Tuesday, May 30 2023

The NFL playoffs are within reach, and teams are beginning to solidify their respective standings.

Did the Dallas Cowboys show playoff promise in their Week 16 win over the Philadelphia Eagles? Are the Jacksonville Jaguars the new team to beat in the AFC South? Who’s the team to beat in the sport?

Here is the “Herd Hierarchy” heading into Week 17, with insights from FOX Bet.

Herd Hierarchy: Playoff-bound Chargers, Packers leap in Colin’s Top 10 of Week 17

Backwards hat Colin Cowherd reveals his top 10 teams heading into Week 17.

10. Green Bay Packers (Last week: unranked)

Overall record: 7-8 | Last week: Packers won 26-20 vs. Miami Dolphins

Colin’s thoughts: “The Packers [are] on a three-game wining streak, third comeback win of 10-plus points — that’s the best and the most in Aaron Rodgers‘ era. I’ve been critical of Matt LaFleur. I don’t think he’s incapable, but I’m not sure he’s as good as the media makes him out to be. Well, Aaron and Matt LaFleur are 15-0 in December, so it counts.”

Championship odds: +5000

Up next: Vikings @ Packers (4:25 p.m. ET Sunday, CBS)

Minnesota Vikings


Green Bay Packers


9. Los Angeles Chargers (Last week: unranked)

Overall record: 9-6 | Last week: Chargers won 20-3 vs. Indianapolis Colts

Colin’s thoughts: “They’ve won four of five. Listen, their defense with a defensive head coach is finally playing well. They have had 13 sacks in the last three games, and here comes Bosa, who’s supposed to return this week. All you have to do for Justin Herbert is play decent defense, and he wins. He’s 18-4 when the Chargers hold opponents to fewer than 27 points. So when they play average defense, Justin Herbert wins.”

Championship odds: +2500

Up next: Rams @ Chargers (4:25 p.m. ET Sunday, CBS)

Los Angeles Rams


Los Angeles Chargers


8. Jacksonville Jaguars (Last week: 8)

Overall record: 7-8 | Last week: Jaguars won 19-3 vs. New York Jets

Colin’s thoughts: “I think it’s a real football team. I think Trevor Lawrence is a star. He’s the best quarterback in the NFL passer rating [wise] since Week 9. Big, tall, moves. He has the largest increase ever in passer rating one year to the second. They’re on a three-game winning streak. They don’t know what they don’t know. They’re young. If they do make the playoffs, they’re a one-and-done, but he has become with Doug Pederson the quarterback I thought he would be.”

Championship odds: +4500

Up next: Jaguars @ Texans (1:00 p.m. ET Sunday, CBS)

Jacksonville Jaguars


Houston Texans


7. Minnesota Vikings (Last week: 10)

Overall record: 12-3 | Last week: Vikings won 27-24 vs. New York Giants

Colin’s thoughts: Kirk Cousins is 11-0 in one-score games. That is just insane. If Dan Marino was 11-0 in one-score games, that would be insane. He’s playing with confidence. The last three weeks, [he] leads the NFL in passer rating. They’ve got a lot of things I like: a capable quarterback, an offensive coach, a star receiver. We all kind of realize this is not going to be a Super Bowl-winning team, but they’re fun. It’s a great city that loves its football, and they’ve got a heck of a team.”

Championship odds: +1700

Up next: Vikings @ Packers (1:00 p.m. ET Sunday, FOX)

Minnesota Vikings


Green Bay Packers


6. Philadelphia Eagles (Last week: 2)

Overall record: 13-2 | Last week: Eagles lost 40-34 vs. Dallas Cowboys

Colin’s thoughts: “They are not a top-five team without Lane Johnson but their defense has six-plus sacks in four straight games. That is a lot of sacks. The D-Line, really good. They can stay in games. Cross your fingers on Jalen Hurts coming back.”

