A bit of a shakeup in the top 5 this week as Denver moves back on top with Seattle at its highest spot this season, number 2. Green Bay sneaks back into the top 5 with a lopsided win over Tennessee. Cincinnati may be playing some of the best football in the league right now as they charge up into the 9 spot.
The AFC playoff teams have been set. It is all about seeding this week. We will have a very similar playoff look in the AFC as we did last season. The exception is Pittsburgh is out and the Colts are in. As we stated before the Colts are the by product of the easiest schedule in the league. They will be a heavy underdog come playoff time. I wouldn’t expect them to advance very far but just making the playoffs is a huge success after such a bad season last year. There is still a chance they play Denver and Payton Manning which would be quite the story.
In the NFC there are 2 spots up for grabs. The easiest scenario ist he winner of the Dallas/Washington game will win the NFC East and host a playoff game. Washington can back in with a loss if Chicago and Minnesota also lose. The defending champs are in the worst situation. The Giants are still our top ranked team in the NFC East but they will need to win and have Dallas, Minnesota and Chicago all lose.
Week 17 is always tricky to handicap as some teams will not be playing all of their starters because they have a playoff spot and seed locked in. This year just Atlanta has clinched home field throughout so perhaps we will most have teams playing 100% the whole way.
Game of the Week
Dallas @ Washington -3
It has been a while since these two bitter rivals have played in a game with everything on the line. The winner in this one wins the NFC East and gets home field in the first round. In their last matchup Washington dominated Dallas on Thanksgiving. Dallas is 4th in passing and Washington is 29th in stopping the pass. RGIII is the key to the running game for Washington and he seems to be a bit slower than usual with a thigh injury. Washington is 2nd in rushing and Dallas is 18th in stopping the run. These teams are very close. Washington is getting the 3 point edge in Vegas because of home field. But Washington has been less than impressive the last few seasons at home. This one promises to be tight and down to the wire.
Arizona @ SF -16.5
The line here is a bit inflated but that is because SF needs to win this game to win the NFC West. Normally this would be a 13 point spread tops. So if you are taking SF you are paying the premium that they have a ton of motivation. But as we have seen over and over teams who have played for nothing all year love to get up for a divisional game that can hurt its rival. SF is the top defense in the league and Arizona is the 30th offense. SF will try and run it. They rank 5th in offensive rushing while Arizona ranks 21 in stopping the run. That could mean a low scoring game. Hard to imagine SF losing this one with this much on the line.
|Rank||Teams||Strength Of Schedule|