By Charles Glover, Jr.
As the final week of the regular season for the National Football League(NFL) approaches this weekend, this writer will revisit predictions made about the playoff teams at the start of the season. Most of the playoff spots are currently unsettled coming into the final weekend, bringing greater excitement and interest in the season finale for NFL teams.
In the American Football Conference (AFC), the four divisions have already been decided. The winners of those divisions are:
AFC West – Denver Broncos (12 – 3)
AFC East – New England Patriots (11 – 4)
AFC North – Cincinnati Bengals (10 – 5)
AFC South – Indianapolis Colts (10 – 5).
One of the two Wildcard playoff spots is going to the Kansas City Chiefs (11 – 4), while there are several teams vying for the final playoff opening in the AFC. The Miami Dolphins (8 – 7), Baltimore Ravens (8 – 7), San Diego Chargers (8 – 7), and Pittsburgh Steelers (7 – 8) all have different scenarios in which they can make the playoffs if they win their last game this season.
In the National Football Conference (NFC) only three teams have clinched a playoff birth and none of the divisions have been decided yet. The current division leaders at this time are:
NFC West – Seattle Seahawks (12 – 3)
NFC South – Carolina Panthers (11 – 4)
NFC East – Philadelphia Eagles (9 – 6)
NFC North – Chicago Bears (8 – 7).
Based on conference records, the three teams that have clinched playoff births are the Seahawks, Panthers, and the San Francisco 49ers (11 – 4). The New Orleans Saints (10 -5) or Arizona Cardinals (10 – 5) can clinch the final Wildcard position with a win this weekend. The NFC North division winner will be decided on Sunday afternoon when the Bears face the Green Bay Packers (7 – 7 – 1). The winner of that game makes the playoffs. The same applies to the winner of the NFC East division deciding game between the Eagles and Dallas Cowboys (8 – 7) on Sunday night.
This writer was very wrong in predicting the Houston Texans (2 – 13) and Washington Redskins (3 – 12) would make the playoffs this season as they have the two most dreadful records in the NFL this season. However, there is still a chance that 10 out of the 12 predicted teams will make the postseason this year. The final playoff spot will be decided in the final game of the NFL regular season.–OnPointPress.net–
Charles Glover, Jr. is a sports aficionado and management training specialist. Follow me @OpenWindowMES on Twitter.