made it and some teams once thought to be expected to go to the playoffs were far from it. These are the remaining teams in the playoffs and some predictions for the postseason.


#1 Kansas City Chiefs 14-3:

What is there to be said that hasn’t been? They are essentially the new-age New England Patriots, everyone despises them but wants to be that team. Even after losing their star receiver and leader on defense, they still made it to this point. Patrick Mahomes has had a season for the ages with new faces like Juju Smith-Schuster, Isiah Pacheco, and my personal favorite player Kadarius Toney. Even though they aren’t at their full potential, they still pull off wins. Will they play up to it? Who knows but it will be very interesting.

#2 Buffalo Bills 13-3:

The Buffalo Bills were once going to get the 1st seed but didn’t because of the postponement of the Bengals/Bills game. However, if the Chiefs and Bills were to hypothetically make the AFC Championship, the game would be played at a neutral site, which is very weird but needed at this time. The Bills are one of the best teams in the NFL with their caliber of players including the likes of Josh Allen, Stefon Diggs, Tredarius White, and Ed Oliver. The Chiefs have always been kryptonite for them, but if they face them again it will be one for the ages. All Buffalo hopes is that they win the Super Bowl by any means necessary.

#3 Cincinnati Bengals 12-4:

Joe Burrow is not a fluke, he is after the AFC again with his wingman Ja’Marr Chase. The Bengals were struggling out of the gate but then started getting that past season’s energy back and rattled off multiple wins. Very good resilience by that group, but this time they aren’t underdogs, they are actual contenders. Will they answer the call and make another deep run, or will it be another disappointment for Cincinnati sports fans?

#4 Jacksonville Jaguars 9-8:

From 3-14 to 9-8 and a division title, this has been an amazing year for Duval and the team. Trevor Lawrence is a way better quarterback than last year, their once-criticized offseason moves are now making more sense in real-time. They are a well-coached football team with stars in the making like Travis Etienne. Hope and optimism reign supreme, even if they bow out to the Chargers, but this Jacksonville team reminds me of the Bengals last season, catching fire at the right time.

#5 Los Angeles Chargers 10-7:

Justin Herbert is not a social media quarterback, for now. The Chargers are a good team when they are playing the Colts and underachieving teams. They can compete but it’s 50/50 if they will play up to potential or crater. Their coach has gotten smarter with his in-game decisions, but this might not be the year for the Chargers. They’re running into a Jacksonville team on fire right now; they have a winning streak too but it’s against middling competition. Good luck.

#6 Baltimore Ravens 10-7:

The Ravens are potentially the worst team in the AFC playoff race in my humble opinion. The play calling is bad, the talent isn’t up to par, and they can’t keep getting out of their own way. They may have won 10 games, but those games could’ve gone either way. They have the potential to make it far, but it’s going to have to be if Lamar Jackson is healthy. If not then they will be an easy out to the Bengals. It could even be Lamar’s final farewell to a new team for a ton of money.

#7 Miami Dolphins 9-8:

This team had so much promise at the beginning of the year. Tua Tagoviola finally developed, and Tyreek Hill became the second coming of Randy Moss breaking tons of records. Then, they were slapped back to reality with Tua undergoing three concussions in a given year, the offense stalling without a real quarterback, and lackluster defense. The only reason they made the playoffs is that the Jets are the Jets and everyone else lost. Don’t be surprised when they get eliminated.


#1 Philidelphia Eagles 14-3:

The Eagles did limp into the end of the year losing 2 of 3. But they already had a playoff spot and rested key starters. Jalen Hurts has definitely taken strides in becoming a next-level quarterback with his trusty receivers. The defense is good enough to make plays and keep them in games. It’s just that something doesn’t feel right, it feels like they are either making it to the Super Bowl ala Nick Foles, or they are getting crushed.

#2 San Francisco 49ers 13-4:

Kyle Shanahan is showing that he is a top-5 coach in the NFL this season. Even with a 7th-round QB, Brock Purdy is playing like the second coming of Joe Montana. The defense is other-worldly with DeMeco Ryans doing an outstanding job as defensive coordinator, and this team has a 10-game winning streak to boot. I have a slight feeling that Seattle is going to get their revenge, but it’s going to be a fun game.

#3 Minnesota Vikings 13-4:

Kevin O’Connell has changed the team this year as first-year head coach, from losing every close game last year to winning them. However, the team will lose in the playoffs because they play down to competition, and doing that against the Giants would spell doom; especially with how they limped into the 3rd seed with bad losses down the stretch. They got a good chance to win but with that -3 point differential throughout the year, it’ll be tough.

#4 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 8-9:

Tom Brady has regressed this season and so has the entire team, but never doubt the might of what Tom Brady can bring. It’s looking like he’s going to have to put the team on his back Lebron James style, and if those rumors of Brady to Las Vegas are true, then Tampa Bay is going to be pretty bad for the foreseeable future. All they can hope is to win one home playoff game.

#5 Dallas Cowboys 12-5:

It’s been a year for Dallas, from Dak Prescott’s injury to their run of form and Odell Beckham Jr. rumors. It’s been pretty turbulent, to say the least. They are a very strong team on paper with a stout offense and a good defense, but going up against Tampa Bay they have to play their best and not let Tom Brady come back. If they can’t then Mike McCarthy will be good as gone next season.

#6 New York Giants 9-8:

The New York Football Giants have made the playoffs for the first time since Eli Manning and Odell Beckham Jr. were making highlight reel plays. This time the Giants seem to be a well-coached and well-managed team, under Brian Daboll and Joe Schoen. Daniel Jones and Saquon Barkley are primed for big extensions in the offseason against the adversity. The Vikings will give them a good gauge of how much they improved, but like a few teams in this playoffs they are playing with house money.

#7 Seattle Seahawks:

It was looking like they were stumbling out but the Seahawks, who were believed to have a top draft pick do indeed have one. It’s not their own, the Broncos were so bad it gave Seattle a top-5 pick. Are the Seahawks a good team? That depends on what your definition of good is, it feels like they are overachieving this season. The Seahawks fans should be perfectly content with having this kind of year.


The NFL Playoffs are very hard to predict, like every year but personally, I have some upsets because the NFL is having one of those years. In the NFC I have the Vikings losing to the Giants, San Francisco playing down to competition against Seattle, and laying an egg. In the AFC it’s mostly cut and dry with some teams deserving of making it but some that just slipped in, the only real “upset” I have is Jacksonville beating the Chargers. However, my pick from the AFC to make it to the Super Bowl is Kansas City, they look unstoppable. And my other pick in the NFC is the Philadelphia Eagles, they just seem rested enough but the NFC is incredibly weak currently so they just seem like the only team that could make it. It will be very interesting, and this is why you play the games.