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Just one more week left, and the playoffs will be finalized. New England survived a scare to maintain the top spot, while the AFC West and NFC East will be decided in the final week. The AFC North is still up for grabs; Baltimore is currently in line for a home playoff game for a change. That’s a total of three playoff spots to be determined, so let’s look at what would happen if the playoffs started as of Tuesday, December 27:
Green Bay jumped right back to their usual routine by putting up 35 points against their arch nemesis Chicago. They’re still clearly the team to beat.
San Francisco held on to win a squeaker in Seattle, even after giving up their first rushing touchdown of the season. San Francisco can definitely win on defense, but going up against the likes of Green Bay or New Orleans will still require their offense to be more productive for the team to hang in there.
New Orleans won this game on Monday night n a 45-16 beat-down which saw Drew Brees break Dan Marino’s record. Atlanta will have a bitter taste in their mouths from that, but Drew Brees and the Saints’ offense already proved that they won’t be stopped.
New York is in a very shaky division, and they’re just 4-7 in the conference. Detroit is on a three-game winning streak and is having their best season since the mid-1990s. If Detroit has their wits about them, they shouldn’t have too much trouble defeating the Giants.
Once again Tom Brady had to bail out a terrible Patriots‘ defense. At least the defense held in the second half. New England easily has the best offense in the AFC, but they’re setting themselves up for another big fall.
Baltimore is one of the better teams in the AFC. They have a good offense to go with a very good defense, and they’re the only team in the conference that’s unbeaten at home. Baltimore is definitely set up to go a long way.
Houston is on a losing streak, thanks to the suddenly pretty good Colts. Cincinnati is on a two-game winning streak, which helped them reclaim the last seed. Cincinnati has had some trouble with good teams, so if Houston can put up some points, they could get their first playoff win in as many tries.
Denver allowed Buffalo to put up 40 points in the process of dropping their second game in a row. Pittsburgh once again showed off a good mix of offense and defense in a 27-0 blanking of the lowly Rams. It’s been very difficult for any non-Baltimore team to defeat Pittsburgh this year, and the Broncos have a losing home record, so Pittsburgh definitely has the edge.
Tags: Atlanta Falcons, Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals, Denver Broncos, Detroit Lions, Green Bay Packers, Houston Texans, New England Patriots, New Orleans Saints, New York Giants, NFL Playoffs, Pittsburgh Steelers, San Francisco 49ers