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NFL Playoff Power Rankings: How do the Ravens, Chiefs and Eagles stack up?

The NFL season starts over Saturday with the playoffs finally underway, but the hierarchy established during the regular season remains in place.

Fourteen teams survived the 17-game grind and qualified for the postseason. Each must answer pressing questions in order to be the last one standing.

Can Patrick Mahomes and the surprisingly unspectacular Chiefs find another gear to repeat as Super Bowl champions? Can the free-falling Eagles correct the issues that plagued them down the stretch? Can the Ravens’ Lamar Jackson follow up an MVP-worthy season with the best playoff performances of his career?

Much can change over the next five weeks, but here are the Daily News’ NFL playoff power rankings entering the Wild Card round.

14. Pittsburgh Steelers

Pittsburgh handled its business down the stretch, winning its final three games to clinch a wild-card spot.

Still, the Steelers are the only playoff team with a negative point differential (-20), are sticking with their third quarterback of the season in Mason Rudolph and will be without injured pass rusher T.J. Watt for at least their first-round matchup with the Bills.

Pittsburgh’s 17.9 points and 304.3 yards per game rank last among postseason qualifiers.

13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The first season without Tom Brady went better than expected for Tampa, which won the subpar NFC South behind the resurgent play of quarterback Baker Mayfield

There are reasons, however, the Bucs finished 9-8 — the worst record among division winners — including that Tampa’s offensive yards per game (313.0) and yards surrendered on defense (344.2) both rank in the NFL’s bottom half.

12. Houston Texans

Houston’s turnaround from three-win embarrassment in 2022 to AFC South champions in 2023 is among the best stories of the NFL season.

Rookie sensation CJ Stroud excelled as the quarterback and leader of an upstart group that continues to exceed expectations.

Losing standout receiver Tank Dell to a season-ending broken leg hurts, but no one should be stunned if Stroud adds another chapter to his storybook year with his first playoff win.

11. Green Bay Packers

The Packers and Texans boast nearly the same résumé. Green Bay averaged 22.5 points and 345.5 yards of offense per game to Houston’s 22.2 points and 342.4 yards. Defensively, the Packers surrendered 20.6 points per game to Houston’s 20.8.

But Green Bay gets the edge in these rankings thanks to the torrid play of quarterback Jordan Love, who has thrown at least two touchdown passes without an interception in seven of his last eight games — including four consecutively.

The Packers appear to be getting healthier, with No. 1 receiver Christian Watson (hamstring) back at practice this week. Look for do-it-all rookie weapon Jayden Reed to open some eyes on the national stage this postseason.

10. Philadelphia Eagles

The notion Philly wouldn’t be a top-three team heading into the postseason seemed laughable less than two months ago, when the defending NFC champs were 10-1 and sitting atop the conference.

But the Eagles slumped badly down the stretch, dropping five of their last six games, including losses to the lowly Cardinals and Giants.

The offense appears busted. The defense looks worse. With a roster led by Jalen Hurts, A.J. Brown and Darius Slay, however, there’s too much talent and postseason pedigree to count the Eagles out completely.

9. Detroit Lions

Another great story belongs to the Lions, who won the NFC North for the first time in team history behind an electric offense, stout run defense and the ultimate inspirer in head coach Dan Campbell.

They lost their final three games against playoff-bound teams, however, and questions remain about how they’d perform in bad weather outside of their domed home should they have to.

Still, with battle-tested quarterback Jared Goff and stud weapons in Amon-Ra St. Brown and Jahmyr Gibbs, Detroit has a chance to win any shootout — including Sunday against old friend Matthew Stafford and the Rams.

8. Cleveland Browns

No team overcame more than Cleveland, which lost star running back Nick Chubb to a gruesome knee injury in its second game and started five different quarterbacks this season.

The Browns finally stabilized their quarterback situation with 38-year-old Joe Flacco, who, after spending most of the year unemployed, passed for 1,616 yards and 13 touchdowns in five games.

Flacco’s surprise excellence, coupled with the NFL’s best defense, make the Browns a well-rounded team that can win in different ways.

7. Los Angeles Rams

The Rams are the wild-card team nobody wants to face.

