Ranking every position group on all 12 playoff teams

Antonio Brown and JuJu Smith-Schuster can both break a game wide open in a single play. Do the Steelers possess the top group of pass-catchers in the postseason? Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Every NFL team is a mixture of strengths and weaknesses, and no team excels in every area. So a good way to examine the forthcoming matchups in the postseason is to look at which units are strongest and weakest.

Below, I've ranked various units for all 12 playoff teams, combining Football Outsiders' advanced stats with scouting reports and consultation with the FO staff. For the most part, we based things on 2017 performance, but we also took players' records from past years into account. Rather than worry about defining different parts of the front seven for teams with different schemes, I ranked each team's front seven twice: against the pass and the run.

The top NFC teams are well-balanced across the board, while the AFC playoff teams, particularly Kansas City (offense) and Jacksonville (defense), are clearly stronger on one side of the ball.

Offense | Defense | Special Teams | Overall



1. New England Patriots
2. New Orleans Saints
3. Pittsburgh Steelers
4. Atlanta Falcons
5. Carolina Panthers
6. Minnesota Vikings
7. Kansas City Chiefs
8. Los Angeles Rams
9. Tennessee Titans
10. Buffalo Bills
11. Jacksonville Jaguars
12. Philadelphia Eagles

Tom Brady may end up winning NFL MVP honors by default this season, but that's still an MVP award. He led the league in Football Outsiders' passing DYAR (value per play) and was third in ESPN QBR (minimum 200 attempts). He also has the best track record of any quarterback here. Drew Brees was surprisingly good, finishing third in DYAR behind Brady and Philip Rivers, but it was a sneaky performance given the way the Saints rebuilt their offense around the run. Ben Roethlisberger recovered from early struggles (like the Jacksonville debacle) to finish fifth in DYAR and seventh in QBR.

The biggest questions here are what to do with Cam Newton and Case Keenum.