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75% of the season is now over, but the playoff situation is still very much up in the air, with only the two unbeaten teams having secured spots so far. The Bengals dropped a spot, and the Pats showed why they’ll have a hard time advancing. We’re really seeing teams fight hard and fast for a coveted playoff spot. It’s definitely anyone’s game and plenty of shakeups could potentially happen before January. With that in mind, let’s look at what would happen if the playoffs started as of Tuesday, December 8:
That was a rocky game against the Redskins. Washington handed New Orleans a golden opportunity when they missed a field goal that would have given them a 10 point lead with less than two minutes left. Still, if New Orleans had that much difficulty with Washington, how long will they be able to keep their winning ways up?
For the first time this season, Brett Favre looked human all game. Arizona took it to Minnesota, picking off Favre twice (the first multiple interception game for Favre this season) and winning 30-17. Minnesota will have to pick it up if they want to move out of the first round this year.
Arizona is on a roll, having beaten Minnesota to move to .500 at home. Green Bay is also on a roll, having won four straight. This looks to be a high scoring affair, with anyone coming out on top in the end. Kurt Warner’s experience edge over Aaron Rogers may prove to be decisive.
Dallas won in Philadelphia, 20-16, in Week 9 but Philadelphia has won three straight, while Dallas has left something to be desired. With Philadelphia’s convincing play lately, it’s hard to argue against the Eagles. Dallas needs to get back on track and do it fast.
The Colts managed to knock off the surging Titans to stay unbeaten. And they tied the Patriots’ regular season win streak of 21 straight wins in the process. They have all the tools they need to defeat Denver at home Sunday, and they shouldn’t have too much trouble with home field advantage.
San Diego has won seven straight to march into a bye slot based on conference record. San Diego visits Dallas next week, then hosts Cincinnati, in a game that could very well decide the 2 seed. With memories of the Raiders loss fresh in our heads, San Diego could easily be in this seed for the rest of the season.
Jacksonville came through and passed a tough test in the Houston Texans, while the Bengals could only beat Detroit by 10. The Bengals will be able to essentially rest their starters with the division virtually wrapped up, which could either hurt or help them depending on whether or not they get rusty. The Jaguars will remain fighting for their playoff lives, so their starters will have less rust, but face a higher chance of getting injured.
New England lost a heartbreaker in Miami, while Denver marched into Kansas City and destroyed the Chiefs. New England has had real trouble winning and converting on 4th down recently. Denver seems to have ended its losing skid from earlier this season, and (based on their last game) will give the Pats a run for their money in New England.
Tags: Arizona Cardinals, Cincinnati Bengals, Dallas Cowboys, Denver Broncos, Green Bay Packers, Indianapolis Colts, Jacksonville Jaguars, Minnesota Vikings, New Orleans Saints, NFL Playoffs, Patriots, Philadelphia Eagles, San Diego Chargers