2017 Playoff Teams Most Likely Eliminated During the Regular Season

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Each year there is an ebb and flow in the playoff rankings that sweeps some teams out to sea while a wave of up and comers crash onto the scene. The NFL has gone to great lengths to create parity in the league and make it competitive for each organization. It just so happens that the NFL is going through an identity crisis that is seeing its all-time greats retiring, and the new generation emerging. This means there are only a handful of teams that have found that next great generation of athletes, and for this reason, our playoffs will look the same as last year, except for two teams this NFL regular season.

The Detroit Lions have not been to the playoffs two seasons in a row since the early 90’s, and that streak will continue this year. Let’s be honest, if Matthew Stafford was ever going to win a playoff game it was going to happen when Megatron was on the team. The Lions drafted Miami quarterback Brad Kaaya, and you should assume this is a sign the organization is preparing for the next chapter. Detroit made a huge splash this offseason by signing hometown boy T.J. Lang, but they chose to invest the offseason in the draft and did not make enough win-now moves. The Detroit Lions will not win the division and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will outlast them to earn the sixth seed in the playoffs.

NFL Playoff Teams

The Houston Texans will not make the playoffs this year, but that is not a condemnation of the organization. In fact, I think the Texans had one of the best drafts this year, and their offense is filled with explosive young athletes. They will miss the playoffs for one reason: quarterback controversy. The Texans have two lifelong benchwarmers in Tom Savage and Brandon Weeden who will compete to for the starting role to begin the season. Houston invested their 12th overall pick in the draft on Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson who has enough talent to lead the team from day one. I believe there will be some intense competition to start the season and Deshaun will emerge as the best option for the team. In the end, I think Houston will drag their feet on the decision and lose too many games before they name Watson the starter. He will hit his stride before the season ends, but their 9-7 record won’t be enough to outlast the Tennessee Titans for the sixth playoff spot.

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