The 1st regular season of Primetime Players League Madden League is drawing to a close & the playoffs will soon be here. There were a lot of teams in contention earlier in the season. But as the calendar turned to November and December, the real contenders began to separate themselves from the fake, no more so than in the AFC. Through Week 16, here are the current AFC Playoff Standings:
In the hunt: Chargers (9-6), Titans (9-6).
NE (Bosse): Patriots have absolutely been on fire. After a week 1 loss to the Cardinals, they’ve won 14 consecutive ball games, blowing out teams in the process. They’re led by the #1 passing offense and scoring offense, having scored 629 points on the season (41.9 ppg). As well as the offense has played, can’t forget about this very stingy defense, that’s only allowing 16.4 ppg. The Patriots know how to get after the QB and force them into mistakes, ranking 2nd in the league in sacks (51) while also bringing down 31 INTs. Will this lead to a Super Bowl title? It remains to be seen, but one things is for sure, the road to HOU goes thru New England.
PIT (J-Wil): Coming off a huge win against division rival Ravens in Week 15, Steelers currently find themselves as the #2 seed in the AFC. Known for having high-powered offenses (36.8 ppg), they’ve also fielded a very good defense, allowing just under 18 ppg. The Steelers swarm to the ball and as a result, they’re 1st in sacks (56) and 2nd in INTs (46). PIT has a complete team, and they’re primed to make a deep playoff run.
OAK (Slick): After a slow start to the season, the Raiders have found themselves atop the AFC West. Early on, it was looking as if either the Chiefs or Broncos were going to take steal the division. However, the Raiders found their stride midseason & haven’t looked back. They boast a top-10 offense that’s 7th in rushing and 7th in scoring (30.3 ppg). The Raiders can get after the QB as well, sacking opposing QBs 42 times on the season. They’re also VERY opportunistic on defense, with 44 INTs and a league leading 15 fumble recoveries. OAK overcame a sluggish start and The Black Hole will be hosting a playoff game in January. Team is confident. Raiders fans, rejoice!!!
JAX (Fla): Speaking of slow starts, JAX had the most surprising start to the season of all the playoff teams @ 0-3. However, Jaguars found their stride & after a big win last week, Jaguars are sitting atop the AFC South. This team is battle tested, winning 4 in a row and clawing their way back into contention. This team is anything but a pushover.
BAL (Carter): After a tough Week 15 loss to PIT, Ravens find themselves as the 5th seed. They’ve been one of the more consistent teams all season, so having to play on the road in the playoffs shouldn’t phase them. BAL has a strong running game (8th in rushing) and a defense that creates turnovers (league leading 47 INTs). No matter who you are, that has always been a good for formula for playoff success. BAL will be a tough out in January.
BUF (Donny): The Bills have gone on late season surge to catapult themselves into the playoff picture. With a 4-4 record at the halfway point of the season, BUF is winners of 6 of their last 7 ball games. Led by a top-10 rushing attack, Bills are controlling the clock & forcing opponents to play their style of football. They’ve seemed to have found the formula and are playing their best ball of the season. Can their stellar play continue into Week 17 & the playoffs? Bills surely think so.
In the hunt: SD (Kwam): Another team with a late season push. Chargers are winners of 4 in a row and have kept their playoff hopes alive. They’ll need some help, but they first have to take care of their own business. SD has gotten things to click at the right time but we all wonder, is it too little too late?