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Just over a month remains in the season, and it’s still an entertaining battleground. The weakened Steelers are making for a great Wildcard race in the AFC, while the Pats and Broncos are both challenging for a bye. The Wildcard race in the NFC is even more of a frenzy; even the Redskins are making a push. And despite Chicago’s two recent losses, they’re still neck-and-neck with San Fran for #2. Still, no team has wrapped up a playoff spot for certain, so let’s look at what would happen if the playoffs started as of Tuesday, November 27:
Atlanta may have just squeaked by in Tampa, but they showed the fortitude to win another close game. You could make the case that Atlanta is pressing their luck, but they certainly have the talent to keep their good fortunes going.
San Francisco marched into New Orleans to face a rejuvenated Saints team and took care of business very nicely. With their defense and a pretty good offense going for them as well, San Francisco will be a difficult out in January.
Chicago ended their mini losing streak against Minnesota, even using a fake extra point to rev themselves up. Seattle, meanwhile, couldn’t quite tough out an attack by the sprinkler system in Miami and is still treading water in the Wildcard race. Chicago’s defense is still excellent, and Seattle won’t get anywhere against them without some good momentum.
New York put it together in a big way, winning this home game against Green Bay 38-10 Sunday night. That will make as big a statement as anything, but New York can’t afford to get the least bit complacent when facing a team on an elite level like Aaron Rodgers and the Packers.
Blame the referees for screwing up the touchdown call on the long run, blame Jim Schwartz for throwing the challenge flag and handing Houston seven points (and thus the victory) and Houston should have lost. However, they still put up a great showing in Detroit and are still the favorites in the AFC.
Baltimore keeps finding ways to keep hold of their #2 spot, this time converting on a late 4th-and-29 and later winning in OT. Yes, 4th-and-29. And it was a simple dump off to Ray Rice, who got 28 yards after the catch. Impressively, even injuries aren’t keeping Baltimore down.
In their loss to the Browns, Pittsburgh showed just how depleted they are. Even without Rob Gronkowski, the Patriots decimated the Jets. New England is capable of weathering their current injuries; Pittsburgh isn’t.
Denver may not have blown out Kansas City like everyone thought would happen, but they ground out the win nonetheless. Similarly, Indianapolis held off Buffalo’s challenge to remain atop the Wildcard race. Still, with Peyton Manning and home-field advantage, Denver has the major edge.
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