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Could the Chiefs really win the Super Bowl? Ranking all 12 teams heading into the NFL playoffs

The Vince Lombardi trophy will be hotly contested this year.

Could Andy Reid and Alex Smith really win a Super Bowl? Yes, yes they could.
Could Andy Reid and Alex Smith really win a Super Bowl? Yes, yes they could.
Image: Gail Burton/AP/Press Association Images

THE NFL PLAYOFFS begin this weekend as 20 teams have fallen by the wayside and just 12 remain in the hunt for the Vince Lombardi Trophy.

Strangely, for a Wild Card weekend, only one team comes in with form on their side (the Green Bay Packers) with the rest — especially the likes of Oakland and Houston — limping into the postseason.

But which team is most likely to lift US sports’ biggest prize come February?

12. Houston Texans

Source: Weston Kenney/AP/Press Association Images

Record: 9-7
Seed: 4th in AFC
Why this position: Brock Osweiler. It’s really that simple for the Texans. Their only chance is that the team they play this weekend (Oakland) is in almost as much quarterback trouble.

11. Miami Dolphins

Record: 10-6
Seed: 6th in AFC
Why this position: This wasn’t supposed to be the Dolphins’ year, but with the Ravens and Broncos faltering down the stretch, they reached the playoffs. If Pittsburgh bring their A-game, this could get messy.

10. Oakland Raiders

Source: Joe Mahoney/AP/Press Association Images

Record: 12-4
Seed: 5th in AFC
Why this position: From the gutsy 2-point call to win the very first game of the season right up until the moment Derek Carr broke his leg, this looked like it had the makings of a fairy-tale season for Oakland. Sadly, Super Bowl LI will be a case of ‘what might have been’ for Raiders fans.

9. Seattle Seahawks

Record: 10-6
Seed: 3rd in NFC
Why this position: It’s week 10 since Seattle have managed back-to-back wins and Russell Wilson has never been more flaithiúlach with the football, throwing 11 interceptions this season. The Seahawks could well be shocked this weekend.

8. Detroit Lions

On Football Under the Radar Source: Duane Burleson/AP/Press Association Images

Record: 9-7
Seed: 6th in NFC
Why this position: The Lions have lost their final three games of the regular season and none of their nine wins come against a team that made the playoffs. However, there’s something I just can’t trust about Seattle.

7. New York Giants

Record: 11-5
Seed: 5th in NFC
Why this position: After ranking 30th in Football Outsiders’ defensive DVOA last season, the Giants finished the regular season in second spot this time around. They’ll need it to be that good again to make a playoff run.

6. Pittsburgh Steelers

Source: David Richard/AP/Press Association Images

Record: 11-5
Seed: 3rd in AFC
Why this position: When they click, there’s no more potent offence in the NFL than the Pittsburgh Steelers. After an up and down regular season, however, could consistency keep them from winning another Super Bowl?

5. Green Bay Packers

Record: 10-6
Seed: 4th in NFC
Why this position: The Packers have won six-in-a-row to get here but that includes victories over the likes of Chicago and Minnesota who were hardly trying by the end of the season. Still, a streaking Aaron Rodgers is a dangerous Aaron Rodgers.

4. Atlanta Falcons

Source: John Bazemore/AP/Press Association Images

Record: 11-5
Seed: 2nd in NFC
Why this position: Matt Ryan and company are scoring nearly 34 points per game and are going to be very difficult to live with considering they’ll have home field advantage up to the NFC title game.

3. Dallas Cowboys

Record: 13-3
Seed: 1st in NFC
Why this position: The Cowboys only fall to third because of the strength of the two teams ahead of them. However, it’ll be three weeks since they played a meaningful game by the time the Divisional Round comes around, that’s a concern.

2. New England Patriots

Source: Steven Senne/AP/Press Association Images

Record: 14-2
Seed: 1st in AFC
Why this position: The way the AFC has fallen this year, it’s almost destined for the Patriots to walk into yet another Super Bowl, just like they did last year. Oh, wait. Tom Brady has been phenomenal this season (28 touchdowns to just two interceptions) but New England are just 16th in defensive DVOA.

1. Kansas City Chiefs

Record: 12-4
Seed: 2nd in AFC
Why this position: I know what you’re thinking, I’ve lost my mind. But we can all agree the AFC West is the best division in football and the Chiefs went 6-0 to be the only team in the NFL to win every divisional game this season.

Add to that the fact they’ve one of the best front sevens in football, the explosiveness of Tyreek Hill (whether you think he should be in the league or not) on offence and special teams and you’ve a real contender.

Oh, and that’s before mentioning the fact Andy Reid teams are 15-2 after a bye week. If they make it all the way to Houston, they’ll have two of them.

Disagree, of course you do. Let us know why in the comments below.

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About the author:

Steve O'Rourke

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