The Kansas City (AFC) and Philadelphia (NFC) have bye weeks, so who are the top-five teams playing in the 2023 Super Wild Card Weekend?
Twelve teams will be playing for an opportunity to advance to the divisional round. Here are the top-five squads not named the Chiefs and Eagles.
The Buffalo Bills finished the regular season with a 13-3 overall record but came up just short of clinching the AFC’s top seed that went to the Kansas City Chiefs. Josh Allen is again in the MVP discussion due to leading one of the best offenses in the NFL. Buffalo is a legit Super Bowl contender as they face the Miami Dolphins in the first round of the playoffs.
The Cincinnati Bengals follow Buffalo with a 12-4 record and play the Baltimore Ravens in the Super Wild Card round. In his short career, Joe Burrow has already cemented himself as one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL and led his team to a second division title. Cincinnati seeks redemption after losing 23-20 in Super Bowl LVI to the Los Angeles Rams.
Minnesota missed the playoffs last season but had a solid year under first-year head coach Kevin O’Connell, finishing 13-4. The Vikings have one of the NFL’s highest-scoring offenses, with Kirk Cousins and former LSU star wide receiver Justin Jefferson leading the Norsemen. However, Brian Daboll’s New York Giants are an up-and-coming team and could shock the Vikes.
The San Francisco 49ers and Kyle Shanahan have dealt with injuries to critical players for another year and still managed to win the NFC West at 13-4. Brock Purdy, Mr. Irrelevant, has subbed nicely at quarterback, and DeMeco Ryans’ defense is one of the league’s best. The 49ers have flown under most people’s radar but could make a strong push to go deep into the playoffs.
The reward for Dak Prescott and the 12-5 Dallas Cowboys is to travel and meet Tom Brady and the 8-9 Tampa Bay Bucs on Monday Night. Despite finishing with the second-best record in the NFC East, the Cowboys will battle Brady and the tough Bucs’ defense at Raymond James Stadium.
Dallas also hails a strong defense with Micah Parsons but has tailed off somewhat down the stretch. Who will take care of business in Tampa – the Cowboys or Bucs? We shall see.
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