UPSTATE, NY – I have to admit, it’s going to be pretty hard to write this column considering the Buffalo Bills were knocked out of playoff contention only minutes before I had the opportunity to sit down and start this piece… but sadly it is the truth.
A lot happened on-the-field this past weekend. The New Orleans Saints lost at home to the Atlanta Falcons and the Baltimore Ravens fell on the road to the Houston Texans are just a couple examples of final scores many didn’t expect come 5 p.m. Sunday night. And with that being said, nine of the 12 playoff spots have been filled. However, that doesn’t mean a lot can’t happen between now and Sunday night.
The NFC South, NFC North, AFC North and one AFC Wild Card slot are all still left to be had.
Here are a few of the key Sunday games and what they mean to the playoff picture:
Carolina Panthers at Atlanta Falcons: This matchup is a battle for the NFC South title. In a do or die matchup, each team has everything to play for – making this bout the most exciting game of the weekend.
Detroit at Green Bay: While both teams are already in the playoffs, the NFC North is still up for grabs. This matchup might not be as exciting as the NFC South title game, it’ll be fun to see who wants home-field advantage and a first round bye more.
San Diego at Kansas City: If the Chargers win they’re in. Kansas City on the other hand needs a bit more help if they want to make it into the playoffs. With a win and a Baltimore loss the Chiefs could extend their season into January.
Cincinnati at Pittsburgh: This matchup was flexed to Sunday night yesterday. It’s a similar to the NFC North title game, but while this matchup is for the AFC North crown, all the winner gets is a home game for wild card weekend. But hey, that’s still something to play for.
Here’s how it’ll all play out:
American Football Conference:
AFC East Champs: New England
AFC West Champs: Denver
AFC North Champs: Pittsburgh
AFC South Champs: Indianapolis
Wild Card: San Diego
Wild Card: Baltimore
National Football Conference:
NFC West Champs: Seattle
NFC North Champs: Detroit
NFC East Champs: Dallas
NFC South Champs: Atlanta
Wild Card: Arizona
Wild Card: Green Bay
Feel free to comment below and come back tomorrow for happy-go-lucky Cowboys’ fan, Grinding Ax Walter Hynes.