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Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Tuesday Morning QB

Wild on Sports
Tuesday Morning QB
By Wild on Sports Analyst Billy Ball

Week 15 is in the books folks! We are oh so close to the NFL playoffs but a lot still have to happen to determine who will be there. The intrigue only added another layer over the weekend as heart break, triumph and sheer shock kept fans on the edge of their seats. Lets take a look at key results and of course my takes as we enter the home stretch of the NFL season.

If someone told me on Thursday afternoon that the top three seeds in the AFC would all lose this weekend I would have thought they were crazy. Sure all three had rivalry inner divisional games against opponents, who in theory could still possibly maybe be in the playoff picture if they won out and got some help. Well, they held up their end of the bargain. The Broncos got out played on Thursday night. Tom Brady was not able to muster up any last second magic in the closing seconds this time around. The Bengals could not stop Antonio Brown.

The wild card race is shaping up to be a two horse affair. The Ravens and Dolphins both pulled out wins late it he 4th quarter and remain the front runners for the 6th and final playoff spot. Each still have a very outside chance at the division if they win out and the Patriots/Bengals lose out. Unlikely, but mathematically possible. 

The Ravens have the tougher of the two roads. They go up against two teams leading their division and needing a win of their own to secure home field. Baltimore gets New England in week 16, a team Miami just beat last week. New England is beat up but never out of it as long as Tom Brady is under center. In week 17, if they can get there unscaved, the Ravens get a big rivalry match-up against the Bengals that will almost certainly have playoff seeding implications and possibly be for the division. It is must see TV for Ravens fans down the stretch.

The Dolphins have a much easier path with games against lesser division opponents in Buffalo and New York but you know those two teams would like nothing more than to keep a divisional rival out of the playoffs. They also have the little issue of the tie breaker. Baltimore won a head to head contest in overtime early in the season and if they were to finish with the same record would be in over Miami. If you are Miami you don't worry about that and just go out and get the job done. Win two games and things should take care of themselves.

Oh, Tony Romo. You poor, poor sap. Another December, another Romo collapse. His Cowboys blew a 23 point lead and Romo threw two interceptions in four minutes to close out the game. Thankfully, for Cowboys fans, Philadelphia did Dallas a huge favor by losing to the Minnesota Vikings who were without Adrain Peterson. The two teams are scheduled to play each other in the final week in what could be a game that decides the division. In the mean time, the Eagles have a tough match-up this Sunday with a Bears team that is in a race of their own. Meanwhile, the Cowboys take on a Washington team that looks a little inspired with Kirk Cousins now at the helm.

The other race in the NFC, and much more intriguing in my opinion, is the race for the NFC North crown. The Bears, Packers and Lions all have a chance to win the division at this point. If both Chicago and Green Bay win this weekend their week 17 match-up against each other will be to decide the division crown. A loss by each opens the door for the Lions to sneak back into the picture. The Lions have the easiest of the three schedules with games remaining against the Giants and Vikings. Win both and 1 loss each over the last two games for Packers & Bears gets the Lions in.

 Wow this is going to be crazy.


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