December 18th, 2012
The four Wild Card spots are still nowhere near to being claimed. All eight teams that are projected to be in the hunt for one of those four spots are playing hard so that their seasons are not cut shorter than their expectations would like. Although some teams have fewer chances than others, they will all make sure they play their best in the coming weeks.
The Chargers have made a surprise appearance in the "in the hunt" category with an underdog win over the Pittsburgh Steelers, but they have the least amount of chance. I do not think they will make the Playoffs, even if they continue to win the rest of their games.
The Steelers who are a 6th seed have the same record as the 7th seed Cincinnati Bengals. The two divisional opponents will settle their 2012 rivalry when they face each other in two weeks. Inevitably, this game will define both teams' seasons, and I believe the Bengals will come out on top to play in 2013 during the playoffs.
Everything went right for the Green Bay Packers last week. Their divisional opponent with the closest record to them, the Chicago Bears, lost to the Minnesota Vikings while Green Bay picked up another late win. The Bears' grip on the playoffs has been loosened in the last two weeks after being demoted from the top of the NFC North to only the 6th seed playoff spot.
Coming off a nail-biter win against the Baltimore Ravens, the NFC's 7th seed team, the Washington Redskins, intend to take that spot away from the Bears. Next week, Chicago plays their divisional opponent, the Green Bay Packers, who they lost to earlier this season.
However, right behind Washington, are two teams, the Dallas Cowboys and the Minnesota Vikings, who have the same record as the Redskins.
Washington has already beaten the Cowboys, but the two teams are schedule to play again in Week 17. The Vikings' recent win over the Bears probably gives Minnesota the best chance for the wildcard spot out of all three NFC teams with a 7-6 record. In order to get to that wild card spot, they must play the Houston Texans, who have the best record in the NFL currently, and the Green Bay Packers. They also play the St. Louis Rams, the fourth and final team projected as "in the hunt" for an NFC Wild Card spot.
At this point, the playoffs can be reached by several teams. My predictions for the playoff teams are as follows:
1st seed: Atlanta Falcons
2nd seed: San Francisco 49ers
3rd seed: New York Giants
4th seed: Green Bay Packers
5th seed: Seattle Seahawks
6th seed: Washington Redskins
1st seed: Houston Texans
2nd seed: Denver Broncos
3rd seed: New England Patriots
4th seed: Baltimore Ravens
5th seed: Indianapolis Colts
6th seed: Cincinnati Bengals
NFLRUSH Kid Reporter