Week 17: Win or Go Home

Steve O Speak

The Playoffs are starting a week early for a few teams in the AFC, as their fates will be determined by what happens on the field today. The Ravens and Jets have the easiest chances, as they control their own destiny and will secure a playoff spot with a win today. The Ravens will have to get past Oakland, which on paper seems like an easy task, but they have already beaten the Steelers and Eagles this season, so Baltimore better not take them for granted. The Jets may luck out if the Bengals rest their starters. Even if they are facing the Cincinnati second string, the Jets can’t afford any Mark Sanchez miscues today.

If those teams can’t take care of business, the door opens up for the Steelers, Texans, Broncos, Jaguars, and Dolphins (though so many things need to go right for either the Dolphins or Jags I would count them out at this point).  The Steelers face the Dolphins so they do have a bit of a challenge but I like their chances of winning. The Texans got absolutely no favors in the scheduling department, as they have to face the Patriots to determine their playoff fate. While New England could rest their starters, it is still an uphill climb for Houston. The Broncos have what looks like a cupcake game against the Kansas City Chiefs, but looks can be deceiving. The Broncos will be without their star wide receiver Brandon Marshall, who was benched by the team. They are coming off three straight losses, and look like a shell of a team that won 6 games to start the season. Kansas City on the other hand, almost upset the Bengals last week, and I’m sure would like nothing more than to end their division rival’s playoff chances.

So who will be in? Baltimore should beat Oakland securing one spot for themselves. I think the Steelers will beat Miami, and I would like to think Denver can still overcome Kansas City. As for the Texans I think they have a 50/50 shot of winning this game. All of that will be meaningless if the Jets win tonight. If they lose then I believe Pittsburgh will be in (if the Texans lose that 50/50 bet). But this can clutter up fast and you never know will happen until the game is played.

Either way I’m happy since I can just enjoy good football today (the Skins have been out of it since I think training camp). That is who I think will make it, what do you all think? Also which wild card team do the division winners not want to see in the postseason?

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