NFL November 6th games are on the horizon and the Super Bowl is just around the corner. Hopefully, you are confident in your picks this year and are looking to continue wagering on NFL games. If that is the case, then you have come the right place! Here we will review the upcoming NFL playoff and conference championship games and hopefully shed some light on which games you should avoid and which ones you should be backing. Don’t hesitate to leave a comment below with your own analysis!
Running the table at the halfway point of the season wasn’t enough for the Denver Broncos. Despite having one of the weaker divisions in the NFL, they still had to play their share of tough matchups. However, the tables turned once Peyton Manning was sidelined for a couple of weeks. The offense had a hard time moving the ball against some of the best defenses in the league, particularly when it came to the postseason. The Kansas City Chiefs, Indianapolis Colts, and Houston Texans are all exceptional teams and the Broncos did not stand a chance in any of their five games. As a result, head coach Gary Kubiak was relieved of his duties. The team started working hard to rebuild and went 5-1 in their first six games with a rookie head coach, Brendan Shanahan, at the helm. The team had the easiest schedule in the league throughout the season and they will be looking to make it two in a row against the AFC East next week.
The defending champion New England Patriots had a busy offseason and added some key pieces to their already potent offense. They drafted Georgia running back, James White, in the first round and he quickly replaced their departing wide receiver, Julian Edelman, on the field. White is a perfect fit for the team’s versatile offense and he will be looking to make an immediate impact. With Brady starting his 13th season and the Patriots always looking for additional weapons, opponents might be forced to adjust their game-planning process. The New England offense will continue to be among the most dangerous in the league.
The Tennessee Titans were considered one of the worst teams in the NFL last year and they failed to improve much over the offseason. However, they did draft two receivers in the first round, which could hint at something. Either they have a new offensive game-plan or they are truly going to try and make the most of what they have. The team’s first game is against the Pittsburgh Steelers, who they will have played earlier in the year, on Sunday Night Football.
The Cleveland Browns decided to go with experience over youth and they signed 31-year-old quarterback, Johnny Manziel, to a contract. Manziel’s status as a free agent was in question after he lost his job with the Texas A&M Aggies to a 26-year-old phenom, Myles Garrett. Garrett, who had never played quarterback, beat out the more experienced Manziel for the starting job and has quickly proven to be one of the best young players in the NFL. He was on the field for only 61% of the Browns’ snaps this year, which was the third-lowest rate in the league. Even worse, he had the third-highest percentage of passes dropped by a quarterback this year, which is something to keep an eye on.
The Carolina Panthers are going to be one of the more exciting teams to watch this season. They return almost everything from last year’s team, which was one of the biggest underachievers in recent memory. It’s going to be interesting to see what type of offense they decide to run this year. They had one of the most dangerous offenses in the league last year, which relied heavily on quarterback, Cam Newton’s, ability to make quick decisions and avoid pressure.
The defending champs, New York Giants, had an eventful offseason and lost several key contributors on both sides of the football. The offense especially struggled to function without Odell Beckham Jr., who was the league’s best wide receiver, for most of the year. The team relied heavily on their Hall of Fame quarterback, Eli Manning, throughout the year and the 43-year-old signal caller did not disappoint. He threw for over 4,000 yards and had 18 touchdowns to just five interceptions. The New York defense, meanwhile, was decent at best and it will be interesting to see how they hold up against top-tier offenses in the playoffs.
The San Francisco 49ers had an all-time great year and brought back a lot of the core players. The defense especially stood out and it will be interesting to see if that is more than just a one-season wonder. Jimmy Garoppolo, who the team selected with the second-round pick in this year’s draft, is going to give them a good chance at bringing back their magic. The Niners will be looking to get their starting quarterback, C.J. Beathard, some game experience before he takes over for Garoppolo. The team’s first playoff game is against the Minnesota Vikings on Jan. 12th.
The Chicago Bears are going to be a force to be reckoned with this year. The addition of wide receiver, Allen Robinson, and tight end, Jack Silvers, gives the Bears one of the best receiving duos in the league. Those two alone would make them a dangerous offense, but they will still rely heavily on the arm of quarterback, Mitch Trubisky, for big plays.
The Green Bay Packers have drafted well so far in the NFL draft and they made several key signings, as well. The team decided to bring back fan-favorite quarterback, Aaron Rodgers, and he seems to fit in perfectly with the new-look squad. The Packers will rely heavily on their air raid attack and they added a couple of receivers in the draft and in free agency, which should help make it even more effective. The offense was already one of the most potent in the league, but the addition of more weapons should only make it better.
The Atlanta Falcons lost some key pieces from last year’s team and they decided to address the issue by spending a lot of money in the draft. The Falcons have a lot of talent on both sides of the ball and they should be able to put together a decent team, for the most part, this year. The team’s first playoff game is against the Seattle Seahawks on Jan. 12th.
The Los Angeles Rams had an excellent offseason and brought in several key free agents, including wide receiver, Brandin Cooks, and cornerback, Aqib Talib. The offense is built around Cooks and he will look to make an immediate impact. The team also brought in some high-quality talent at the cornerback position, which led to Talib being suspended for the first four games of the season. The Rams drafted a corner, Justin Davis, in the first round and he will have the opportunity to step in for Talib. The Rams are going to be a team to watch this year and they quickly made an impact in the NFC. Now, they have to prove they can stay effective in the postseason.
SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL
The defending Super Bowl champs, New York Giants, got off to a rocky start in 2015 and it is going to be interesting to see how their season plays out. The team lost several key contributors on both sides of the ball and the offense especially struggled to gel. The team is going to have to rely heavily on their defense and the emergence of their younger players, particularly on the offensive line. They will also have to get more production from their star running back, Le’Veon Bell, who returned from suspension just in time for the playoffs. The team was not built for long-term success, but they are going to have to ride this wave as long as it lasts. The first NFC game of the year is between the Atlanta Falcons and Seattle Seahawks on Sunday Night Football on Jan. 12th.