Like a difficult, but satisfying puzzle, the 2022 NFL playoff picture is starting to come together. While few spots have been officially claimed, there are several frontrunners that seem destined for the playoffs. This includes The Dallas Cowboys, The Minnesota Vikings, The Philadelphia Eagles, and The Kansas City Chiefs.
Other teams like The Cincinnati Bengals, The Seattle Seahawks, The New York Jets, The New York Giants, and The Miami Dolphins are just barely clinging on. This makes the last couple of weeks of play very important for these teams if they want a chance at playing in January.
Then there are the plethora of teams trying to fight their way in, like The Washington Commanders, The New England Patriots, The Green Bay Packers, The Atlanta Falcons, The Las Vegas Raiders, and The Los Angeles Chargers. Who is going to come out on top in that battle to make it in?
Another big question is who wins it all? Which team is going to march their way through the postseason and make The Super Bowl? For The NFC, the battle seems to come down to The Vikings and The Cowboys. Unfortunately for The Vikings, they suffered a blowout loss to Dallas earlier in the year, making a victory in the postseason questionable
The Cowboys seem to have the better team and have proved as much several times. They beat The Vikings in a 40-3 lopsided victory, which were one of the division heavyweights. Another problem with writing the Cowboys off too early is the fact that they were without Dak Prescoot for the first couple weeks of the season.
This include a 26-17 loss over The Eagles and a three point victory over The Cincinnati Bengals. That means The Cowboys are a different team without Prescott and will likely have more firepower with him in the playoffs. That puts a different spin on their upcoming encounter with The Eagles and could lead to a very different result.
As for The Eagles, they just seem too vulnerable of a team to last in the playoffs. This is the same team that beat the struggling Colts by one point and lost to The Washington Commanders. Philadelphia might be 9-1 and at the top of their division, but there are so many caveats. In fact, who have The Eagles even beaten this season?
The Eagles have suffered many hurdles so far in 2022. They almost came close to a loss in a 40-33 battle against The Packers. If that wasn’t enough their 17-16 victory against The Indianapolis Colts and a three-point victory over The Detroit Lions should prove the point. Does that seem like a team that is going to survive long in the playoffs?
That’s why it comes down to The Vikings and The Cowboys. A lot of NFL fans probably believe The Cowboys have had an easy schedule, but there’s another side to that argument. Dallas also destroyed The Vikings and dispatched the former AFC Champion Bengals. There aren’t many other teams that come close to those stats.
predicted NFC Championship game. Minnesota Vikings versus Dallas Cowboys
Predicted NFC Winner: Dallas Cowboys
Now let’s turn our attention to the dogfight in The AFC West that is bound to have everyone talking. While The Buffalo Bills and The Kansas City Chiefs remain the front runners, there are a few wild cards in place to make things interesting. This includes The Cincinnati Bengals and The Dolphins, who could play spoiler given the current circumstances.
One of those circumstances is Von Miller, who was injured and will likely miss the rest of the season with an ACL injury. This could lead The Bills to an early exit in the playoffs if they can’t protect their Quarterback. Josh Allen already has 11 interceptions this year, meaning more mistakes could be on the horizon. That’s not a team that will last long in the playoffs.
As for The Chiefs, it’s hard to take them seriously. Not only is that evident by their losses to The Colts and The Bills, but also by their one-point victory over The Raiders. This just doesn’t strike you as a team that can win when the game is on the line. They have folded under pressure against lesser opponents.
That leaves The Bengals as a favorite to march their way back to The Super Bowl. Cincinnati already beat several playoff-caliber teams and could easily play spoiler again. Cincinnati did admittedly have a rough start to the season, which may leave some skeptical, but look what they’ve done since! It’s very similar to what The Bengals accomplished last year.
Predicted AFC Championship game: Cincinnati Bengals versus The Kansas City Chiefs.
Predicted AFC Champion: Cincinnati Bengals
Predicted Super Bowl LVII Matchup: The Dallas Cowboys versus The Cincinnati Bengals.
Predicted Super Bowl LVII winner: Dallas Cowboys
Could this actually be The Dallas Cowboys’ year? While Dallas didn’t look great at the beginning, they have one of the best defenses in the NFC. They also have a high-powered offense that consists of Dak Prescott, Tony Pollard, and Ezekiel Elliott. Not to mention the elite Wide receiving core they possess.
How can the Bengals overcome a multi-dimensional running offense that has several weapons at their disposal? How can anyone in the NFL stop them? The Cowboys might just be the team to beat in 2023 and everyone should be aware. This could be the year when they are finally dem boys.
Picture: Patrick Mahomes by Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports