2023 NFL Playoffs: The biggest questions facing each of the eight remaining postseason contenders

Tremendous Wild Card Weekend is within the books but Cowboysdominant win over hacker Monday evening. Meaning we’re formally all the way down to eight groups within the 2023 AFL playoffs. Each single considered one of them confirmed championship-level poise sooner or later this yr – and a few golf equipment are getting notably sizzling now, simply in time. However this doesn’t imply that there are additionally no urgent questions dealing with the remaining contenders. With the division spherical, here is a have a look at a number of the largest ones:

Can Josh Allen defend soccer?

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Buffalo would not be the place it’s immediately with out Allen capturing. However extra so than Kansas Metropolis’s Patrick Mahomes and Cincinnati’s Joe Borough, Allen’s bodily items and magnificence of play invite danger. Whereas Mahomes’ fluidity makes off-the-cuff performs seem decided and Burrow’s imaginative and prescient makes crunch time productions credible, Buffalo’s No. 17 is extra more likely to put his physique β€” and the ball β€” on the road by trusting his imposing arm and framing what the protection has to supply. Since his begin in 2020, he has racked up 40 turnovers (31 interceptions, 9 fumbles thrown) in 36 video games, together with the playoffs.

Can the offensive line survive one other loss?

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Joe Burrow superior to the Tremendous Bowl final season regardless of a shoddy lead, and now he could need to do it once more. Cincinnati dealt with effectively and not using a string of injured starters, together with proper sort out Lyle Collins and proper guard Alex Capa. However now, Jonah Williams is “week after week” with a dislocated knee, and Borough could also be with out three of his ordinary blockers. Deep within the playoffs, towards penetrating fronts, that spells potential hassle for a powerhouse champ who thrives not on ducking stress however hitting onerous with fast selections. the crows Catch him up at Tremendous Wild Card Weekend, and extra warmth may come.

Will the protection present sufficient assist?

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Nobody needs to be betting on Andy Reid and Patrick Mahomes at this level: Within the 4 seasons Reed’s fifteenth beginning quarterback, KC has by no means failed to achieve at the least the AFC Championship. However when Chris Jones would not management the offensive line to ascertain lengthy landing runs, their “D” again finish has confirmed susceptible, notably stumbling in shut video games with lesser opponents like Bronco And Texas. Dealing with was a difficulty there, as was inexperience, with rookies Trent McDuffie, Gaylen Watson and Joshua Williams all seeing necessary nook photographs. We all know they’ll rating in penalties, however can they cowl?

Dallas Cowboys

Can they nonetheless be sizzling when the highlight will get brighter?

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Jerry Jones was so stuffed with vitality after they bombarded the smug and bumbling Buccaneers – that he truly “I went up a levelAs for Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy. However that just about speaks to the angst right here: For too lengthy, their playoff bar has been set low for precise expertise, as a result of Dak Prescott & Co., just like the franchise as a complete, remains to be searching for their first look in The NFC has been taking part in since 1995. In different phrases, the stress remains to be excessive, and can solely improve because the stretch extends to a few straight street video games and counting, with journeys to San Francisco and probably Philadelphia on the docket.

What precisely is the case of Galen Hurts?

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After all the quarterback will slot in as they give the impression of being to show they’re nonetheless NFC class. However we have not seen a breakout on the MVP degree in full drive since mid-December, when Hurts injured his shoulder. For many of 2022 the Eagles’ powerhouse has been profitable in varied methods behind a strong entrance and an opportunistic “D”, however Hurts has been the catalyst when he is wholesome, threatening opponents as a punishing runner and vastly superior passer. The weapons are in AJ Brown and DeVonta Smith, as is the aggressiveness of Nick Sirianni. However how a lot can Hurts, the center of the crew, fairly provide, and for a way lengthy?

Is Brock Purdy lastly destined to hit a wall?

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Irrespective of how their season ends, the 49ers will probably be simply as grateful for Purdy’s emergency steadiness; The rookie has made a constant presence on the veteran degree in his 6-0 efficient profession with Jimmy Garoppolo filling in. Kyle Shanahan’s setup, which prioritizes fast hitting, the dynamic floor sport and the bodily “D” of DeMeco Ryans, is perhaps sufficient to offset any of the QB’s hiccups. Nevertheless, we have seen small glimpses of Purdy groveling on subject objectives to open the playoffs towards a misfit Seahawks Staff. If the push comes towards superior foes who’re able to penalty shootouts, its novelty could finally present.

Can Wink Martindale match Brian Dabul and Mike Kafka?

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In different phrases, with the New York offense going full steam forward, with Daniel Jones Rising as a franchise QB creator Beneath the inventive path of Dabol and Kafka, can the Large Blue protection discover a solution to make a planning leap of its personal? Martindale took a decidedly extra conservative strategy towards Minnesota, and it paid off late because the G-Males stopped Kirk Cousins ​​and Co. to close down the street, however solely after Vikings He spent many of the day transferring the ball up and down the sphere. Azeez Ojulari’s latest off-rim damage provides one other potential wrinkle, at the same time as Dexter Lawrence nonetheless owns the within.

Have they actually reached their emotional peak?

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It might be onerous to not, proper, after getting back from down 27 for an upset chargers Into the wildest ending to Tremendous Wild Card Weekend? Doug Pederson loves himself playoff run, so Jacksonville clearly will not take his subsequent stint significantly. However the actuality is, at 9-8, with an inconceivable division crown and the franchise’s first win in 5 years, Pederson’s Jags have already scored as a hit story. Already redirected to a greater path, Trevor Lawrence could by no means have a extra memorable end from his four-way rebound towards Los Angeles. By no means say by no means, but when one of many playoff groups is earlier off the schedule, additional fanning the prospect of 2023 greater than instant title possibilities, it is in all probability Jacksonville.

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