15. Tennessee Titans
Two weeks ago the Titans lost to the Colts. Had they won that game they might be in the drivers seat for the playoffs, now they have to get a little help. But a win gives the Titans a really good chance to get in. The Texans will not have a first round bye, most likely so they could rest their starters in week 17 giving the Titans an excellent opportunity to win. Will they capitalize on it?
14. New York Jets
The J-E-T-S got embarrassed in the second half against the New York Giants, a team that has been embarrassed more than a few times in the second half of the season. It’s really all because of this one play.
Eli Manning and the Giants Wide Receivers really struggled much of the day, but in the second half the Giants running game finally picked up some steam resulting in a Giants victory.
13. Dallas Cowboys
The Cowboys have their work cut out for them this week. Thankfully they get to travel to New York to play the Giants, a team that is terrible in New York. The problem is that the Cowboys will have to rely on a Wolverine like healing ability from Tony Romo to have him at full strength. If he can’t grip a football, and Stephen McGee has to quarterback this team into the playoffs against the Giants pass rush it could be a really long day. Will the Cowboys try to block Jason Pierre Paul in this game?
12. Cincinnati Bengals
The Bengals wish the season ended last week. Now they have to take on the Baltimore Ravens, in a game the Ravens need. This game very well could be the difference between the Ravens having a first round bye and a home playoff game and traveling on the road to Houston in the first week of the playoffs. Good luck, Bengals.
11. Atlanta Falcons
I’m not sure what to think of the Falcons and will see what kind of game they do this week. I think the Falcons can definitely make noise when they get into the playoffs with their running game and improved defense. But if they lose to the Saints they might have to enter the playoffs as the sixth seed which means traveling to New Orleans or San Fran, which won’t be easy games. The Falcons have some good defensive speed and plenty of weapons on offense.
10. Detroit Lions
What an impressive performance by the Lions. I really thought the Chargers would that game out-right, but the Lions wanted no part of missing the playoffs. I think they can easily win a first round playoff game, winning the 5th seed they will probably only have to travel to the Cowboys or Giants. If they end up with the sixth seed they are going to San Fran or New Orleans
9. Pittsburgh Steelers
The Steelers like to think they have the best defense in the league, but they saw the real best defense in the league when they traveled to San Francisco. Big Ben will have a few weeks to get ready and it looks like he’ll be traveling out to Denver or Oakland, which are very winnable games for the Steelers.
8. Denver Broncos
The Wheels have come off the bus a little bit for the Broncos here. Two losses in a row with the on one Sunday being brutal. This was Tim Tebow’s worst game as a professional football player. He needs a big bounce back week at home against the Chiefs.
7. New York Giants
I still don’t trust them to win this game against Dallas at home. But that’s me being a cynical Giants fan. Prior to Sunday’s game Mike Garafolo at The Newark Star Ledger wrote a piece on how the Giants defense was getting back to basics instead of having complicated last second scheme checks. Why did it take that long to change that? I realize they held Mark Sanchez in check, but still. How many blown coverages have they had all year? They’ve been running around like a chicken with its head cut off much of the season. They probably should have done that weeks ago.
Eli Manning has struggled two games in a row now can he have a big bounce back week?
6. Houston Texans
I feel for the Texans. At least they will still make the playoffs unlike the Bears, but losing your starting quarterback the first time your franchise ever makes the playoffs is tough. Especially because with a health Schuab the Texans were playing like the best team in the A.F.C., but at least a foundation has been built and a precedent set. Now can they do this again next year if Peyton Manning is healthy?
5. Baltimore Ravens
Good one week bad the next week. I have no idea who this team is. They will probably come out and blow-out the Bengals and look like Superbowl contenders this week because it’s just been that kind of season.
4. San Fran 49ers
I think Smith is getting too much credit. His numbers look great this year, but much of that success should belong to the coaching staff. Nevertheless, with Smith protecting the football and making plays when he needs to, the 49ers have as good a chance as any team in the league to be playing in the Superbowl with their excellent defense and plus running game.
3. New Orleans Saints
Whether or not the Saints win the Superbowl this much is certain: they will be fun to watch. Drew Brees looks to take a hold of the single season passing record tonight from Dan Marino, and likely cement his legacy as a future hall of famer. As you can tell by their #3 overall ranking I think the Saints will win tonight’s game.
2. New England Patriots
The Dolphins gave them a scare and they have a lot of holes, but with their Quarterback you can never count them out. What other team could maybe win home field throughout the playoffs with wide receivers in their secondary?
1. Green Bay Packers
This team’s aura has taken a bit of a hit I think. Lately they don’t look as unstoppable as they previously did. Their defense is just plain bad. They couldn’t get off the field against the Chiefs during that game and if the Bears had a good quarterback the Packers might have given up way too many points to win that game last night against the Bears.