Breakdown of NFL playoff footage with five weeks remaining

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The most important prime-time division game in recent memory is over, and the Patriots came away with a win over Tom Brady that would have been hard to imagine at the start of the season.

This is true in several ways, of course. We couldn’t imagine the Patriots could roll to Buffalo and steal an important win over a Super Bowl prospect after being swept away by the Bills in 2020. We also couldn’t imagine they would by throwing just three. assists against the best running defense in the NFL. Let’s leave it to Bill Belichick to change our perspective, both on his own team and on the teams we thought we understood at this point in the season.

As it stands, the playoff photo features some intriguing clash, including a rematch for Buffalo’s early-season loss to the Titans on Monday night. Perhaps Derrick Henry could become a factor after becoming the first of three full-backs (along with Jonathan Taylor and Damien Harris) to show that some of Buffalo’s credentials were a bit more fragile than expected. However, at this point, we don’t know if Henry’s rehab following a Jones fracture will get him back on the pitch this season, or if the Titans would be interested in risking his long-term health by giving him a workload. exhausting immediately after returning home. The season obviously doesn’t end today, but seeing an inter-divisional AFC North clash in the first round, as well as the Chiefs facing a Brandon Staley-inspired scheme, Vic Fangio in the first round would be more than the one might ask for watching the hesitations of a less talented AFC conference throughout the year.

In the NFC – again, we know it might not look like this – having the chance to see the 49ers with a second crack against the Packers with their running game at full strength would be a great first round game. Kyle Shanahan is redefining his outside zone scheme yet again, while Matt LaFleur and Nathaniel Hackett do the same with their take on the offense at Green Bay. Meanwhile, the Tom Brady-Taylor Heinicke rematch we’ve all been waiting for since the 2020-21 playoffs is on the table. Who Said Dreams Can’t Come True? Seriously, whether it’s Washington, Philadelphia, Minnesota or New Orleans, that lower third of the NFC’s playoff bracket appears to be a major pitfall for one of the conference bluebloods looking to make their way to the Super Bowl.

The Patriots QB Mac Jones completed just two assists against the Bills on Monday night, but that was enough to leave Buffalo with a critical win.

Either way, here’s what the photo looks like at that exact moment:

AFC:

1. New England (9-4)

2. Tennessee (8-4)

3. Baltimore (8-4)

4. Kansas City (8-4)

5. Los Angeles (7-5)

6. Cincinnati (7-5)

7. Ox (7-5)

On the hunt: Indianapolis (7-6), Cleveland (6-6), Pittsburgh (6-5-1), Denver (6-6), Miami (6-7), Las Vegas (6-6)

NFC:

1. Arizona (10-2)

2. Green bay (9-3)

3. Tampa Bay (9-3)

4. Dallas (8-4)

5. Los Angeles (8-4)

6. Washington (6-6)

7. San Francisco (6-6)

On the hunt: Philadelphia (6-7), Minnesota (5-7), New Orleans (5-7), Caroline (5-7), Atlanta (5-7), New York (4-8), Seattle (4-8)

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