NFL… It’s Crunch Time!

Here we are with only a few weeks left in the season and it is crunch time. I’ll set you up with what the playoffs would look like if the season ended today, 14 weeks into the season:

AFC North: Steelers (First Round bye)
AFC East: Patriots (Get a bye and home field through out)
AFC West: Chiefs (One home playoff game)
AFC South: Jaguars (One home playoff game)
Wildcards: Jets and Ravens

NFC North: Bears (First round bye)
NFC South: Falcons (Bye and Home Field throughout)
NFC East: Eagles (One home playoff game)
NFC West: Rams (One Home playoff game)
Wildcards: Saints, Giants

Still a lot of games to be played and a lot of tough games on the schedule for playoff teams. A lot of flip flopping and changes can still happen. For my team’s sake, I’ll give a quick lay out of what needs to happen for the Chiefs and the Seahawks to get into the playoffs. Then I will give you what I think will happen for the rest of the league.

For the Chiefs and Seahawks it is very easy, win out, and you’re in. The Chiefs play on the road at St. Louis, then home against the Titans and Raiders. A Chiefs win over the Rams actually helps Seattle out a lot. However, Seattle will decide their own fate. They play the Rams in the final week of the regular season and I think the winner of that game will most likely go on to the playoffs. An interesting side note in the AFC West. If the Chiefs lose to the Rams and Titans, they can still get in if they beat the Raiders and if the Chargers lose to the Broncos the last week of the season. I really hope it wouldn’t come down to that, but it could happen. Like i said, the Chiefs can make it easy for themselves and win out and take the division and a first round home playoff game.

The Jets are on a 2 game losing streak and things could be getting even worse for them. They play on the road the next two weeks against the Steelers and the Bears, 2 teams that are riding high and leading their respective divisions. They play their last game at home against the Bills, but the Bills have shown they have some fight and will not be an easy win. There is a good chance the Jets end up 10-6, maybe even slip to 9-7 if things get really bad. That’s good news for the Chargers who are looking to gain a wild card spot by winning out (if the Chiefs also win out). That would set up an interesting first round match up, most likely putting the Chargers at Kansas City in week 1 of the playoffs. It could happen, not sure I want that to happen. I’d rather face the Jets if I were the Chiefs. The Ravens still have some tough games on their schedule, but I think they will probably end up 11-5 or 10-6 and make it as a wild card. I think the winner of the AFC South (whoever wins in the Indy/Jacksonville game this Sunday) will win the division. I don’t think a wild card comes out of there, especially with the Chiefs beating the Jags and Chargers beating the Colts earlier this season. I think tie breakers would go to the AFC west there, if it came down to it.

I think the Steelers and Patriots will maintain their positions and get first round byes.

In the NFC, I thought the Packers were gonna do something this year, however, Aaron Rodgers goes out last Sunday and they lose to the Lions and I think that about seals their fate. They are playing on the road against the Patriots this week and I just don’t see GB winning that game. Having the NY Giants and Bears at home are nice, but those are tough teams to beat. I see the Packers ending up 9-7 and probably missing the playoffs this year. However, if they can beat the Giants and end up 10-6, and if the Giants end up 10-6, GB would hold the tie breaker and I like either the Giants or Packers going to the playoffs this year, so that will be a critical game. The Eagles and Giants play this week, and the winner will most likely win the division and get the home playoff game and fighting for home field advantage and a first round bye. I think the Eagles will win it. The Bears have a very tough last few weeks as well, going to Minnesota, getting the Jets at home, then at Green Bay. They are also looking for a home game and first round bye.  In the South, I think Atlanta will end up winning the division because of their schedule. The Saints play on the road against the Ravens and the Falcons. If the Saints win those two games, they will win the division. If they slip up once, they will be the best wild card team in the playoffs this year. But home field is so key for both the Falcons and Saints. It will be very interesting to see how it plays out.

Who do you think will make the playoffs? What are your predictions?

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