1. Philadelphia Eagles (13-2) – Last Week: 1

Despite a lackluster performance by interim QB Nick Foles, they still got the job done against a Raiders team that needed to win to keep their slim playoff hopes alive. Their defense is heavily underrated at times where it matters most, and despite an inevitable drop come playoff time, Foles is 2-0 since Wentz’s injury and secured his team the first round bye. (Week 17 v Dallas)

  1. Minnesota Vikings (12-3) – Last Week: 2

The Vikings shut-out the Packers at Lambeau for the first time in Green Bay’s illustrious franchise history… Aaron Rodgers or not, that is an incredible feat! They seem to be all finding some form at the right time of year, but Adam Thielen has surprisingly recorded only 5 receptions and 50 yards over the past fortnight. (Week 17 v Chicago)

  1. New England Patriots (12-3) – Last Week: 3

Cue the ref controversy with this mob. Kelvin Benjamin’s catch WAS A CATCH, and combine that with Charles Clay’s non-call in the end zone was a huge momentum-shifter for the AFC East champions. Gronk looks to be at 80% health which is good enough for him, and Dion Lewis produced quite possibly his best performance of his career. All wheels are turning to yet another optimistic playoff run… Oh, and they just signed James Harrison… (Week 17 v NY Jets)

  1. Los Angeles Rams (11-4) – Last Week: 6

Coach McVay came out earlier this week and declared he will be looking to bench his starters in their upcoming regular season finale against the 49ers, which could either result in good player management or a momentum-killer leading into their first playoff appearance in almost a decade. Todd Gurley’s last two weeks have pushed him into serious MVP consideration. (Week 17 v San Francisco)

  1. Pittsburgh Steelers (12-3) – Last Week: 5

They just did what they had to do against an abysmal Texans outfit. JuJu Smith-Schuster is playing back into form and could very well be a real x-factor in January, not to mention their solid work at offensive line. (Week 17 v Cleveland)

  1. Jacksonville Jaguars (10-5) – Last Week: 4

A disappointing outing against a 49ers team that has yet to lose with Jimmy G starting. I’ve had Bortles’ back all season, but he made some crucial errors at big moments in the game and had a 2015-like box score where 380-odd yards ended up being more than flattering when considering his actual performance. (Week 17 @ Tennessee)

  1. New Orleans Saints (11-4) – Last Week: 7

Made a statement albeit at home against an in-form Falcons outfit, and in the process clinched a playoff berth. The Saints have been my tip to fail out of the three teams in the NFC South to stumble in January, but a defense that continues to impress combined with an unpredictable well-rounded offense could prove to be quite a handful for other NFC championship contenders. (Week 17 @ Tampa Bay)

  1. Carolina Panthers (11-4) – Last Week: 8

It took 35 seconds remaining in the final quarter for the Panthers to put away a resilient Tampa Bay outfit, but they did what they had to do to secure a playoff berth after a 2016 hangover. Their firepower on offense still worries me, but Cam Newton has improved dramatically this year, and is a sneaky MVP candidate when considering their performances. They have a huge final regular season game against the Falcons, which will no doubt have huge reppercutions in regards to their week 1 playoff opponent. (Week 17 @ Atlanta)

  1. Kansas City Chiefs (9-6) – Last Week: 10

After a horrid mid-season patch the Chiefs have bounced back convincingly to secure the AFC West division. Kareem Hunt looks to have found his early-season form that bolted him into offensive rookie of the year rankings, and their defense are making the big plays once more. (Week 17 @ Denver)

  1. Seattle Seahawks (9-6) – Last Week: 12

After a spanking at home against the Rams, the Seahawks faced a tough trap opponent in Dallas that welcomed the return of Zeke, but they got the job done and showed the NFL world what they’re capable of. Earl Thomas’ antics post-game was very disappointing, though… (Week 17 v Arizona)

  1. Baltimore Ravens (9-6) – Last Week: 9

They beat the Colts. Hooray. I don’t know how this team is 9-6, but they are, and in a very weak AFC they can now look forward to January whilst avoiding both Pittsburgh and New England in the first week. Can they repeat the events of 2012? (Week 17 v Cincinnati)

