|2014 NBA Playoffs Expert Picks: First Round||NBA First Round Predictions||Datsyuk’s Late Heroics Topple Bruins in Game 1||Celtics Go 1-1 in Draft Order Tiebreakers|
Six weeks into the season, many teams are finding it difficult to pull ahead in their divisions. The juggernauts of Baltimore, Houston and Atlanta are the only ones to lead their divisions by more than one game. The AFC East is in a four-way tie, and the NFC West is in a three-way lead, with St. Louis not far behind. With all the clutter, there’s plenty of teams crammed into the Wildcard race as well, so let’s look at what would happen if the playoffs started as of Tuesday, October 16:
At 6-0, the Falcons are the only unbeaten team left in the NFL. They most recently won another close game at home, this time to Oakland. Atlanta may be involved in many one-possession games, but they do what they need to do and they keep winning. Certainly, any team beating Atlanta will have to earn it.
Chicago has the best defense in the league, allowing just 71 points over five games. That includes just 27 points allowed over their last three games combined. Their offense has been just as explosive as well, making them one of the most dangerous teams in the league.
Seattle came up with their win of the season so far on Sunday, taking down New England. Still, New England has trouble playing a full 60 minutes, and there are many defenses out there much better able to stop the big plays Seattle put up, including Arizona, who won this game to start the season.
The Giants marched into San Francisco and won the NFC Championship rematch, embarrassing San Francisco by allowing just a field goal. The Vikings are good, but they weren’t able to take advantage of Washington and Robert Griffin III, just coming off a concussion. With the Giants’ penchant for December and January heroics, they should be able to take care of this one.
The Texans finally lost a game, but there’s no shame in losing to Aaron Rodgers and the Packers. The Texans are still very potent, and they still put up plenty of points even in a loss. They should do fine.
Baltimore nearly let their game against Dallas get away from them. Still, they managed to hold Dallas to a long, missed field goal to end the game. Baltimore is still a very good team, but Ray Lewis is now out for the year. That isn’t the end of the world, but it will hurt.
In the four-way battle that the AFC East has become, the games are sure to be close. But in the end, New England has an elite quarterback, and New York is more boastful than anything, having already lost some key figures for the year. New England is more than capable of winning any shootout.
After going up 24-0 this past Monday night, San Diego lost at home to Denver 35-24. Against an elite player like Peyton Manning, you just can’t give up like San Diego did. If something like that can happen in San Diego, imagine what the game will be like in Denver.
Tags: Arizona Cardinals, Atlanta Falcons, Baltimore Ravens, Chicago Bears, Denver Broncos, Houston Texans, Minnesota Vikings, New England Patriots, New York Giants, New York Jets, NFL Playoffs, San Diego Chargers, Seattle Seahawks