NFL’s five healthiest, most injured teams; previewing Panthers-Buccaneers
With all the drama that has happened thus far this season, the playoffs are shaping up to be eventful and full of toss-up games.
One thing you can count on is that health will play an important role. Would the Eagles have beaten the Cowboys with Jalen Hurts in the lineup? Would the Rams have been eliminated from the postseason if they weren’t the most banged-up team through the season, according to the ThePredictors.com BUS rankings to this point? If the Packers weren’t third in BUS ranking health, would they still be in contention for the playoffs?
We will never know the answers to these questions, but time has proven that health matters and healthy teams win championships.
So, who were the healthy teams in Week 16?
Healthiest Teams Ranked by BUS Score:
1. Pittsburgh Steelers – BUS: 80.4
2. Kansas City Chiefs – BUS: 80.0
3. Green Bay Packers – BUS: 79.9
4. Carolina Panthers – BUS: 78.5
5. Washington Commanders – BUS: 76.8
Least Healthy Teams Ranked by BUS Score:
32. Los Angeles Rams – BUS: 50.1
31. Tennessee Titans – BUS: 54.6
30. Arizona Cardinals – BUS: 54.8
29. Los Angeles Chargers – BUS: 56.7
28. New England Patriots – BUS: 57.4
With teams pushing for those final spots, this week’s BUS rankings and health of the teams could play a huge role in whether they make the playoffs or watch from home.
As we look to Week 17, two teams making their final push clash head-to-head in an NFC South battle between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Carolina Panthers (1 p.m. ET on FOX). Tampa Bay’s 19-16 overtime win against the Arizona Cardinals currently has the Bucs sitting atop the NFC South with their postseason resting fate in their hands. A win this week locks them in and sends them to the postseason, but a loss opens the door for the Panthers, who are one game back and hold the tiebreaker.
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Last week, the Bucs sat middle-to-back of the pack with a No. 21 ranked 66.0 Banged Up Score but played a No. 30-ranked Arizona team. This week, the Bucs come up against a much healthier team. Tampa Bay has been dealing with injuries all season, and luckily for them, their division has been far from elite allowing them to stay in the hunt. They continue to battle injuries with 15 players making the injury report last week, including those on IR. The question is which will prevail this week? Health or Tom Brady?
They face the Panthers, whose BUS rankings have been up and down this season but have been trending upward as of late. They might not so coincidentally have been playing some of their best football as their health has been improving. They finished in the top five at No. 4 last week with a 78.5 BUS ranking last week. Carolina has been dealing with personnel issues as well this year in losing RB Christian McCaffrey and WR Robbie Anderson from the roster, but have been able to pull together and squeeze out wins to stay in the playoff race. They’ll look to capitalize on the health advantage against the Bucs.
Week 17 will paint an even clearer picture of the postseason. Health will play a bigger part as teams hope to continue to gain momentum at the right time. Be sure to check out the updated BUS rankings and other NFL content Sunday morning before games on thepredictors.com and Twitter on @NFLonFOX and @SportsDocMatt.
Renowned orthopedist Dr. Matt Provencher and his company, ThePredictors.com, deliver data-driven injury insights to football fans. In this first-of-a-kind role as Athlete Injury and Performance Analyst for FOX Sports’ digital platforms, Provencher provides important predictive player health and recovery information about post-injury performance, the impact of weather, field conditions and more.
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