PITTSBURGH (93-7 THE FAN) — Let’s take our weekly look back at the week that was in the NFL for week 13.
AFC NORTH RECAP
The Baltimore Ravens went from being able to clinch the division this week to only a 2 game lead over Pittsburgh and Cincinnati and people questioning if they can hang on to their lead. The division as a whole had a successful week going 3-1 and the only loss was the Ravens losing to division for Pittsburgh. Cincinnati and Cleveland both traveled to the west coast to get road wins. It was the Bengals 4th straight win and the Browns 2nd straight and 1st road win of the year. The Steelers beat the Ravens in Baltimore, snapping their regular season home win streak at 15 games. Charlie Batch was the star for the Steelers, throwing for 276 yards and completing his last 8 passes as the Steelers scored the final 10 points in a come from behind victory.
As things tighten up in the division race, let’s take a look at what WEEK 14 brings to the division. All 4 teams play out of the division next week, 2 playing NFC East opponents and 2 playing AFC West opponents.
WEEK 14 SCHEDULE:
Dallas @ Cincinnati
Kansas City @ Cleveland
Baltimore @ Washington
San Diego @ Pittsburgh
3 Quarters of the season are in the book and now it gets to crunch time. By my count over half of the teams in the NFL are still in contention for a playoff berth with just 4 weeks to play.
In the AFC, there has been a bit more separation from the pack, as it looks like only 7 teams are still alive fighting for the 6 spots. Now we know that technically there are others still mathematically alive, but we are just going with who has a realistic shot. 3 teams in the AFC have already clinched a spot in the playoffs, Houston, Denver and New England. Baltimore, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati and Indianapolis will fight for the final 3 spots. If the season were to end today, this is how the teams would be seeded.
1. Houston (11-1) AFC South *clinched playoff berth
2. New England (9-3) AFC East *clinched division title
3. Baltimore (9-3) AFC North
4. Denver (9-3) AFC West *clinched division title
5. Indianapolis (8-4)
6. Pittsburgh (7-5)
In the NFC, I count 10 teams that still are battling it out for a playoff spot. The Atlanta Falcons are the only team that have already clinched a spot, so the other 5 spots are completely up for grabs. Atlanta has clinched the NFC South, but the other 3 divisions are crowded at the top. Here is a look at the NFC playoffs, if the season were to end today.
1. Atlanta (11-1) NFC South *clinched division title
2. San Francisco (8-3-1) NFC West
3. Green Bay (8-4) NFC North
4. NY Giants (7-5) NFC East
5. Chicago (8-4)
6. Seattle (7-5)
Tampa Bay (6-6)
If the playoffs would start this week, we would have some very interesting Wild Card round games. In the AFC you would have Steelers v Ravens III and Peyton Manning vs the Colts. In the NFC we would see Green Bay getting a rematch against Seattle who won the game earlier this season with a controversial Hail Mary on Monday Night Football.