(Image credit Jeff Hanisch/USA Today Sports)
Written by: Nicholas Mullick
Playoffs are getting closer and closer with each week that passes. Now there is plenty of football left to be played but again it is crunch time for some teams. So until the playoffs hit I will continue to update the current playoff picture for both the AFC and NFC Conferences. For this article, I will dive into the AFC conference.
X- Clinched Playoff Spot
Y - Clinched Division
Z- Clinched 1st Round Bye
Division Winners (Seed 1-4)
1. Y - Green Bay Packers (11-3)
Again I want to congratulate the Green Bay Packers as they have secured a playoff spot in the 2021 NFL Playoffs this season. To add to it they also won the NFC West division which again was not a surprise so they will get either the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, or 4th seed this season. Hopefully, the Packers can keep this momentum up.
2. Dallas Cowboys (10-4)
The Dallas Cowboys are the best team in the NFC East. They should win this division but again I don't trust a team that is coached by Mike McCarthy. The talent is here but the coaching is like an anchor on a ship. I never want to hear that Dak Prescott is bringing this team down because he is extremely important on why the offense is successful. Look at the team last season without him as the QB. I would be shocked if they don't make the playoffs this season.
3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (10-4)
The Buccaneers struggled last week against the New Orleans Saints and their receiving core got injured. Including Chris Godwin who will be out for the season due to a Torn ACL. I think that ends the Antonio Brown potential release as the Buccaneers will need him in their playoff push. The Buccaneers should bounce back for this week.
4. Arizona Cardinals (10-4)
That performance last week against the Lions was a joke. The Cardinals need every win they can get to not only secure a playoff spot but win this division. I mean look at the Los Angeles Rams as they are starting to catch up and could steal this division from them.
Wildcard Teams (Seed 5-7)
5. Los Angeles Rams (10-4)
That Cardinals loss against the Lions gives more value to the LA Rams. Make that Two times the Rams got help from the Lions with the Matthew Stafford trade and beating the Arizona Cardinals. The Rams look a lot healthier and the Rams have a strong opportunity to steal the division from the Arizona Cardinals.
6. San Francisco 49ers (8-6)
It is amazing to see the 49ers look completely healthy and functional. I love what they are doing on offense and developing Trey Lance under Jimmy Garoppollo. The 49ers get to face the Titans, Rams, and Texans at the end of the season and I think the 49ers have a shot to win at least two of these games.
7. Minnesota Vikings (7-7)
The Vikings are playing for their coach Mike Zimmer as he needs to bring the Vikings to the playoffs in order to save his job. The Vikings play tough but have been very inconsistent this season. The Vikings also need to get healthier plus the defense is still a complete mess as well but the Vikings as of now are in a strong fight. Hopefully, they can keep his momentum up.
In the hunt
8. Philadelphia Eagles (7-7)
The Eagles again are a good team in the current and future. Currently, they have a shot at making the playoffs and must-win games. However, Nick Sirianni won't be coaching next week due to testing positive for Covid-19. In the future, they have three 1st round picks in the upcoming draft.
9. New Orleans Saints (7-7)
Imagine if the Saints had consistency at the QB position. The Saints would probably be a playoff team at this point. But the Saints have had bad luck hit them and will need to stay healthy on offense and defense to have a shot at playoffs.
10. Washington Football team (6-8)
Washington has been so screwed as a result of their team having a Covid Outbreak. The Team hopefully needs to be healthier to have a chance to make the playoffs by being clear of Covid.
11. Atlanta Falcons (6-8)
The Falcons have been a lot better than what I thought they would be but struggled last week against the 49ers. Luckily they face the Detroit Lions this week but they need to beat the Bills and New Orlean Saints to keep their playoff hopes alive.
12. Carolina Panthers (5-9)
Carolina’s season is pretty much done. McCaffery was the heart and soul of this offense and his injury had made this offense a mess. The Panthers QBs are a mess and Cam is not the same player and PJ Walker is not good. Darnold may make a return at QB but it is too little too late and he was not good as well when we last saw him. Carolina is done.
13. Seattle Seahawks (5-9)
Seattle Season is done as Russell Wilson has declined a lot since injuring his hand. If I am Seattle I would blow it up and purge big pieces thus starting their rebuild. At least they got a Top 10 1st round pick. Wait I just got snail mail and it said that the Seahawks 1st round pick is New York Jets property due to the Jamal Adams trade.
Somehow Not Eliminated Mathematically Eliminated
14. New York Giants (4-10)
How are the Giants Mathematically not eliminated? I have no idea their season is pretty much over now that they are starting Mike Glennon and Jake from State Fromm at Qb.
Eliminated From Playoff Contention
15. Chicago Bears (4-10)
Well, the Bears are now officially eliminated from the playoffs unsurprisingly. Why is Matt Nagy still the head coach for the Bears again? But at least you get a high 1st round pick, Oh yeah forgot it's New York Giants Property due to the Justin Fields trade.
16. Detroit Lions (2-11-1)
The Lions may be eliminated from the playoffs but they got an upgrade at coach with Dan Campbell over Matt Patricia.