Well , we are now down to the final two weeks of the National Football League season and surprise surprise everybody is talking about who will make the playoffs, who won’t make the playoffs, and all of the fun stuff in between such as injury matters and things of that sort.
The season concludes one week from this Sunday, and there are a hell of a lot of franchises that a) need to win both remaining games, and b) teams that don’t need to win them, and c) which teams will rest which players to avoid an injury at the worst possible time. Are there any categories that I have overlooked?
I like the AFC myself, but let’s start with the NFC as there was one story out of Green Bay that’s garnered a lot of talking. The Packers are reporting that Aaron Rodgers won’t be playing this weekend.
The Packer’s ultra-cautious approach with their star gunslinger will continue for at least one more week. Rodgers did not receive medical clearance to return and has been ruled out of this Sunday’s game against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Mind you the game is more important for the Steelers to win than it is for the Packers. However Green Bay can win the NFC North with two wins to wrap up the regular season. To do that, they will rely on the arm of backup Matt Flynn. Flynn will be getting his fourth straight start.
The Pack finish the season against the Chicago Bears.
Rodgers has been out since October when he fractured his collar bone.
Up in the NFC East, Philadelphia and Dallas are neck-and-neck. Despite the one hell of a roller-coaster ride that Cowboys fans go through not just year in and year out, but week in and week out, there still remains a possibility that “America’s Team” could still make the playoffs.
This week they are at FedEx Field to play Washington, and next week wrap up with the Eagles. I like their chances with Washington, Philly, not so much.
Philly meanwhile hosts Chicago this weekend, if you are a Philly fan, that game could be the season, win and you are probably in, lose and pray that something goes right for you in Week 17.
Carolina and New Orleans are a country mile ahead in the South division. Everyone knew going into the season that the Saints would be a dominant force. No one knew that Carolina would be too. So, what better possible match for this Sunday could there possibly be than to put both of them together on the same football field and watch them try to beat the snot out of each other? Denver who? Lol. If Cam Newton can get it done against the Saints this time, Carolina will enter Super Bowl talk for sure. He didn’t so much against Brees two weeks ago.
That all leaves the West division, where the Seahawks, current leaders of the entire pack at 12-2 look down on the 49ers, just barely. SF sits at 10-2 but nobody bets against them just yet, they nearly won the Super Bowl last year, and the fact that they made it last year, suggests they might be able to do it again. I love NFL.
Kaepernick’s year of experience vs Russell Wilson’s lack of it?!?
All of the debate in the American Conference seems to revolve around the Miami Dolphins and what they may or may not do after Week 17.
Two very winnable games round off Miami’s schedule, this weekend at Buffalo and closing out vs. NY Jets.
Two wins and a possible two losses for New England put the fish in top spot, they get into the playoffs and who knows what transpires?
In the North, for the first time, the Steelers appear to be down and out; however two straight wins against the Aaron Rodgers-less Packers and closing out against the mistake-prone Cleveland Browns, and Pittsburgh could wind up in rather than out.
Baltimore has the Patriots at home and are in Cincinnati to close the season.
The Steelers will not catch Cincinnati, but if Baltimore losses out, they may not have too.
In the South, the Colts have guaranteed themselves a playoff spot; Tennessee at 5-9 is probably already eliminated.
And in the West, the competition in the playoffs will likely revolve around the Denver Broncos, and the Chiefs are right there with them, both at 11-3. Broncos easily have the easier schedule, playing Texans and Raiders. Only question remains is how long Wes Welker will be out, and how far they can make it in the playoffs this year.