Los Angeles enters the playoffs red-hot, having won seven of its last eight games. Gone are big names such as Odell Beckham Jr., Jalen Ramsey and Von Miller, but coach Sean McVay’s group still features a superstar core of Stafford, Cooper Kupp and Aaron Donald that won the Super Bowl less than two years ago.

Breakout seasons by wide receiver Puka Nacua and running back Kyren Williams helped this offense re-emerge as one of the NFL’s best.

6. Miami Dolphins

If it weren’t for the Eagles, the worst late-season swoon would belong to the Dolphins, who dropped three of their final five games to surrender the AFC East to the Bills.

The Dolphins blew a late, double-digit lead to the last-place Titans in one of those losses and suffered a 56-19 blowout to the Ravens in another.

Miami’s high-octane offense was the NFL’s best, but it could be neutralized Saturday in Kansas City, where the temperature is expected to drop below 0.

It would help if running back Raheem Mostert and wide receiver Jaylen Waddle could return from ankle injuries, which would take pressure off fellow speedsters Tyreek Hill and De’Von Achane.

5. Dallas Cowboys

Clinching the NFC’s No. 2 seed could pay massive dividends for the Cowboys, who are in line to play at least their first two playoff games at home, where they went 8-0 in the regular season.

Dak Prescott is coming off of his best statistical season, making Dallas a sexy pick heading into the playoffs.

Keep in mind, though, the Cowboys dropped back-to-back games to the playoff-bound Bills and Dolphins late in the season. That losing streak very easily could’ve stretched to three games had they not eked out a controversial win against the Lions.

4. Kansas City Chiefs

These aren’t the same high-powered Chiefs that dominated defenses en route to two Super Bowl titles and three appearances in the last four seasons.

Travis Kelce, who recently turned 34, hasn’t looked like the prime version of his All-Pro self. The wide receivers, outside of promising rookie Rashee Rice, have been abominable. Kansas City’s 21.8 points per game ranked a very pedestrian 15th in the NFL and would’ve been worse if not for Mahomes’ magic.

All that being said, the Chiefs still managed to win 11 games, just in a different fashion than people have grown accustomed.

Their defense allowed only 17.3 points per game, representing the second-best mark in the NFL. Running back Isiah Pacheco, formerly of Rutgers, delivered nearly 1,200 all-purpose yards and nine total touchdowns in 14 games as a physical tone-setter.

Sleep on Mahomes, Kelce, Andy Reid and the Chiefs at your own risk.

3. Buffalo Bills

Nobody turned a season around quite like the Bills, who overcame a 6-6 start by winning five consecutive games to end the year as AFC East champs.

That streak included road victories over the Chiefs and Dolphins and a blowout win at home against the Cowboys.

The ever-exciting Josh Allen passed for 29 touchdowns and rushed for 15 more this season. The Buffalo defense, meanwhile, is playing its best ball of the season, allowing only 16.8 points per game during the win streak.

2. San Francisco 49ers

There are times San Francisco looks unstoppable.

Christian McCaffrey turned in a season for the ages, tallying more than 2,000 all-purpose yards and 21 total touchdowns. Deebo Samuel, Brandon Aiyuk and George Kittle each also eclipsed 1,000 total yards, making San Francisco the sixth team in NFL history to have four players do so.

Ultra-efficient quarterback Brock Purdy was an MVP front-runner at one point. The San Francisco defense was similarly stout.

It would be an upset if anyone in the NFC could knock off the top-seeded 49ers. There’s a good reason, though, they’re not the No. 1 team in these rankings.

1. Baltimore Ravens

What was billed as a potential Super Bowl preview between the 49ers and Ravens in Week 16 quickly became a bloodbath, with Baltimore dominating in a 33-19 victory — a final score that makes the game look closer than it actually was.

Baltimore embarrassed good teams all season, with a 38-6 win over the Lions and that 56-19 laugher against Miami also on its résumé.

On offense, Jackson passed for 3,678 yards, rushed for 821 and scored 29 total touchdowns en route to what should be the second MVP trophy of his career. Star tight end Mark Andrews, who was feared out for the season after a Week 11 ankle injury, returned to practice Friday.

On defense, Baltimore surrendered an NFL-low 16.5 points per game.

The Ravens won six games in a row before dropping a season finale in which Jackson and other starters rested. They’re the clear favorites for a Super Bowl title, and a ring would further enhance Jackson’s legacy.