PITTSBURGH (93-7 THE FAN) — Let’s take our weekly look back at the week that was in the NFL for week 14.
AFC NORTH RECAP
It was not a great week in the AFC North this past Sunday. The division went 1-3 and the lone victory coming from the last place Browns, who won their 3rd straight game. The 1st place Ravens lost in overtime to the Washington Redskins, but the Bengals and Steelers couldn’t gain on Baltimore, each team losing at home. The Bengals also lost to an NFC East foe, like the Ravens, losing to the Cowboys despite holding a 9 point lead with less than 7 minutes to play in the game. The Steelers had no such collapse as they never lead and were never really in the game against San Diego. It was the first ever regular season win for the Chargers in Pittsburgh. They had been 0-14 in those situations prior to Sunday.
For the 2nd straight week the Ravens lost with a chance to clinch the division. This time it did not go without repercussions. With only 3 weeks to go in the regular season they announced yesterday that they fired offensive coordinator Cam Cameron and will replace him with Jim Caldwell, who has never called plays at the NFL level.
3 weeks to go in the season and 3 teams still fighting for playoff births. Another week with everyone playing outside the division. 3 of the 4 are playing NFC East opponents starting with Cincinnati on Thursday night. Here is what the slate looks like for Week 15.
WEEK 15 SCHEDULE:
Cincinnati @ Philadelphia (Thursday Night)
Washington @ Cleveland
Denver @ Baltimore
Pittsburgh @ Dallas
The opening round of the playoffs begin in just 25 days and after this week the playoff picture is a hazy as ever. After 4 teams clinched a playoff spot in week 13, zero accomplished that goal in week 14. That does not look like it will be the case in Week 15, as 4 teams have the opportunity to do so.
In the AFC, Baltimore and Indianapolis can both clinch a playoff spot with a win. The Ravens can clinch the AFC North win a win and a loss from both Pittsburgh and Cincinnati. The wildcard spots in the AFC look a little more muddled after this past week. It looks like the Colts will be in, so that leaves 1 other spot that technically 7 teams are still alive for. If the season were to end today, this is how the teams would be seeded.
1. Houston (11-2) AFC South *clinched playoff berth
2. New England (10-3) AFC East *clinched division title
3. Denver (10-3) AFC West *clinched division title
4. Baltimore (9-4) AFC North
5. Indianapolis (9-4)
6. Pittsburgh (7-6)
NY Jets (6-7)
San Diego (5-8)
In the NFC, although 12 teams are still mathematically alive for the playoffs, I see 9 that have a realistic shot at the postseason. 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 (11-2) NFC South *clinched division title
2. San Francisco (9-3-1) NFC West
3. Green Bay (9-4) NFC North
4. NY Giants (8-5) NFC East
5. Seattle (8-5)
6. Chicago (8-5)