The football world is still reeling from the exclusion of the Florida State Seminoles from the College Football Playoffs even though they’re undefeated and won the ACC Championship.
FSU lost their star quarterback, Jordan Travis, for the year in late November. Without him, the CFP Selection Committee opted for Texas and Alabama, two one-loss programs.
Imagine if that same committee was tasked with deciding the teams that qualified for the NFL Playoffs. Absurd, right? Here are a few franchises playing team ball that would be in the NFL Playoff picture if the season ended today.
The Cleveland Browns (8-5) – Currently The 5th Seed In The AFC
The Browns just beat the Jacksonville Jaguars to retain the top Wild Card spot in the AFC. They are now on their fourth quarterback this year – journeyman and Super Bowl XLVII Champion Joe Flacco.
Cleveland’s defense is in top form, led by possibly the best defender in the game, Myles Garrett. The odds for betting on NFL Defensive Player of the Year place Garrett as second overall behind Micah Parsons of the Dallas Cowboys.
The Pittsburgh Steelers (7-6) – Currently The 6th Seed In The AFC
Of all the four teams currently qualified for the playoffs, we’re betting on the Pittsburgh Steelers to eventually drop out of contention. They face the Colts, Bengals, Seahawks, and Ravens to close out the season.
Pittsburgh will need to finish 2-2 over that stretch to have a prayer of earning a Wild Card.
The Indianapolis Colts (7-6) – Currently The 7th Seed In The AFC
The strength of the Colts is their offensive line and defensive front seven. Veteran quarterback Gardner Minshew has steered the Colts to a winning record, but the Houston Texans will be nipping at their heels until Week 18.
The Minnesota Vikings (7-6) – Currently The 6th Seed In The NFC
The Vikings are on their third starting quarterback, Nick Mullens. Joshua Dobbs is still active, but the coaching staff felt that the offense had stagnated and made a move before playoff time. The balanced roster should keep their heads above water long enough to qualify for the postseason.
New York Jets (5-8) – The Jets could have packed it in for the season after Aaron Rodgers went down in Week 1, but the team rallied and continues to fight despite a revolving door at quarterback.
Las Vegas Raiders (5-8) – Vegas immediately rebounded following the termination of head coach Josh Daniels and benching of QB Jimmy Garoppolo, but have now fallen to three games below even. A heartbreaking Week 14 loss to the Vikings by a final score of 3-0 may have been the final nail in the coffin for their playoff hopes.
The Cincinnati Bengals (7-6) – The Bengals have lost starting quarterback Joe Burrow for the season, but backup Jake Browning has played admirably and has Cincinnati back above .500. They currently hold the tenth seed in the AFC with four games remaining, but their final four games are against current playoff teams.