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Just a month and a half remain in the NFL season, and things just keep getting better. The Giants and Bears are slipping. The Cowboys, Saints and Buccaneers are climbing back into the race. More key injuries are occurring, with Ben Roethlisberger and Rob Gronkowski leaving the Steelers and Patriots respectively, quite possibly for some time. There’s still plenty of exciting games to be had, so let’s look at what would happen as of Tuesday, November 20:
The Falcons just survived being upset by the floundering Cardinals, but they still pulled out a close win. Atlanta has shown this year that even if they can’t achieve blowouts, they’ll still do fine as long as someone takes down New Orleans for them.
San Francisco decimated Chicago on Monday Night Football to convincingly take control of the second bye. San Fran may still be missing Alex Smith, but Colin Kaepernick is filling in nicely. Defense was what was keeping Chicago up there, and San Francisco has plenty of defensive talent to go far.
Seattle may have beaten Green Bay back in Week 3, but with the replacement refs gone, Seattle can’t rely on another gift-wrapped victory. Green Bay simply has too much offensive firepower to let that happen again, and at Lambeau no less.
Both teams have now lost two in a row. New York is coming off its bye week, but still has many difficult games left on the schedule to exhaust them. Chicago‘s remaining schedule is much easier, and they still own the superior defense. Without getting better in a hurry, the Giants won’t make it far this postseason.
Houston gave up 37 points at home to Jacksonville of all teams, but still pulled off the comeback win. That’s a significant hiccup, but with Houston’s talent on both sides of the ball, nothing they can’t overcome.
Baltimore picked up another win, this time against a Pittsburgh team dealing with a pretty big injury of the own in Ben Roethlisberger. Baltimore is still looking good without their key defenders, and now has a big edge in the AFC North. They’re still unbeaten at home as well, which always helps.
Without their franchise quarterback, the Steelers are in trouble. They still have a good defense, but even so, I don’t know of anyone who’s giving the Steelers (down to their third-string quarterback after Byron Leftwich broke two ribs against Baltimore) any chance to keep up with Tom Brady and the Patriots on offense.
Indianapolis went into New England and gave up 59 points to an elite offense. With Peyton Manning running the show, Denver has an elite offense. Indianapolis has done well this season, but they’re not yet ready to defeat the quarterback they let go.
Tags: Atlanta Falcons, Baltimore Ravens, Chicago Bears, Denver Broncos, Green Bay Packers, Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, New England Patriots, New York Giants, NFL Playoffs, Pittsburgh Steelers, San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks