Delve in and enter the final edition of Five Questions for the 2016 regular season. This week will feature analysis on many of the playoff teams and their expectations.
Read below to answer some of the major questions the NFL has to offer.
Winners and Losers: NFL Week 16 — Bounce Back Week
QB Rankings: NFL Week 17 — The last dance
Five Questions: NFL Week 16 — Jerry’s World is a-rockin’
Power Rankings: NFL Week 17 — 2016’s Curtain Call
cover32 Exclusive: NFL Pick’ems Week 17 — In a blink
1. Cowboys a Super Bowl contender?
Dallas has a spectacular offensive group, as most fans know. But will it be enough to take them to Houston? Inexperience will be standing in their way but the young and fresh legs of Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott could be beneficial in the long run. Their offensive line will have to dictate each potential game in order to have a shot.
2. Atlanta Falcons a sleeper?
Just another one of those teams that nobody seems to talk about. Much of the conversation is instead on Dallas or the Green Bay Packers. Atlanta has a chance to earn a first round bye and also has the offensive firepower to wreak havoc in the NFC Playoffs.
3. Patriots have a clear path to Super Bowl?
Let’s not get ahead of ourselves here. Yes, New England is good but they will not have an easy route. The Kansas City Chiefs are dangerous and poised to throw the knockout worthy haymaker. That potential matchup could be far more competitive than most fans would think. The weaponry of the Pittsburgh Steelers could also give the Patriots some problems.
4. Can the Raiders manage without Derek Carr?
Derek Carr is likely to miss the entire postseason after breaking a bone in his leg last week. There have been reports of a potential return for Super Bowl 51 if Oakland can make it that far. Even so, it would an extreme longshot for Carr to get back on the field. Without him, the Raiders will struggle to find offense in the playoffs.
5. Early Super Bowl prediction?
It’s only one week before the start of the NFL Playoffs. Let’s take a crack at an early Super Bowl prediction. Out of the NFC, look for the Atlanta Falcons to make the big dance. Most fans will be disappointed that the NFL’s beloved Cowboys didn’t make it, but Atlanta’s offensive attack was too much for the rest of the NFC to handle. Julio Jones can be expected to have a storied run. As far as the AFC goes, look for the Patriots to make it out. They will challenge “Matty Ice” Ryan and the rest of his offensive group.
That does it for the week 17 NFL Five Questions. As said above, the Playoffs are right around the corner. Expect the unexpected. Many coin the phrase, “any given Sunday”. Anything goes in the postseason; it’s a whole new ballgame for everyone.
Austin Erwin writes for cover32 and covers the NFL and the Minnesota Vikings. He can be followed on Twitter @austin_erwin.
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