Lots of playoff implications on the line this week. Every loss carries much more weight than the first three quarters of the season.
- Houston Texans@ Buffalo Bills-As we get deeper into the season, a lot more seemingly meaningless games are going to have importance. On first glance this game looks like it should be meaningless but the Texans have snagged a wildcard spot with the Steelers falling to the Seahawks last week. The Bills, while having an unfortunate collapse, are still only a game out of the wildcard. With the leadership of Rex Ryan, the Bills are so close to having a complete, competitive team. The offense is just finding their groove moving the ball but the defense has been something to be desired. The opposite can be said for the Texans. The defense has been on a fierce roll as of late, even holding Drew Brees to 0 touchdowns, a first in three in a half seasons. This is the Bills last chance for a playoff spot. Being two back from a surging team all but means the season is over. Which puts the Texans in position of spoiler while also controlling their own destiny.
- Seattle Seahawks@ Minnesota Vikings- The Seahawks are the number six team in the conference thanks to the Falcons not winning in a month. The Vikings have won six out of seven with their loss coming against the unpredictable Packers. This very well may be a playoff preview. I don’t see Seattle regressing and the Vikings have been on one of the best streaks of the season. It’s time for Mike Zimmer to show his game plan prowess. The Seahawks can truly do just about anything with the ball. Russell Wilson can keep any defense honest. The Viking defense on the other hand is just about on par with where the Seahawks where a couple season ago. Neither team can afford a loss with the Seahawks trying to fight off the rest of the league and the Vikings with the Packers on their tail. This is about as important of a game there is this week.
- New York Jets@ New York Giants- This game is eerily similar to why the Texans/Bills game is so important. The Giants have dropped two straight and are no longer leading the division. The Jets are in the process of bouncing back from a couple of rough games to try to match the Texans in the standing, but that would also require the Texans to lose. The Giants are very easily beatable. But it is impossible to predict how the Giants will play. They should have rolled over against the Patriots but destroy the Redskins. Instead they played the Patriots tough and the Redskins beat them. With the way this season is going, you can chalk this up to a tie.
- Atlanta Falcons @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers- The Buccs had a good shot at wiggling into a playoff spot last week but they couldn’t get the job done against a Matt Hasselbeck led Colts. The Falcons have notoriously are falling and losing four straight. This is the perfect opportunity for the Buccs to overtake the Falcons in the standings. Only a single game separates the two and a loss here will end their season. The Falcons on the other hand are trying to fight their way back into the playoffs after winning five straight. I have no idea what happened to this team but with two of their last five games coming up against the Panthers, they better start winning the games they are projected to win.
- Indianapolis Colts@ Pittsburgh Steelers- Both teams are sitting at 6-5, one is atop the division the other fighting for a wildcard spot. If the Texans are able take the Colts for the AFC North this very well could act as the tie breaker for the wildcard. If the Texans beat the Bills, the implications of this game are about as big as you can get for the wildcard. Winner will have the head to head advantage going into the final four games of the season. This is the most exciting time to be a football fan. Every game becomes more important, and might possibly prove strong storylines going into the playoffs.
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