  1. Atlanta Falcons (9-6) – Last Week: 11

They were very disappointing in New Orleans, and now they have to get past the red-hot Panthers at home to clinch a wildcard spot. Their offense under OC Sarkisian has been underwhelming to say the least, and should they fail to reach the playoffs I sense there will be some big changes in the off-season. (Week 17 v Carolina)

  1. Los Angeles Chargers (8-7) – Last Week: 14

Like the Falcons I’ve been quite disappointed in their last three weeks where they had a real chance to lead the inconsistent AFC West division, but failed to do so and only just got by the Jets over the weekend. They’re still a chance to snatch a wildcard spot against Oakland this weekend, but it’s not going to come easy against such a big rival. (Week 17 v Oakland)

  1. Detroit Lions (8-7) – Last Week: 13

Mathematically still a chance, but took two HUGE steps backwards in their horrid loss against the Bengals. This team is the true definition of Jekyll and Hyde, and I struggle to tip for or against them every week. They have the talent, but do they have the right captains steering the ship…? (Week 17 v Green Bay)

  1. Dallas Cowboys (8-7) – Last Week: 15

A Zeke Elliot return couldn’t help them overcome a Seahawks defense that played as if they had a real chip on their shoulder after conceding 45 at home against the Rams a week prior. Their defense fail to have any playmaking ability, Dak Prescott is showing a small decline and Dez Bryant continues to show that he needs to be traded in the off-season for this team to progress. (Week 17 @ Philadelphia)

  1. Tennessee Titans (8-7) – Last Week: 16

This campaign will go down as a true disappointment for the Titans, and weirdly enough they’re currently in a wildcard spot. This test against Jacksonville on Monday morning will not only determine their playoff fate, but a gauge on where they sit as a unit. Marcus Mariota may surprisingly turn out to be a bust. (Week 17 v Jacksonville)

  1. Buffalo Bills (8-7) – Last Week: 17

Say what you want, but they played very well against the Patriots and if it weren’t for a couple of big controversial calls (see New England Patriots blurb) they would’ve very well left Foxboro with the choccies. Another team in the wildcard hunt and face a declining Miami outfit this weekend in a huge opportunity. Oh, and LeSean McCoy needs to be considered an elite running back again. (Week 17 @ Miami)

  1. Green Bay Packers (7-8) – Last Week: 18

Priority 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 this off-season: DRAFT A RUNNING BACK. (Week 17 @ Detroit)

  1. Washington Redskins (7-8) – Last Week: 21

It was a minor consolation win at home against the Broncos, but this team must now start to prepare for 2018. Kirk Cousins is all but gone, their defense need playmakers and their wide receivers have failed to produce. A lot of holes in a team that had quite a bit of promise pre-season, and unfortunately Redskins Nation may need to stay patient to see some success. (Week 17 @ NY Giants)

  1. San Francisco 49ers (5-10) – Last Week: 22

Still undefeated with Jimmy G under centre (gee I love saying Jimmy G), Solomon Thomas continues to prove his pick two selection, and they may have found an efficient successor at the running back position in Matt Breida. There is so much to be optimistic for in the years ahead in Santa Clara, and one more home-run off-season could put them in true playoff contention in 2018.

 

AND THEN THERE’S THE REST…

 

  1. Oakland Raiders (6-9) – Last Week: 19
  2. Arizona Cardinals (7-8) – Last Week: 23
  3. Cincinnati Bengals (6-9) – Last Week: 24
  4. Miami Dolphins (6-9) – Last Week: 20
  5. Chicago Bears (5-10) – Last Week: 26
  6. New York Jets (5-10) – Last Week: 25
  7. Denver Broncos (5-10) – Last Week: 27
  8. Houston Texans (4-11) – Last Week: 28
  9. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-11) – Last Week: 29
  10. Indianapolis Colts (3-12) – Last Week: 30
  11. New York Giants (2-13) – Last Week: 31
  12. Cleveland Browns (0-15) – Last Week: 32

LEAVE A REPLY