“NFL-Fight for Playoff Spots”
Three weeks left in the NFL season and so many games that mean so much to so many team, but so few playoff spots. The prime example is what’s happening in the AFC, where most of the 1st place slots are decided but anyone-everyone is in the fight for the two wildcard spots.
Here’s a closeup look at each of the AFC teams, the games left, and what might happen with 3-games left in the regular season:
CHIEFS (10-4)..You wonder if the Covid outbreak hurts them in the final couple of weeks. Should beat the Steelers and win at Cincinnati and Denver…if Tyreek Hill-Travis Kelce get back soon and there are no other outbreaks. Likely (13-4)
PATRIOTS (9-5)..Last weekend’s beatdown was unexpected. Getting their banged up running backs back in the lineup will help QB-Mac Jones. Likely run the table with home wins against one dimension Buffalo, lowly Jacksonville, and a road finale with Miami. Finish (12-5)
TITANS (10-5)…The hottest team in the NFL at mideason, devastated by offensive injuries, Derrick Henry, Julio Jones, AJ Brown, and now the left side of the offensive line. Ryan Tannehill (14-interceptions) is taking sacks and not winning games. Came back to beat the 49ers and should win over Miami and beat Houston. Coming home (12-5). Can they get Henry and their OL back for the playoffs?
RAVENS (8-6)..Were running away with the division, then Lamar Jackson hurt an ankle, and eventhough Tyler Huntley is good as a backup, do they have enough to support superstar tight end Mark Andrews and can the defense survive the loss of Marlon Humphrey? Games with Rams-Bengals could turn into losses. A win over the Steelers won’t do it. Finish (9-8)
CHARGERS (8-6)…Can’t catch Kansas City but you would not want to play these guys early in playoffs. Hoping this weeklong Covid outbreak does not spread. Sweep the final three over Houston-Denver-Raiders. Ending record (11-6)
BILLS (8-6)…Way too much reliance on QB-Josh Allen and now the receiving group is ailing. Looks like tired team. Lose to Patriots but beat Falcons-Jets. Close out (10-7)-not what we expected at start of the season.
BENGALS (8-6)…If they get there, they will have earned it. Nice mix run-throw on offense, and will have to grind out wins vs Baltimore-Cleveland. Don’t think they beat Kansas City. Might make it at (10-7)
BROWNS (7-7)…So much expected-so disappointing, all the injuries, the Covid outbreaks. Tough finish to schedule. Likely losses to Green Bay and Bengals, do beat Pittsburgh. Don’t get in (8-9)
DENVER (7-7)…Middle of road team with hot-cold quarterbacking, young receivers who have not blossomed and lots of doubts about the head coach Vic Fangio. Lose all three to Raiders-Chargers-Chiefs. Rebuilding ends at (7-10)
COLTS (8-6)…Have come together and Carson Wentz has stayed on the field, and RB-Jonathon Taylor could be the MVP of the year for his Sunday-to-Sunday performances. Showdown game at Arizona, then likely wins over the Raiders and Jaguars. Indy winds up (10-7)
RAIDERS (7-7)..So much promise, such a disappointment. Derek Carr cannot do this by himself , with problems top to bottom on their roster. Beat Denver, lose to Indy-Chargers. Never expected (8-9)
MIAMI (7-7)…Some coaching job by Brian Flores to pick up the pieces after a lousy start to the season. They beat battered New Orleans but don’t see them doing it against Tennessee and New England. Sorry in Sunshine State (8-9)
STEELERS (7-6-1)..The mighty have fallen badly. Feels like this is beginning of major rebuild. Don’t see them winning against the Chiefs-Browns-Ravens which would mean Mike Tomlin’s first losing season ever. Wind up (7-9-1)
TEXANS-JAGUARS-JETS….Combined (8-34). Wait till next year or down the road some. Deshaun Watson will be somewhere else next year. Trevor Lawrence needs a new head coach. The Jets need players, lots of them.