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Ranking the NFL playoff teams - Saints will need to be awfully good

There probably are realistically only five teams capable of winning it all, but, all 12 seem capable of beating any of the others on a given day.

NEW ORLEANS — If the postseason is anything like the season's last few weeks, there will be several close games and a ref's call (or lack thereof), a penalty, a dropped pass or a turnover that may decide many games late. 

There probably are realistically only five teams capable of winning it all, but, all 12 seem capable of beating any of the others on a given day.

In order for the Saints to go far, they'll need to get top notch play in the secondary as most of its painful recent losses come from pass plays given up there. It won't help that the defensive end Marcus Davenport and defensive tackle Sheldon Rankins' injuries will deplete the rush and that secondary injuries will hamper coverage. 

This seems to be more of a 'who scores last' league now.

1/ Baltimore Ravens – No one has reasonably put the clamps on Lamar Jackson in a while and the defense is pretty good, too. Oh, and they haven’t lost since September – a streak that has seen them beat San Francisco, New England, Seattle, Buffalo and Houston.

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2/ San Francisco – They’ve played some big boy games, destroying Green Bay, winning in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, playing Baltimore to the wire and it seems most of their players are healthy or will get healthy with the bye they were gifted. Still, that vaunted defense has looked vulnerable lately.

3/ New Orleans – They had their shot at San Francisco so now must win three times, with two possibly on the road – at Green Bay and at San Francisco. They are playing their best right now and Brees is peaking. Still, you can’t shake the feeling that its playoff games will come down to the wire and hopefully this time they’ll get the breaks.

4/ Kansas City – The defense is finally coming around and they get a bye. Mahomes is healthy and they’ve won six in a row. They could be the one team to challenge Baltimore in the AFC.

5/ New England – Respect for the best coach in the game. A tweet yesterday summed it up perfectly. New England may not make the Super Bowl, but I want to see the body.

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6/ Green Bay – Truthfully, do you feel like anyone other that GB, SF or NO is coming out of the NFC? I just can’t shake the memory of Green Bay getting absolutely destroyed by the Chargers and 49ers or the fact that Detroit took them to the wire twice. Still, they have enough big play makers and they have Aaron Rodgers even if he hasn’t seemed himself. Against Detroit it showed that while he may not be at his best, you can’t repeatedly give him the ball back.

7/ Tennessee – Hot finish. Hot hand in Tannehill and monster back in Henry.

8/ Seattle – With Russell Wilson, you always have a chance, but paucity of RBs hurts badly.

9/ Houston – DeShaun Watson gives you a chance.

10/ Buffalo – A good defense and resourceful QB.

11/ Philadelphia – Injuries and the best of a bad division.

12/ Minnesota – Dalvin Cook’s return could make them a hard out.

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