The Race to Minnesota: Week 15
As you were folks. As you were.
The 12 teams in the Play off window didn’t change one jot this week, with all matchups remanning exactly as they were coming in to Week 15. For those trying to get in, it was a better week for some than others.
Here is how the Play Off picture looks after Week 15:
The Steelers looked to assert their control over the Number 1 seed this week… and blew it. Officiating controversy was the headline story out of their game with the Patriots, but really the question should be what on earth were they (or Ben in particular) thinking with that pass?! It now looks likely all AFC roads lead through Foxboro. Again.
The Jaguars dished out another crushing defeat, whilst Mike Mularkey and the Titans continued to do their best to throw away their post season hopes. It’s now almost certainly the Jaguars taking the division title and, unless the Titans pull their fingers out, the only team heading to the post season from the South.
The Chiefs saw off their second divisional rival in as many weeks and have a little breathing space in the West now. The Bills keep the advantage in their race with the Ravens but will have to win out to be sure given the Raven’s easier run in.
Speaking of which…
In the hunt
Baltimore Ravens (8-6) – the Colts and the Bengals are all that is left for Baltimore by way of opposition this season. 10-6 is on the cards and with the advantage over the Bills in the head to head, they have to like their chances.
Los Angeles Chargers (7-7) – a crippling loss to the Chiefs means it’s an uphill battle for the Chargers now, and with the injury bug striking again I may have to admit defeat in my conviction that they are making the post season.
Oakland Raiders (6-8) – Eagles and Chargers to come, and now effectively three games back from the Chiefs. They can still overhaul the Bills, but it would need both they and the Ravens to capitulate for the Raiders to make it.
Miami Dolphins (6-8) – put yourself in the race by beating the Patriots. Put yourself on the periphery by losing to the Bills. Welcome to the Miami Dolphins everyone.
That’s it. No one else is a contender in the AFC now, and even then those hanging on to the Play Off spots are doing their best to remove themselves from the race!
The NFC on the other hand remains as ridiculous as ever.
Every one of the six Play Off teams won meaning nothing changed in the seedings in real terms. One or two of the chasing pack didn’t fair quite as well however <cough>Packers</cough>.
The most vulnerable of the six would have to be the Falcons for me. Their last two games? The Saints and Panthers. Good luck with that one! If they get there, they will certainly have earned it.
In the hunt
Detroit Lions (8-6) – the Lions refuse to be ruled out, and are lying in wait in the shadows should the Falcons succumb to their division rivals. How far they would go should they make it remains to be seen, but they are at least in with a shout.
Seattle Seahawks (8-6) – an absolute mauling at the hands of the Rams was NOT what the Seahawks needed to help their cause. It’s a long way back for them now, but they too are just one game back from the Falcons.
Dallas Cowboys (8-6) – Dalls is the third member of the “8 & 6 Club” and guess who is back this week? Yep, Zeke has served his suspension and returns just in time for the elimination match up with the Seahawks. Winner doesn’t take all, but loser definitely takes a vacation. Should be a good one.
6 in. 3 trying to get in. Everyone else playing for pride (or draft position) in the NFC. At least one more joins that list after Week 16.
Until next week…