Making Sense of the NFL Playoff Race, Part 2

NFC Headlines

BearsBears

All Day ran all over the Bears.

Enough of that Peyton Manning for MVP talk. Adrian Peterson, aka All Day, aka Purple Jesus has carried the Minnesota Vikings. The dude has more rushing yards than Christian Ponder has passing yards. What does that mean? That means that opponents like last week’s Bears will plan all week to stop the run.

Well, a lot of good that did. AD put up 154 rushing yards, including 100 yards and two touchdowns in the first quarter. That quick start allowed the the Vikings to play conservatively the rest of the way. In fact, Peterson ran for more yards in the first quarter than yards Ponder threw all game. Meanwhile, Brandon Marshall has been unbelievable for the Bears’ and is pretty much doing for their offense what Peterson is doing for the Vikes. In 11 of 13 games, Marshall has lead the Bears’ in receiving, with one of the two games he didn’t coming when Jason Campbell was at the helm.

Anyways, the win for the Vikings gives Minnesota a better outlook, while things are starting to look bleak for the Bears. However, the Vikings’ last two games are against the Texans and Packers, so if they want to make the playoffs, those are two games that are must-wins. Perhaps the Texans will be too focused on the Colts games, but the Minnesota-Green Bay match up will be a great one. The Bears have an easier path, playing against the Packers, Cardinals, and Lions. The Cardinals have had a historically terrible offense, but divisional games are always tough, so whoever starts at QB for the Bears will inevitably be beat up behind that O-Line.

Sums up the Bears' pass protection...

Sums up the Bears’ pass protection…

Since Green Bay’s schedule got covered above, there’s not much left to say. Like the Bears, the Pack faces an inferior opponent between two divisional games, the Titans. Aside from a rough loss against the Giants, the Packers have been on a roll, though some of the wins haven’t been all that convincing.

The 49ers have that weird QB thing going on, but having two good options is never that big of a problem. Then again, ask Wade Phillips how that turned out for him. He went with Rob Johnson instead of Doug Flutie in Wildcard Round in 2000, and then lost to the Titans via The Music City Miracle. As a sports fan, that was one of my favorite moments I ever witnessed on live TV.

Anyways, there’s one great game between the Seahawks and the 49ers coming up, since both teams seem poised for the playoffs. If they somehow win the division, the road through CenturyLink would be a very tough one. Any slip-ups for the Seahawks could make that game huge for them though, with the Cowboys, Redskins, and Vikings breathing down their necks. Also there’s Richard Sherman’s suspension. “U cheated, bro?”

SchefterTweet

 

Speaking of those teams breathing down their necks, the NFC had potential to be logjam until the Giants realized they were approaching the end of November and should win again. With the Giants in control of their destiny, we have the surging Cowboys and Redskins fighting for a possible final playoff spot. What this means is that the week 17 matchup between the two teams will be huge…assuming the Bears and/or Seahawks haven’t locked up the final playoff spots.

Oh, and their are the Falcons, who will probably score 2 points in the playoffs and be eliminated in the first round….

OR WILL THEY!!?!?

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One response to “Making Sense of the NFL Playoff Race, Part 2

  1. Pingback: Making Sense of the NFL Playoff Race, Part 1 « John Fichera·

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