The Buccaneers deserve their own category simply because their playoff scenario is stranger than Rex Ryan’s proclivity for hidden cameras in an orthopedic surgeon’s office. Not only do the Bucs need a game to end in a tie, they also need two meaningless non-conference games to end in their favor. Oh, and for the Niners to beat Seattle too.
The Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook has published their Advanced Lines for NFL Week 16. Once again the New England Patriots are listed as the heaviest favorite of the week.
Heading into Week 15 only the Dallas Cowboys have clinched a playoff spot. After this weekend that is bound to change. Six other teams, including the New England Patriots, can punch a ticket to the post-season this weekend.
It is December and we are now in the fourth quarter of the 2016 NFL regular season.
That means it is now late enough in the year that we can talk about playoff races.
Happy Turkey Day everyone! NFL fans will be treated to what looks like three interesting and competitive games today. None of the six teams playing Thursday enter the day with a losing record; I can’t recall that ever being the case in previous years. Sit back, drink, feast and enjoy the company of your family and friends everyone.
Dallas has reeled off eight wins in a row, and now possess the best record in the league. In an early Sunday game the Cowboys host Baltimore, who has won each of their games since a Week 8 bye and are now atop the AFC North.
Week 12 features five division games, two of which are part of the Thanksgiving Day triple header. NFC rivalries start Turkey Day, commencing with Minnesota at Detroit and then followed by Washington at Dallas. Sunday finishes with two AFC rivalry games that swapped places for Sunday Night Football. Originally the Patriots were scheduled to play the Jets on NBC. Thanks to Gang Green’s totaling more losses in their first ten games than they compiled in all of 2015, that game was removed from prime time. The Chiefs and Broncos both have seven victories already, tied for the most in the AFC with New England and Oakland. End result is that Kansas City at Denver will be the showcase game on Sunday night
Week 10 is highlighted by the return of the New England Patriots to NFL action. The 7-1 Pats host the 5-2-1 Seattle Seahawks in a rematch of Super Bowl 49, arguably the best championship game in professional football history. The game kicks off at 8:30 pm eastern time at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough and will be televised on NBC.
Best games of NFL Week 10 are Seahawks at Patriots, Cowboys at Steelers and Broncos at Saints.
The Seahawks will have to travel across three time zones to play an early game, and that is never an easy task. While the Jet defense may not have shown much in the first two games, they have the talent to shut down a Seattle offense that has stumbled thus far with a completely revamped offensive line still searching for effective synergy.
The final game of wild card weekend pits the Green Bay Packers at Washington Redskins. During the off season Green Bay was expected to be a Super Bowl contender, and the Pack is in the post-season for the seventh consecutive season. Washington on the other hand was viewed as being one of worst teams in the league before the season began; this is just their second winning season in eight years, and their last playoff victory came ten years ago when Joe Gibbs was still the head coach for Washington.
The NFL regular season is supposed to reward teams with the best records with an advantage in the playoffs, but Vegas handicappers differ with their opinion. Of the four teams playing at home in the first round of the NFL playoffs only one is favored to win. Despite all the disparaging comments about their division, the NFC East lays claim to the only home favorite in the wild card round. The Washington Redskins are the sole lone favorite this weekend, and that is by just one point – despite the traditional three points being placed in favor of the home team. The Packer playoff mystique is long gone after last week’s home loss to the Vikings
While many of the top NFL teams such as New England, Seattle, Carolina and Green Bay lost in Week 16, nobody was more negatively affected than the Pittsburgh Steelers. A shockingly flat performance against an injury-riddled Baltimore team that was forced to start an out-of-work Ryan Mallett at quarterback will most likely keep them out of post-season play. Losses by the Patriots and Panthers prevented those teams from securing home field advantage throughout the playoffs, but did not drop them in the playoff standings. Seattle’s loss at worse means only the difference between a fifth and sixth seed, and despite the Packers looking abysmal on Sunday night, they are still in the driver’s seat to win the division and claim the number three seed in the NFC.
While NFL Week 15 did not do much to the playoff picture other than end the misery for a handful of teams by officially eliminating them from post-season play, it did bring genuine contenders one step closer to clinching scenarios in Week 16. Eighteen teams still have at least a mathematical chance at a playoff spot with two weeks to go; that is surely something that Roger Goodell’s parity-driven Park Avenue league office that strives for participation banners is surely proud of.
He really has a three-week audition for the Patriots. If he can produce and become a reliable target during the games against the Titans, Dolphins and Jets, then he can work himself into a nice supporting role for the post-season.
|USA TODAY - Jun 25th, 2022|