Colin Cowherd Ranks the 10 Best NFL Teams After Week 17 – December 31st (Video Segment at Bottom of Page)
10. Philadelphia Eagles (9-7): "They might be an injury riddled stagecoach, but Philadelphia has a ton of playoff experience, Doug Peterson has been unbelievable in December and January games, they have won four straight, and since Week 14 their rush defense and scoring defense is Top 5. They've got this innate toughness with them just like the city of Philadelphia, and I trust this team in big games. But they've got a ceiling and I don't think they can win a Super Bowl. They can't beat you over the top without Desean Jackson."
9. Tennessee Titans (9-7): "Like Philly, the Titans aren't going to win the Super Bowl but this is an interesting team. They've won 7 out of their last 10 games since Ryan Tannehill replaced Marcus Mariota, and since he became the starter they are averaging 6.9 yards a play -- number one in the NFL. They've got a deep receiver, a slot receiver, a good tight end, a power runner, and a quarterback who can move and throw. I don't trust the backend of their defense, but they're a very dangerous offense. They always disappoint us in big spots, but when you're number in the NFL in yards per play, a big number in Vegas, that means at any time you can be outcoached or outplayed, and pop the big play to get back in it."
8. New England Patriots (12-4): “I have the Patriots an inch ahead of the Titans just based on experience. They finished number one in the NFL in fewest points allowed, gave up the fewest yards, and were number one in in the league in point differential. They're smart, they're experienced, they'll be at home versus the Titans, and for one game it will work out. But they are simply not dynamic enough offensively to win at Kansas City or at Baltimore."
7. Minnesota Vikings (10-6): "This is another low ceiling team but they did end the season as one of the top 6 rushing teams, and I really like their defense. They are fourth in the league in takeaways and that becomes big in the playoffs when you might have a bad game or get out coached. I love this roster, but again, this team has a ceiling."
6. Green Bay Packers (13-3): "I've got the Packers an inch ahead of the Vikings. They've won five straight games but here's my knock on them: they've only got 13 takeaways all season; it's not a physical team, it's a finesse team. They aren't athletic enough to just take the ball away from you. They do have Aaron Rodgers and they don't make many mistakes, but during their five game winning streak Rodgers is only completing 57% of his throws with an 85 passer rating. Outside of Davante Adams he doesn't trust any of these receivers and they're not built to play from behind."
5. Seattle Seahawks (11-5): "I think Seattle would beat Green Bay anywhere. They're 10-2 in one possession games; that's Russell Wilson and Pete Carroll for you, folks. Playoffs are all about one possession games. They've lost 3 of 4 and they're not as deep at running back anymore, but Russell Wilson was magical this year and his 31 touchdowns and 5 picks look like his numbers at Wisconsin. Don't forget they're the best road team in the NFL. The last 21 games in the Eastern Time Zone they're 17-4, NOBODY travels like Seattle."
4. Kansas City Chiefs (12-4): "They've won 6 straight and are finally healthier. Their defense during this winning streak is only allowing 11 points per game. They went out and got Frank Clark from Seattle and he wasn't doing stuff at the beginning of the season but he's doing stuff now. They've got 10 interceptions during this winning streak, and the Honey Badger is playing great. We know Mahomes is playing great, but they're hot, they're healthy, and their defense can now get the ball back to their offense."
3. New Orleans Saints (13-3): "The Superdome is a little better home field advantage than Arrowhead. Smart + talented is really hard to beat, and if they had home field advantage maybe I'd have them ahead of the 49ers. Brees is making no mistakes, they never turn the ball over, they rarely get penalized, and they have a lot of takeaways. The only concern I have about New Orleans is when they go on the road. They remind me of the old Utah Jazz teams with John Stockton and Karl Malone. When you're that dominant at home, there's such a culture and comfort with them, and I'm not sure I trust them in San Francisco."
2. San Francisco 49ers (13-3): “Jimmy Garoppolo hasn't been spectacular but he has been very good in big spots. Garoppolo finished with 27 touchdowns and 13 picks in a very tough division. They're second in rushing and second in points per game. The 49ers can beat you in a lot of ways. They can overwhelm you with their defensive front, they can pound the ball and play keepaway, and Jimmy G can throw it to George Kittle and Emmanuel Sanders. Any team that can win multiple ways is capable of winning a Super Bowl and I think the Niners end up representing the NFC in the Super Bowl."
1. Baltimore Ravens (14-2): "They will be at home, they're hot, they're incredibly healthy -- healthier than San Francisco, and they've already beaten the 49ers. They're doing everything right and it feels like the Cam Newton Carolina Panthers team in 2015 with this unique quarterback talent that the league is trying to figure out. These kids, Cam Lamar, had amazing years playing with confidence, and the team was always energized at home and very healthy. And like Cam, I think Lamar ends up in the Super Bowl."