We are entering the final week of the NFL season and there are still some playoff spots up for grabs. Some teams eliminated themselves while others are playing hard to take one of the final spots.
To change things up a little bit, I’ll only be listing the teams that are currently in playoff contention.
And here they are:
Seattle Seahawks (Last Week – #1): Yes, they lost to the Arizona Cardinals last week, but not enough credit is given to that Cardinal defense. Despite a rough game from quarterback Russell Wilson, the team still looked good enough to one of the best teams in the NFL.
- Denver Broncos (Last Week – #2): It was kind of hard not to move the Broncos ahead of the Seahawks this week, but then I remembered that Denver beat up on the extremely disappointing Houston Texans. Still, Peyton Manning looks the best he ever has in his career and this team is primed to make a deep playoff run.
Carolina Panthers (Last Week – #7): They continue to knock off quality opponents while being more consistent on offense and dominating on defense. Cam Newton is finally looking like a reliable franchise quarterback for Carolina. Still, this team should be one of the favorites to win the Super Bowl this year.
- New England Patriots (Last Week – #6): New England totally dismantled the World Champion Ravens on Sunday. It was an embarrassing game for Baltimore where the Patriots got to show off some of their mental toughness. Even without Gronk, they are a team to be taken seriously.
San Francisco 49ers (Last Week – #4): After nearly losing to the lowly Falcons, the 49ers are looking to close out Candlestick Park in style. I believe that San Fran played down to their opponents, but they sure gave a lot of excitement to a game that could have been a blowout if the 49ers were on their game.
- Kansas City Chiefs (Last Week – #3): A brutal beatdown by the Indianapolis Colts drops them in the rankings, but that doesn’t mean that this team deserves any less respect. It was a bad week for Kansas City, but luckily they don’t have too many of them these days.
Cincinnati Bengals (Last Week – #9): The Bengals are heating up at the right time. They are scoring points like crazy and really getting things clicking on offense. Meanwhile, Andy Dalton showed the Vikings on Sunday that they made a big mistake taking Christian Ponder over him in the draft.
- New Orleans Saints (Last Week – #5): A loss to the Panthers really hurt their hopes in winning the division, but they are still a very dangerous team. Any time you have Drew Brees at the helm, you know you have a chance of winning any game you play. Sadly, they play against some tough teams in the NFC.
Philadelphia Eagles (Last Week – #12): The Cowboys should be very beatable next week when the two teams will clash for the division crown. More importantly, they made the Chicago Bears look like a junior varsity team on prime time television. Is this the same team that got crushed by the Vikings?
- Indianapolis Colts (Last Week – #8): The Colts are another team that are heating up just in time for a playoff run. They looked sluggish recently, but the last few weeks they have really started to show their potential. After crushing the Chiefs, they almost have to be taken seriously, right?
Arizona Cardinals (Last Week – #10): I know, it’s not fair for them to move down a spot after beating the team at the top of my power rankings, but I think that the Cardinals win had more to do with the Seahawks struggling than the Cardinals being good.
- San Diego Chargers (Last Week – #15): Sure, they beat the Raiders. Most expected them to. But I didn’t expect them to be a playoff caliber team this year. They’re the dark horse of the playoff picture at this point. Look for them to make some upsets.
Baltimore Ravens (Last Week – #14): They got absolutely CRUSHED by the Patriots, but New England is just a superior team to them right now. With Ray Rice looking really bad and Flacco not earning the huge contract he got, the Ravens might be in a pickle for several years to come.
- Miami Dolphins (Last Week – #13): I’m still not really buying into the Dolphins. Not yet. Getting shut out by the Bills showed that. Still, this team does have the young talent to be a competitor in the future, just not right now.
Chicago Bears (Last Week – #11): Some team has to win the NFC North, right? It might as well be the Bears. Even though Cutler looked like hot garbage against the Eagles on Sunday, they should be able to get past the Packers sans Rodgers to take the division crown.
- Green Bay Packers (Last Week – #17): All they have to do to win the NFC North is beat the Bears this week. Honestly, it’s kind of a joke that a team that has played as poorly as the Packers have is even in playoff contention, yet alone in place to make a run at the division.
Dallas Cowboys (Last Week – #18): They just lost Tony Romo. Can the Cowboys show they’re capable of winning big games and maybe even winning some playoff games now that their possibly jinxed quarterback is on the shelf?
- Pittsburgh Steelers (Last Week – #20): Remember when they were winless and most people thought they’d be in contention for a top draft pick? Instead, they’re challenging the World Champions for a wild card spot. It’s crazy how things can turn around so drastically.
And to the rest: Better luck next year.