Remaining Games for NFL Playoff Contenders

Now that we know that division champions Titans (AFC South), Cardinals (NFC West) and Giants (NFC East) are securely in playoffs, let’s take a look at the final three games of the teams vying for the remaining five division titles and nine coveted playoff berths.

NFC

CAR (10-3) DEN, @NYG, @NO – My pick to win the NFC South, proved they are playoff ready against the Bucs but there is more work to be done.

TB (9-4)   @ATL, SDO, OAK – I still believe a wildcard berth awaits Gruden and Garcia, but a key NFC South match-up waits in week 15.

DAL (8-5) NYG, BAL, @PHI – Are Romo and the ‘Boys limping home again??  Their season will be on the line as they face the Giants in a key NFC East rivalry game.

ATL (8-5) TAM, @MIN, STL – Are Matt “Ice” Ryan and head coach Mike Smith hitting a wall??  Falcons need to beat the Bucs to get back on track

MIN (8-5)   @ARI, ATL, NYG  – With an uncomfortable 1-game lead, controversy surrounds Brad Childress’ team with questions of “What QB to play” and “Will the Williams Tag Team be allowed to play” are in the air.

PHI (7-5-1) CLE, @WAS, DAL  – The Eagles fueled by a cry of “Remember the Tie”, have stormed back in the playoff race.  Andy Reid’s team knows they must win-out so following up their huge win over the Giants with a MNF beat-down of the Browns is omnipotent.

CHI (7-6) NO, GB, @HOU – Fueled by two home games, the tough at home Bears will try to catch the Vikes with their crucial 3-game trek beginning on Thursday against the upstart Saints.

NO (7-6) @CHI (Thurs), @DET, CAR – The Saints and record-setting quarterback Drew Brews keep marching on, but Thursday’s NFL Network classic against the Bears (rematch of 2005 NFC Championship) will be tough.

WAS (7-6) @CIN, PHI, @SFO – Should beat the Bengals, but Jim Zorn’s squad is limping home after losing four of their last six games.

AFC

PIT (10-3) @BAL, @TEN, CLE – P’Burgh quite possible could be the AFC’s best team as they are solid in all three phases of the game (offense, defense, and special teams).  I still believe Mike Tomlin’s team wins the AFC North, but tough road games against the Ravens and Titans await.

IND (9-4) DET, @JAC, TEN – Have won six games in a row and look for them to be on a roll as the playoffs approach due to a nice schedule.

BAL (9-4) PIT, @DAL, JAC – I still believe it will be the tough Ravens and the veteran Patriots or Jets vying for the last wildcard spot.  Of course the Ravens can put any wildcard talk to rest with a win over the rival Steelers this week.

NYJ (8-5) BUF, @SEA, MIA – If Favre and the Jets want to be AFC East champs, they will need to pick-it-up down the stretch taking advantage of a weak schedule.

DEN (8-5) @CAR, BUF, @SDO – One more win and the weak AFC West is all Mike Shanahan’s, but the Bronco schedule is not so favorable as they face hungry teams like the Panthers and Chargers.

NE (8-5)  @OAK, ARI, @BUF – Even though they are injured, history is on the side of Bill Belichick’s team as they are 21-2 in December under the volatile coach since 2003.  The Pats will look to ride a favorable schedule to an AFC East crown.

MIA (8-5) SF, @KAN, @NYJ – Quickly becoming the NFL’s best story of 2008 (Great turnaround from 1-15), the Dolphins should get their shot against the Jets in week 17.  Before thinking of visions of Favre and the Jets, the ‘Phins must first take care of business against the tough Niners and the run-happy Chiefs.

SD (4-8) @KAN, @TAM, DEN – Hanging on by the NFL’s thinnest thread with a shot at the sorry AFC West crown, the Bolts must win-out and hope that the Bronco stumble on their way to their week 17 match-up.

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