The Check-down Check-up (2020): Playoffs Edition

NFC

Green Bay Packers

The Packers wrestled the NFC’s bye week away from New Orleans, who arguably needed it more for the sake of the health of Drew Brees. Even against a healthy Saints team, I can’t see anyone beating Green Bay in the NFC right now. The Packers seem to have a clearer path to the Super Bowl than even the Chiefs in the AFC. Aaron Rodgers by all accounts and measures should win the MVP this season, and I could see him adding a Super Bowl MVP award right next to it come February.

Verdict: 9/10, Check Up

New Orleans Saints

If the Saints were healthy, I could see them being a threat to the Packers in the NFC. But as of right now, I think Drew Brees is a bit of a liability, and the coronavirus situation still remains to be seen with Alvin Kamara and the rest of the running backs. The Saints will face the Bears on the first weekend of the playoffs, and I think they should win there, but beyond that, I have trouble picking them against the better NFC teams.

Verdict: 7/10, Check Up

Seattle Seahawks

What looked like a sure-fire MVP season for Russell Wilson in the first half of the season has turned into a thick, murky soup of a mess in the Pacific Northwest. I still like the Seahawks, and Wilson will give them a chance in most every game they play, but they just can’t seem to score like they used to in the early goings of 2020. I think the Rams could definitely upset them in the Wild Card round. That is, if Jared Goff is able to play and the Seahawks stay asleep.

Verdict: 6.5/10, Check Back Next Week

Washington Football Team

Finally, we come to the 7-9 Washington Football Team. Anchored by a great (and astonishingly young) defensive line, the WFT came out of the worst division in years, the 2020 NFC East. Washington’s win in week seventeen robbed us of a 6-10 division winner in the New York Giants, and now they’ll have to face Tom Brady. Not only do they have to face Brady’s Bucs, but Defensive Rookie of the Year hopeful Chase Young has already gone out of his way to stoke the flames of Brady’s ever-burning emotiona fire. This could get ugly if Washington’s not careful.

Verdict: 4.5/10, Check Back Next Week

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Speaking of Brady, the Buccaneers have had one of their best seasons in years, and if not for the exceptionally good Saints, would’ve been division winners. Instead, they’ve been relegated to the first Wild Card spot in the NFC, and drew a good matchup in facing the Football Team. Unless the Bucs are held by back Bruce Arians, they should be able to advance here. The only problem is that Arians has held them back quite a few times this season. Even still, it’s Tom Brady we’re talking about here.

Verdict: 7/10, Check Up

Los Angeles Rams

The Rams have been one of the best defensive teams this year, highlighted by cornerback Jalen Ramsey and star defensive tackle Aaron Donald. If the Rams get any offense going throughout the game, they are hilariously hard to beat. If Jared Goff plays (and is. fully healthy), I think Sean McVay might have just the right gameplan to upset the Seahawks in the first round. If the offense can use this game to get hot? There’s no telling how much damage the Rams can do.

Verdict: 6.25/10, Check Back Next Week

Chicago Bears

I’m not a huge fan of the Bears right now, and especially not a fan of how they function at quarterback. At 8-8, the Bears are huge underdogs to the Saints, and I expect even a slightly-damaged New Orleans team to roll over them. Mitch Trubisky, despite showing some flashes, has more often than not simply shown that he is not a franchise quarterback. If the Bears upset the Saints on Sunday afternoon, I’ll eat my words. I’m just not sure they have the talent to be able to do that.

Verdict: 4/10, Check Down

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