I won’t spend the entire article talking about the end of the Pats/Steelers game. Instead, let’s focus on the other narratives in the NFL. There is a small chance that Jacksonville could own a top-two seed, that seems so bizarre. The bipolar Panthers put together another great game against Rodgers, maybe they are a legit threat? Goff and the Rams put a beatdown on the Seahawks, the likes of which not many of us saw coming. And…WHAT THE HELL IS A CATCH?
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1st: New England Patriots (11-3) – vs. Bills, vs. Jets
2nd: Pittsburgh Steelers (11-3) – @Texans, vs. Browns
3rd: Jacksonville Jaguars (10-4) – @49ers, @Titans
4th: Kansas City Chiefs (8-6) – vs. Dolphins, @Broncos
5th: Tennessee Titans (8-6) – vs. Rams, vs. Jaguars
6th: Buffalo Bills (8-6) – @Patriots, @Dolphins
BOLD = clinched playoff spot
THERE’S now a more congested roadblock atop the AFC. After Jesse James’ catch-non-catch confusion the New England Patriots now own the top overall seed and bumped the Steelers down a rung in the process. Their third loss of the season now means that Pittsburgh could sacrifice a top two seed if they lose to the Texans or the Bro…hahahahaha. I tried to get through that with a straight face, I really did.
BARING another crazy it’s highly likely the top three are set in stone. The Chiefs retook control of the AFC West and likely locked in a playoff spot, while the Titans and Bills are the winners of the no-one-cares-who-are-the-AFC-wildcard-teams this week. Facing two tough NFC teams it’s likely that the Titans are going to finish 8-8 and the Bills could do the same thing.
Image from boltsfromtheblue.com
1st: Philadelphia Eagles (12-2) – vs. Raiders, vs. Cowboys
2nd: Minnesota Vikings (11-3) – @Packers, vs. Bears
3rd: Los Angeles Rams (10-4) – @Titans, vs. 49ers
4th: New Orleans Saints (10-4) – vs. Falcons, @Bucs
5th: Carolina Panthers (10-4) vs. Bucs, @Falcons
6th: Atlanta Falcons (9-5) – @Saints, vs. Panthers
BOLD = clinched playoff spot
NO one moved in the NFC race this week with all six seeds recording wins. With that, it’s likely that most of the teams sitting in a playoff spot will hold onto them over the final two weeks of the year. The top three will probably stay put in one order or another, but the NFC South continues to throw headaches and confusion our way. With three intra-divisional games with playoff implications remaining any of the three could still win the division and there’s a small chance that Atlanta could fall out if they crumble to 9-7.
In The Hunt
Baltimore Ravens (8-6) – vs. Colts, vs. Bengals
FOR Baltimore to claim a wildcard spot they need to overtake the Titans and Bills, given the fact that both of them own a tiebreaker over the Ravens. They are poised to do so with a game against the Colts and Bengals remaining while the teams currently sitting in the wildcard slots face tough playoff-bound foes. Even if the Ravens drop a game they can qualify for postseason action if the other two teams finish at .500, which isn’t out of the realm of possibility.
Image from dawgsbynature.com
Detroit Lions (8-6) – @Bengals, vs. Packers
Seattle Seahawks (8-6) – @Cowboys, vs. Cardinals
IT’S almost impossible for a team to crack the wildcard race if Atlanta doesn’t lose both games given the fact that the Falcons hold the tiebreak over both Detroit and Seattle. If ATL goes 0-2 though then the Lions can make it if they win out or if they go 1-1 and the Seahawks don’t beat both Dallas and Arizona. If Russell Wilson is to guide them to the playoffs though results of the other games will largely dictate their future after a loss to LA on the weekend.
Miracles Do Happen
Los Angeles Chargers (7-7)
I didn’t expect the Chargers to be here. After four straight W’s their momentum was halted and now they have their work cut out for them to make the postseason. Not only do they need to win out, but they also need the Titans, Ravens and Bills to lose their final two games. It’s not inconceivable with winnable games ahead. I wouldn’t hold your breath though Chargers fans.
Better Luck Next Year
Green Bay Packers (7-7)
Oakland Raiders (6-8)
Miami Dolphins (6-8)
Image from businessinsider.com.au
THIS is not what the Packers had in mind for Aaron Rodgers return. He joins Derek Carr and Jay Cutler as quarterbacks who are done and dusted for 2017 after each they copped another L. Despite a win from Dallas this weekend, to make the playoffs they need to beat Seattle, the Falcons to lose twice, the Lions to lose twice and THEN they need to beat the Eagles in their final game. Yeah, good luck with that.
Banner from buffalonews.com