By: Brett Minnick
Coming into the last few weeks of the season, many of the division leaders can be inferred, excluding the AFC West and NFC South, and the real battles become for the Wild Card. In the NFC many teams are still in the mix but the Panthers and Falcons are the frontrunners.
The duo from the NFC South are still chasing the Saints for the division but the Panthers look to have a wild card spot firmly locked up while the Falcons must keep the Lions, Packers, and Seahawks off their heels. In the AFC the Ravens, Bills, and Titans chase the wild card spot. The Chargers and Chiefs will play this week in a pivotal game for the division lead, leaving the other at 7-7 and behind in the wild card race. The Chiefs have struggled since the beginning of the year while the Chargers have streaked forward from a terrible start. The Chargers were once called the “best sparring partner” in the NFL due to their ability to stay with any team but lose. They have been knocking out teams recently and look for them to do the same to the Chiefs. Also in the AFC, the Patriots and Steelers face off for home field advantage in the playoffs. Home field advantage is crucial for either team as they have very passionate fan bases and a great home field advantage. Both have been great this year as expected but the Patriots have been spotty and are coming off a lose to the Dolphins while the Steelers have looked great and are off a come from behind win against the Ravens. The Steelers will win this game with an overwhelming offensive attack.
Despite these pivotal games in the tight AFC, the game of the week comes between the Rams and the Seahawks. The Seahawks will be playing to be tied atop the division while the Rams will all but seal their division championship with a win. Both teams are coming off very tough losses to playoff favorites, the Jags and the Eagles, and need to show a comeback week. The high powered offense of the Rams will have to find success against the depleted Legion of Boom. The Rams have a great chance to win this game at home, but the Seahawks have the experience and rarely lose in crunch time. The Seahawks coaching and experience will show through and that will be the key to their victory. However, don’t be surprised if Jared Goff shows why he was the number 1 pick in last years draft and leads the Rams to the win.