After Thursday’s win against the New Orleans Saints, the Chicago Bears kept their playoff hopes alive, while the Saints were sent prepping for palm trees and, finally, the 2009 preseason. The NFC Wildcard race will play out throughout the day, twist and turns surely await.
The Bears won’t be the only team fighting to stay in playoff contention this weekend, and the Saints certainly won’t be the last team to have their playoff hopes deteriote in this Week 15.
Here’s a list of team’s facing their maker in Week 15, and why this week maybe the last meaningful one for some:
- At 8-5, the Cowboys are facing the even-keeled New York Giants, while they carry around more baggage and dram than a day-time soap opera.
Based on conventional wisdom, and the Cowboys’ recent history as late-season chokers, they should go to 8-6 after today’s contest, putting them at a stalemate with the Bears in the Wildcard Race. Dallas’ playoff wouldn’t be completely erased from the playoff picture with a loss in New York, but too many Tony Romo-Jason Witten connections on the day just may.
It’s hard to see Dallas as a playoff team with their owner calling out Marian Barber, who didn’t earn that “Barbarian” tag over night, and many other interior problems. But America’s team is not known for being tame or collective, so they can’t be totally counted out.
- The Tom Brady-less New England Patriots are also still holding out for a playoff appearance. Facing the Raiders during a must-win week is the probably assurance one could have. But it can also pose as a trap game before the Patriots face the dangerous Arizona Cardinals and underachieving Buffalo Bills to finish the season.
With the New York Jets and Miami Dolphins fighting for the NFC East division title at 9-5, the Patriots have to win out in order to find themselves in the driver seat of the playoff livelihood.
- The Philadelphia Eagles surely wish they could get that tie-game back. At 7-5-1, they will most likely be sitting on the outside looking in.
A Sunday date with the Bengals for 7-6 Washington posed as an elimination game for them as they lost 20-13. This will not assure anything for the Eagles, as they will still be starring up at three teams sitting ahead of them in playoff contention. Philly faces a potential loss in Week 17 against the Cowboys and Washington faces a sure win in San Francisco, which will mean nothing after today’s loss.
- Today: So far the Dolphins, Jets and Falcons have pulled out wins today, placing the former at 9-5 and both AFC East contenders at 9-5. These scenarios should make for a great weekend of football, where every game is a must see. While no one is probably coming here for NFL news, I’ll continue to make updates throughout the day.
- AFC Wildcard: Two teams who faced off today, in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Atlanta Falcons are currently in, but this is certainly subject to change.
- NFC Wildcard: Contention is far less tumultuous, and sees the Raves and Colts in as of today.