The NFL’s Week 14 of the regular season ended this past Monday with a New England Patriots win over the Baltimore Ravens. It capped off a week that slightly shook up the NFL playoff picture, moving some teams up and some teams down/stagnant. Below, is the NFL’s standings as of the end of this past Monday.
|East||New England Patriots||11||2||0|
|East||New York Jets||4||9||0|
|West||Kansas City Chiefs||10||3||0|
|West||San Diego Chargers||5||8||0|
For the AFC, here are the top two seeds.
- New England Patriots
- Kansas City Chiefs
The next four, who as of right now will play on wild card weekend.
- Pittsburgh Steelers
- Houston Texans
- Oakland Raiders
- Denver Broncos
Four teams in the hunt:
- Miami Dolphins
- Baltimore Ravens
- Tennessee Titans
- Indianapolis Colts
Here’s the outlook for the NFC
Top two seeds:
- Dallas Cowboys
- Detroit Lions
Wild card weekend teams:
- Seattle Seahawks
- Atlanta Falcons
- New York Giants
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Four teams in the hunt:
- Washington Redskins
- Minnesota Vikings
- Green Bay Packers
- Arizona Cardinals
One team who has been struggling that comes to the surprise of many is the Green Bay Packers, whom many pegged for to make a run deep in the playoffs and toward the Super Bowl. The Packers appeared to redeem themselves with a huge 38-10 victory over the Seattle Seahawks this past Sunday, in which Aaron Rodgers went 18-23 and threw for 246 yards with three touchdowns. Because of that statement victory, Bleacher Report writer Kristopher Knox wrote about how the Packers could win out and play its way into the playoffs.
“The Packers can indeed slide into the postseason, though they’ll need help. Step one will be winning out to finish 10-6. Fortunately, the Packers face all three NFC North foes to close out the season, so there will be familiarity there, and the Packers will know what they need to do.
“The second step will be catching a team ahead of the Packers in the standings. Our guess is the Detroit Lions see their comeback streak end against the New York Giants this week. This—or a loss to the Dallas Cowboys in Week 16—would potentially set up a winner-take-all scenario between the Packers and the Lions in Week 17.”
The Denver Broncos and the Seattle Seahawks, in which both have been Super Bowl winners in the past few seasons, could both be in jeopardy to either miss the playoffs or have early exits.
“There are a couple of reasons why it’s difficult to see this Broncos team as a legitimate contender right now. Part of the problem is an inconsistent offense that is rated just 26th overall by Pro Football Focus.”
“The Seahawks barely edged out a two-point victory over the Falcons earlier this season with Thomas in the lineup. If the Seahawks play the Packers again and play like they did on Sunday, they won’t stand a chance—no matter where the game is being played.
“Things could get even worse if Seattle is forced to play a team with a stout defensive front like the Giants. The Seahawks’ thrift-store offensive line is rated 31st in run blocking and 32nd in pass blocking by Pro Football Focus for the season.”
The Broncos missing the playoffs could be a big fall from grace from their previous season’s Super Bowl run. Unfortunately, their next three opponents are the New England Patriots, Kansas City Chiefs, and the Oakland Raiders. If the Broncos win out or enough to make it to the playoffs, Denver could enter the playoffs as a strong team who’s looking to defend their Super Bowl crown.
Green Bay making the playoffs on a roll could pay huge dividends down the road. The Packers, led by Aaron Rodgers, are a veteran team who have been in the playoffs the past seven seasons. After showing their potential against the Seahawks this past weekend, a playoff run (if they make it) through the NFC championship shouldn’t be surprising.
[Featured Image by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images]