the five healthiest and most injured teams in the NFL; preview Panthers-Buccaneers

With all the drama that has happened so far this season, the playoffs are shaping up to be hectic and full of games to throw.

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 playoffs if they had not been the most stoned team of the season, according to the BUS rankings at this point? If the Packers weren’t third in the BUS standings, would they still be in playoff contention?

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?

The 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

As teams battle for those final spots, this week’s BUS standings and team health 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 will face off 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 over the Arizona Cardinals currently puts the Bucs atop the NFC South with their playoff destiny in their hands. A win this week locks them in and sends them to the playoffs, 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 in the middle of the pack with a 66.0 ranked No. 21, but faced a team from Arizona ranked No. 30. This week, the Bucs come up against a team much healthier. Tampa Bay has struggled with injuries all season, and luckily for them, their division is far from elitist, which has kept them in the hunt. They continue to struggle with injuries with 15 players filing injury reports last week, including those on IR. The question is who will win this week? Health or Tom Brady?

They’ll face the Panthers, whose BUS rankings have been up and down this season but have been trending up lately. They may not have played some of their best football by chance as their health has improved. They finished in the top five at No. 4 last week with a 78.5 BUS ranking last week. Carolina also faced personnel issues this year losing RB Christian McCaffrey and WR Robbie Anderson from the roster, but was able to regroup and pick up wins to stay in playoff contention. They will be looking to capitalize on the health advantage against the Bucs.

Week 17 will paint an even clearer picture of the playoffs. Health will play a bigger role as teams hope to continue to gain momentum at the right time. Be sure to check out updated BUS standings and other NFL content Sunday morning before games on and Twitter at @NFLonFOX and @SportsDocMatt.

Renowned orthopedic surgeon Dr. Matt Provencher and his company,, provide football fans with data-driven injury insights. In this unique role of athlete injury and performance analyst for FOX Sports digital platforms, Provencher provides important predictive insights into player health and recovery regarding post-injury performance, impact weather, field conditions and more.

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