The NFL playoffs are upon us, and while every team thinks it will be crowned champions in February, only one will be able to accomplish that goal.
From the first seed to the seventh seed, each squad has its own strengths and weaknesses. In a year with upsets aplenty and unexpected storylines throughout, there is no guarantee any of the top teams make it to the end. The Packers and Titans have weaknesses in the same way the No. 7 seed Steelers and Eagles do. If an opponent can find ways to exploit those weaknesses, we could find ourselves with a bevy of improbable upsets in these playoffs.
Here are strengths and weaknesses for every playoff team.
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No. 1 Seeds
It seems like the Packers are finally getting healthy, which might spell doom for the rest of the league, as Green Bay ran through the regular season en route to a 13-4 record without some of its best players.
Tackle David Bakhtiari played for the first time this season in Week 18 against the Detroit Lions and should be at full strength for the team's divisional-round game. The players the Packers used at left tackle combined for a 74.8 grade this season, which isn’t bad but pales in comparison to Bakhtiari’s 91.8 grade from last season.
Cornerback Jaire Alexander hasn’t played since Week 4, and although the Packers' secondary has found ways around his absence, it certainly misses his 90.7 grade from the 2020 season. Finally, they could also get back Za’Darius Smith and his 84.2 pass-rush grade to solidify a defensive line that has seen youngster Rashan Gary step in and flourish with an 88.9 pass-rush grade this season.
Weakness: Run Defense
Despite having a bevy of coverage players and pass-rush specialists at its disposal, the Packers' run defense unit ranks among the worst in the league this season, finishing 29th in expected points added (EPA) per play.
Its goal has been to play with as light of a run box as possible, as evidenced by the fact Green Bay is the only team to play with eight or more players in the box fewer than 100 times this season. The defense wants opposing teams to get bored of running the football into light boxes and eventually drop back and throw the football. Teams such as the 49ers and Eagles, who rank second and third, respectively, in run rate this season, could cause the Packers some problems with persistent efforts on the ground.
Strength: A Dynamic Receiver Duo