NFL News and Rumors: One final playoff push
NFL playoff picture
The NFL playoff picture is getting more and more clear but with one week left of the regular season, a lot is on the line. Grab your popcorn, claim your seat on the couch, and buckle up for some good games coming up this Sunday...
Let's first look at the teams that are already in:
- Kansas City Chiefs (11-4)
- New England Patriots (10-5)
- Houston Texans (10-5)
- Los Angeles Chargers (11-4)
- New Orleans Saints (13-2)
- Los Angeles Rams (12-3)
- Chicago Bears (11-4)
- Dallas Cowboys (9-6)
- Seattle Seahawks (9-6)
Cleveland vs. Baltimore
The AFC North still needs a king. It is the last remaining division that has not been clinched. The Baltimore Ravens are in a very interesting position following the Pittsburgh Steelers loss las week. Baltimore (9-6) is currently leading the division with one more game at home against the “dangerous” Baker Mayfield and the visiting Cleveland Browns (7-7-1).
For Baltimore it is simple: win and you’re in.
After a heartbreaking, late game fumble from JuJu Smith-Schuster, the Pittsburgh Steelers (8-6-1) can still win the division but with a win at home over the Cincinnati Bengals (6-9) and with a Baltimore loss.
Colts vs. Titans
If we are looking at the “game of the week”, winner take all game, look no further than the AFC South. The Houston Texans (10-5) have clinched the division, but you can’t get a tighter race for second between the Indianapolis Colts (9-6) and the Tennessee Titans (9-6) for second.
It is simple for both teams: win and you’re in.
Momentum in football is key, and in terms of these two teams, they look very different. For the Colts, quarterback Andrew Luck has carried this team on a three-game win streak with huge wins over the Texans 24-21, a 23-0 shutout over Dallas., and a comeback 28-27 win over the New York Giants last week.
On the other hand, Tennessee quarterback Marcus Mariota went down with a right arm injury last week vs. Washington late in the second quarter and did not return. Good news for the Titans is that Mariota returned to practice today in pads and throwing. His status is still unknown for Sunday, but this is a step in the right direction.
Indianapolis vs. Tennessee kicks off at 5:20 PM (PT) on Sunday night.
Philadelphia vs. Washington
Philadelphia (8-7) picked up a huge win two weeks ago on Monday Night Football visiting the Los Angeles Rams. And after another big win last week to the Houston Texans, the Eagles need some help to get into the playoffs not just by beating Washington (7-8) this Sunday, but with also a Chicago (11-4) victory over Minnesota (8-6-1).
Beating Washington is no easy task. First off, this game is in Washington and the home team always has the slight advantage. Secondly, backup backup quarterback Josh Johnson, in his seventh year in the league, threw for 153 yards on 13-for-23 yards and one touchdown last week vs. the Titans. The tough test for the Eagles will be if their defense can show up like it did against the Rams two weeks ago.
If Philadelphia and Chicago win, the Eagles will jump the Vikings to claim the final NFC Wildcard spot.
Both teams are on the road and will kickoff at 1:25 PM (PT) on Sunday.