Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Sports: NFL (Week 13&14)

Two weeks of football had a lot of major developments that will have consequences for the playoffs. Top teams suffered major injuries and upsets pushing teams into the Wild Card while other teams' lost their hopes of playing past the regular season. The next few weeks will be full of eliminations and teams earning their place in the playoffs. I did manage to make it into a four-team playoff for my fantasy football league and won the first week of the matchup so I'll try to keep my streak going.

NFC North
A tough loss to the Panthers pushes the Minnesota Vikings out of the top spot in the NFC after they beat a rough looking Falcons team. Their easy schedule of the Bengals, Packers, and Bears should allow them to reclaim that spot. The Lions and Packers could still have a chance but a lot of luck would have to come there way. The Bears will need to start rebuilding for next year.

NFC South
The most dominant division in the NFC still has plenty of surprises in store. The New Orleans Saints beat their division rivals the Carolina Panthers but then fell to the Atlanta Falcons the next week. The Saints have two easy games against the Jets and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers but the Falcons could prove a challenge. Carolina rallied against the Vikings after their loss to New Orleans to tie up the top of the division, though the Saints have the advantage after winning the two head-to-head games. Facing off against the Packers and Bucs should be easy for the Panthers but they'll end in a possible elimination game against Atlanta. The Falcons still have a chance if they can take an easy game against Tampa Bay, but will have to survive a gauntlet of divisional matches to end up on top.

NFC East
After a rough loss to the Seahawks, the Philadelphia Eagles overpowered the Rams but lost their starting quarterback in the process. Philly could cruise to a bye-week and home-field advantage against the Giant, Raiders, and Cowboys but their backup quarterback might not be up to the challenge. The Dallas Cowboys are hanging around but would need some luck and other teams to lose. 

NFC West
The Los Angeles Rams had an easy win over the Arizona Cardinals but the loss to the Eagles keeps them out of the bye week spot for now. The Seattle Seahawks have a chance to steal the top spot in the game this next week. The Rams round out the season with a tough match against the Titans and what should be an easy win against the San Francisco 49ers. Seattle will have Dallas and Arizona to end the season and could get themselves a playoff spot.

AFC North
The Pittsburgh Steelers find themselves at the top of the conference after two divisional wins to put them at eight in a row. Their battle against the Patriots this weekend will determine home-field advantage if they meet in the AFC Championship. The Baltimore Ravens lost their Wild Card spot but could earn it back with three easy games to end the season.

AFC South
The Jacksonville Jaguars earned the top spot after a hard-fought win over the Seahawks. They have an easy road ahead until they face divisional rival and the biggest contender for the top spot, the Tennessee Titans who have a tough game before against the Rams.

AFC East
The New England Patriots lost their third game after an eight-game winning streak. Their game against the Steelers will be exciting and then they'll have to face the Buffalo Bills who are contending for a Wild Card spot. 

AFC West
The Kansas City Chiefs have collapsed in the last few weeks but a win over the Oakland Raiders may have given them momentum. They face the Los Angeles Chargers on Saturday night and that will determine the fate of the division. 

With college football winding down, NFL is about to be the only football in town and with the playoffs coming next month, the sport is more exciting than ever. This season had a lot of injuries but it still should be pretty competitive and fun to watch.

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