It is time for the NFL Playoffs to start looming large on the horizon and the divisional races are heating up to the point that even knowledgeable football fans are going to need a score card just to keep track. There are several teams that have a lock on the playoffs, but there are also quite a few that are still battling for position. As Week 15 comes around, the race is going to tighten up.
The Chiefs Set The Pace
The Kansas City Chiefs, featuring the antics of Patrick Mahomes, are still the number-one seed in the AFC with 12 wins to 1 loss, but the Pittsburgh Steelers are right behind them at 11 and 2. However, Big Ben Roethlisberger has not been looking so great of late and, as Ben goes, so go the Steelers. Pittsburgh closes with the Bengals, the Colts and the Browns, while Kansas City must face the Saints, the Falcons and the Chargers to finish off the regular season.
Over in the NFC, it’s the Green Bay Packers sitting on top now, owing to the Philadelphia Eagles beating the New Orleans Saints after sending Carson Wentz to the bench and replacing him at quarterback with rookie Jalen Hurts. The replacement provided the spark that his team needed in order to overcome the Saints. Aaron Rodgers and the Packers must still face the Carolina Panthers, the Tennessee Titans and the Chicago Bears.
Saints Need Three Wins
New Orleans still holds the second seed in the NFC with a 10-3 record just like the Packers. But, the Saints lost a game to the Packers earlier in the season, so the tie breaker goes to Green Bay, for the time-being, with three games to go before the playoffs get underway the Saints will face off against the Chiefs, the Vikings and the Panthers.
All eyes are on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, mostly because of Tom Brady, but the Bucs are currently the six seed at 8-5 and will take on the LA Rams in the first round of the playoffs as it stands today. Brady would just love to take the Buccaneers to the playoffs for the first time since 2007. But first they must get by the Atlanta Falcons, the Detroit Lions and then the Falcons again. If Atlanta is healthy, they could represent a serious challenge to Brady and the Bucs.
In the AFC, the Steelers are the number-two seed now after going undefeated for 12 weeks, they are still at 11-2 and currently hold down the number 2 seed behind the Chiefs.
Bills Ready For The Postseason
The number-three seed in the AFC belongs to the Buffalo Bills at 10-3, who still must face the Denver Broncos, the New England Patriots and the Miami Dolphins, followed by three teams bunched up at 9-4 covering the 4, 5 & 6 seed positions. They are the Titans, the Cleveland Browns and the Indianapolis Colts. The Dolphins are 8-5 and just holding on to the 7th seed position by a fin.
The Browns showed us that they can play with any team in the league by scaring the hell out of the Baltimore Ravens on Monday Night Football. They are still contenders but must first beat the New York Giants, the New York Jets and finish off with the Steelers.
Washington Comes From Behind
In the NFC again, it’s the Washington Football Team holding onto the number-four seed by virtue of taking over first place in the beleaguered NFC East division and by beating the Steelers. Washington is the only team in the NFC East with a positive point differential.
The Rams are holding down the three seed in the NFC with a 9-4 record, which is the same as the Seattle Seahawks who are currently in the 5 seed spot. Tampa Bay is still the number six seed with the Arizona Cardinals hanging on as the 7th seed at 7-6.
The Rams still must face the Jets, the Seattle Seahawks and the Arizona Cardinals, while the Seahawks will finish off the regular season playing Washington, the Rams and the San Francisco 49ers.