This has been an incredibly entertaining NFL season, and with just three weeks remaining in the regular season, the playoff picture is still quite foggy. Here’s what we know:
1) The Texans, Patriots, Broncos, and Falcons have clinched spots in the playoffs .
2) The Chiefs, Jaguars, and Raiders will be battling for the first pick in the draft. The Chiefs play at Raiders, v. Colts, and at Broncos to close out the season. There’s a more than decent chance they lose all three, and if that happens, they’ll clinch the #1 overall selection. All three teams need a QB terribly, but does anyone think Matt Barkley, Geno Smith, or Tyler Wilson is wise use of a top three pick? What a bad year to be in need of a QB.
3) The Packers, Colts, Cowboys and Redskins have a pulse, but the Bears, Ravens, Bengals, and Steelers may be losing theirs. With a ton of competitive games on this week’s slate, no one is getting a free pass to the postseason.
4) The Colts, the team that picked #1 overall in this past draft, is one victory away from clinching a playoff spot. They play the Texans in two of the next three weeks, and even if they lose both of those, they can get that golden ticket by beating the Chiefs in KC.
5) I think we’ll have to wait at least another week to find out who’s winning the NFC West. The Niners are up on the Seahawks by essentially 1 ½ games but travel to
New England while the Seahawks play the Bills on a
neutral site. If both games go as Vegas
believes they will, next week’s SF/SEA matchup at CenturyLink Field could
Green Bay clinches the NFC
North with a win at Chicago.
is in with a loss by either the Bengals or Steelers.
What do I think will happen?
4) NY Giants
The Patriots win out, and the Texans lose one game, which will give
New England the #1 seed. Houston
doesn’t fall far, as they get the #2 seed over Denver based on head-to-head win
tiebreaker. Baltimore is limping to the finish line and
needs one more win to clinch the North.
That’s not a given considering the way they’re playing and that those
last three games are v. Denver, v. NYG, and at Cincinnati. With Indy looking like the #5 seed, the 6th
and final spot will likely come down to the Steelers and Bengals. I like the way the Bengals are playing on
defense, but I worry that their offense will struggle to put up points against
their remaining two opponents – Pittsburgh
and Baltimore – considering they were outscored 68-30 by those two teams in
their matchups earlier this season. I’m
going with history and the Steelers.
Seahawks v. Redskins – RGIII runs into a defense he can’t exploit; Hawks advance.
Giants v. 49ers – Third time is the charm; Niners put a beating on the champs.
Broncos v. Steelers – Rematch of last year’s shocker; Broncos win again.
Ravens v. Colts – Ravens advance as Jim Caldwell calls plays against his former team.
Falcons v. 49ers – The #1 seed and home team Falcons pull off the upset
Packers v. Seahawks – The world course corrects; Packers get rightful revenge.
Patriots v. Ravens – It’s not close this time; Patriots host championship.
Texans v. Broncos –
wins on the road, avenges week 3 home loss.
Falcons v. Packers – Packers playing better ball at this point; Falcons fall short again.
Patriots v. Broncos – Patriots beat Broncos again and advance to Super Bowl…again..
Patriots v. Packers – Repeat of Super Bowl XXXI
Same teams…Same place…Different outcome
Brady and Rodgers light up the Superdome