The New York Jets (QB Geno Smith pictured) are one of four (5-6) teams still hoping for the playoffs
You know somewhere former NFL Commissioner Bert Bell is smiling as the phrase he coined, “Any Given Sunday” is very true in the league this season. Though the Seahawks (10-1), Chiefs (9-2), Broncos (9-2), and Saints (9-2) will probably be clinching playoff berths soon, there is still plenty of talk around the league about which teams will fill-out the NFL’s coveted 12 playoff spots. Competition this time of the year is a good thing as everyone from fans to media always like watching meaningful games in Weeks 16 and 17 rather than having to be stuck with “glorified” exhibition games because teams already in the playoffs choose to rest players. In fact there are 28 teams with records from 10-1 to 4-7 that still have “realistic” playoff chances – in 8 of the last 9 NFL Seasons at least one team has qualified for the playoffs after having a record of 5-6 or worse after 11 games – in 2012 it was the Washington Redskins who went from 3-6 to a 10-6 NFC East Champion.
One trend that I do think will continue for the 2013-14 season is the number of new teams making the playoffs after missing them the prior year. In 2012-13, for the 17th consecutive NFL season, four or more teams qualified for the playoffs that were not in the postseason the year before (Colts, Redskins, Vikings, Bengals).
There are still a lot of games left to be played (80), so let’s enjoy the last month of the regular season, before the frenzy of the 2013-14 NFL Playoffs begin.
Current 2013-14 NFL Playoffs Picture heading into Week 13
1. Broncos (9-2) — @KC, TEN, SD, @HOU, @OAK
2. Patriots (8-3) — @HOU, CLE, @MIA, @BAL, BUF
3. Colts (7-4) — TEN, @CIN, HOU, @KC, JAX
4. Bengals (7-4) — @SD, IND, @PIT, MIN, BAL
5. Chiefs (9-2) — DEN, @WAS, @OAK, IND, @SD
6. Titans (5-6) — @IND, @DEN, ARI, @JAX, HOU
In The Hunt:
Ravens (6-6) — PIT (Thanksgiving – Win), MIN, @DET, NE, CIN
Dolphins (5-6) — @NYJ, @PIT, NE, @BUF, NYJ
Chargers (5-6) — CIN, NYG, @DEN, OAK, KC
NY Jets (5-6) — MIA, OAK, @CAR, CLE, @MIA
Steelers (5-7) — @BAL (Thanksgiving — Loss), MIA, CIN, @GB, CLE
Out: No teams are “officially out, but the Raiders (4-7), Bills (4-7), Browns (4-7), Texans (2-9) and Jaguars (2-9) better start getting ready for 2014 NFL Draft
1. Seahawks (10-1) — NO (MNF), ARI, @BUF, SF, STL
2. Saints (9-2) — @SEA (MNF), CAR, @STL, @CAR, TB
3. Lions (7-5) –- GB (Thanksgiving – Win), @PHI, BAL, NYG, @MIN
4. Cowboys (7-5) — OAK (Thanksgiving – Win), @CHI, GB, @WAS, PHI
5. Panthers (8-3) — TB, @NO, NYJ, NO, @ATL
6. Niners (7-4) — STL, SEA, @TB, ATL, @ARI
In The Hunt:
Cardinals (7-4) — @PHI, STL, @TEN, @SEA, SF
Rams (6-5) –- @SF, @ARI, NO, TB, @SEA
Bears (6-5) — @MIN, DAL, @CLE, @PHI, GB
Eagles (6-5) – ARI, DET, @MIN, CHI, @DAL
Packers (5-6-1) — @DET (Thanksgiving – Loss), ATL, @DAL, PIT, @CHI
Out: No teams are “officially out, but the Giants (4-7), Bucs (3-8), Redskins (3-8), and Vikings (2-8-1) better start getting ready for 2013 NFL Draft
A great tool for sorting out all of the “What If” scenarios surrounding the 2012 NFL Playoff match-ups can be found on the Yahoo Sports website.