The crew was split as half said Arizona should get this spot and the other half said Carolina. Carolina keeps it for two reasons: 1- We still own the top seed and 2- This is a Panthers' fan site. The path to a perfect season ended last Sunday in Atlanta for this team, but the level of their play has declined in recent weeks - especially defensively. That said, they only allowed 20 points, but Dan Quinn’s Atlanta defense learned from their 38-0 thrashing two weeks ago. Quinn is intimately familiar with the Panthers, having been the Seahawks’ DC in recent years. If anyone can right this ship in time for the playoffs, it’s Ron Rivera, who was part of that one-loss 1985 Chicago Bears defense. They can wrap up home field advantage throughout the playoffs if they can win at home against an uppity Bucs team this week.
What a statement game a 38-8 trouncing of the Green Bay Packers. The Cardinals are looking like the strongest team in the league let alone the NFC. They have a huge game vs the Seahawks this week if they want a chance at having home field advantage throughout the playoffs.
New England Patriots
The Patriots lost to the rival Jets in a weekend where so many high level teams lost to rivals. So lets just act like that week did not happen. The biggest story line with the Pats is that they may not hold home field in the playoffs. That may go to the Broncos who have beaten the Pats this season already.
Well like the Panthers and Steelers the Seahawks win streak came to a end vs the Rams. The Seahawks have a big road game vs the Cardinals this week. How far can the Seahawks go in the playoffs without having a home game? But does anyone want to play this team in the playoffs?
Kansas City Chiefs
The Chiefs are red hot and winners of nine straight games, the most recent coming on Sunday against the Browns. This week they play host to a solid Raiders team, a victory would give them a shot at the division crown if Denver also loses to San Diego. Who would’ve thought that week six?
In an very exciting AFC matchup, the Broncos were able to squeak to a narrow victory against the Bengals. This week they host San Diego, win and the Broncos clinch a first round bye; lose the game and they are at risk of forfeiting the division crown to the Chiefs.
A.J. McCarron’s fumbled snap cost the Bengals a possible first round bye. But there is still hope for a first round bye should the Broncos lose and they beat the Ravens Sunday. Beating the Ravens won’t be easy since they are division rivals and just struck a big blow to the Steelers playoff chances. This will need to be McCarron’s best game by far this season to get that extra week off.
The Vikings put a beating on the Giants this past week in frigid Minnesota. This week they face the Packers in Green Bay to decide who wins the NFC North and hosts a home game and who gets the Wild Card spot.