Week 13 begins Thursday when the Dallas Cowboys visit the New Orleans Saints. Now that it’s December, it’s really time to start talking about playoffs. Normally by now, football fans have an idea who the best teams in each conference are and who the number one seeds will most likely be. This year it’s different. The NFL is still wide open. There’s no clear cut favorite to be in the Super Bowl, or even from a players standpoint, who the MVP is. Yes, there’s still five more weeks to go, but for now, here is where everything stands at.
New England is in the thick of things… again
That’s right, the Patriots are back. Everyone knows about the season the Patriots had last year, but that season is well into the past. Mac Jones, the rookie quarterback from Alabama has taken not only the Patriots by storm, but also the NFL. After a dreadful 2-4 start, the Patriots have won six straight and are currently the second seed in the AFC. This week they face the Buffalo Bills on Monday night football. The winner of this game will take the lead in the AFC East.
Kansas City woke up
Well, it was fun while it lasted. Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs woke up and are now at 7-4 leading the AFC West. The beginning of the season was an absolute struggle for Kansas City. Between watching Mahomes struggle, and of course his family’s social media idiocy, it was a nice breath of fresh air to see Mahomes and the Chiefs come crashing back down to Earth. However, now they’ve figured it out and are currently on a four game win streak. Once again, it’s unfortunately time to keep our eyes on Kansas City.
Two of the three wildcard spots are up for grabs
Yes, one of the wildcard spots is figuratively locked up. That spot will belong to either the New England Patriots of Buffalo Bills. As for the other two spots, it’s a multiple team race for them. Other than the Bills, the two current wildcard teams are the Cincinnati Bengals and Los Angeles Chargers. Both Cincinnati and Los Angeles are lead by young talented quarterbacks in Joe Burrow and Justin Herbert. However, both Cincinnati and Los Angeles have company for those two spots. Just behind LA are the Las Vegas Raiders, Denver Broncos and Indianapolis Colts. It’s really going to come down to who can close out the season strong between these five teams.
A three team race for the number one seed in the NFC
The Arizona Cardinals currently hold the top spot in the NFC. But right behind them are the Green Bay Packers. It’s tradition that the Packers make it to the NFC Championship game and then lose. The Packers certainly look like a team that could make a return trip to the NFC title game. The Cardinals have been without Kyler Murray for a few weeks and have still found ways to win games. But, it’s not just these two teams that are in the running for the top spot. Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are right behind both Green Bay and Arizona. Last season this was when the defending Super Bowl champs got hot. Outside of facing Buffalo, Tampa have a rather favorable schedule and it looks like Tampa could make another run.
The Rams and Cowboys cooled off
The Los Angeles Rams and Dallas Cowboys were looking like they could be serious contenders this season. Well, both teams combined for one win in the month of November. Thankfully for the Rams they play Jacksonville this weekend and that should give them a win for the first time since their game on Halloween against the Texans. As for Dallas, they have a tough matchup against the Saints on Thursday night football. Currently the Cowboys are dealing with a small Covid outbreak. Both these teams will be interesting to watch as the regular season comes to an end.
It’s a wide open race for the wildcard spots
The NFC wildcard spots are wide open. Currently the three wildcard teams are the San Francisco 49ers, Los Angeles Rams and the Washington Football Team. Mathematically, none of the teams in the NFC have been eliminated (yes the Lions still have a chance). With that being said, it’s going to be an all out frenzy for the three wildcard spots in the NFC. Right now, there are four teams sitting at 5-6 and two teams sitting at 5-7. Washington is currently one of those teams sitting at 5-6 whereas the 49ers are sitting at 6-5. The NFL is still wide open and anything is possible on any given Sunday.
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-Matt Burnett (@mattthew_jordan on Twitter)