Championship odds: +450

Up next: Saints @ Eagles (1:00 p.m. ET Sunday, FOX)

New Orleans Saints


Philadelphia Eagles


5. Dallas Cowboys (Last week: 7)

Overall record: 11-4 | Last week: Cowboys won 40-34 vs. Philadelphia Eagles

Colin’s thoughts: “They’re 7-2 since Dak returned. They’ve scored 25-plus [points] in eight straight games. We all thought they’d bring on OBJ; it hasn’t hurt ‘em. They’re doing a good job offensively. Now, Dak has 11 picks since returning from injury. That’s the most by any quarterback since Week 7. It is a little concerning, and in big spots I don’t trust Mike McCarthy, but we’ve got to be fair here. They remind me a lot of the Chargers: great individual players, [but] not quite buttoned up to be a final four team. But Dallas they can pop you. They’re a heavyweight with a punch. I don’t know what their chin is, but they’re a heavyweight with a punch.”

Championship odds: +1100

Up next: Cowboys @ Titans (8:15 p.m. ET Thursday, Amazon)

Dallas Cowboys


Tennessee Titans


4. Buffalo Bills (Last week: 5)

Overall record: 12-3 | Last week: Bills won 35-13 vs. Chicago Bears

Colin’s thoughts: “Here’s the thing about the Bills that worries me: 24 giveaways this year. Only the Colts have more. You’re not beating Kansas City and Cincinnati if you’re giving the ball away two and three times a game. Now, they’re on a six-game winning streak. There’s so much I like. I like the owners. I like the GM. I pretty much like the coach. I love the quarterback. Josh Allen, though, has had five multiple interception games this year; that is the most in the NFL. I think you can get away with that in the NFC. I do not think you can get away with that in the AFC.”

Championship odds: +333

Up next: Bills @ Bengals (8:30 p.m. ET Monday, ESPN)

Buffalo Bills


Cincinnati Bengals


3. San Francisco 49ers (Last week: 4)

Overall record: 11-4 | Last week: 49ers won 37-20 vs. Washington Commanders

Colin’s thoughts: “I have questions about Brock Purdy, too, but they have an eight-game winning streak. They have allowed 20 or fewer points in eight straight games. Don’t listen to anybody: This is the most talented roster in the league. They have a Pro-Bowler everywhere: corner, safety, two at linebacker, rush end. They’re great. This team is loaded. And Brock Purdy, as I said a month ago, he’s good enough to win multiple playoffs games. Can he go to Philadelphia and win a playoff game? I’m not sure, but this team is absolutely stacked.”

Championship odds: +650

Up next: 49ers @ Raiders (4:05 p.m. ET Sunday, FOX)

San Francisco 49ers


Las Vegas Raiders


2. Kansas City Chiefs (Last week: 3)

Overall record: 12-3 | Last week: Chiefs won 24-10 vs. Seattle Seahawks

Colin’s thoughts: “It’s the best offense, the scariest offense. They have more touchdowns passes, 37, than touchdowns passes allowed, 31. And again, they’ve rebuilt a defense, O-Line, rebuilding receivers. Now, they’re not as electric as they were with Tyreek Hill. So I do not believe this team is the same kind of team that can trail 24-0 to a playoff-level team like Houston a few years ago and come back. But it’s Mahomes, it’s Andy Reid, Steve Spagnuolo dials up good playoff defenses.”

Championship odds: +425

Up next: Broncos @ Chiefs (1:00 p.m. ET Sunday, CBS)

Denver Broncos


Kansas City Chiefs


1. Cincinnati Bengals (Last week: 1)

Overall record: 11-4 | Last week: Bengals won 22-18 vs. New England Patriots

Colin’s thoughts: “The real key to Cincinnati isn’t Ja’Marr Chase. It’s not Joe Mixon. It’s Joe Burrow plus this: They’re one of two teams to have the same starting offensive line in each of the first 15 games this season. So the key with Cincinnati now [is that] Burrow’s not getting hit. Burrow has a lot of time. They’ve got two running backs if one goes down, multiple receivers if one goes down. This is how you build an NFL team.”

Championship odds: +850

Up next: Bills @ Bengals (8:15 p.m. ET Monday, ESPN)

Buffalo Bills


Cincinnati Bengals


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