We’re closing in on the final playoff field with three weeks left in the season, and things are looking pretty tight in both conferences.
In the AFC, the Chiefs and Chargers are tied with the best record after the Chargers’ comeback win over the Chiefs last night. Kansas City owns the tiebreaker, however, and can secure the AFC West title and the top spot by winning their next two games. The Patriots have the tiebreaker over the Texans. The Steelers and Ravens are separated by Pittsburgh’s tie with Cleveland in Week 1. Behind those six teams are four other teams within one game of the final playoff spot.
In the NFC, things are just as wild. The Saints and Rams have identical 11-2 records, with New Orleans holding the tiebreaker. The Bears, at 9-4, aren’t far back and have a win over the Rams from Week 14. The Cowboys and Seahawks are both 8-5. And the Vikings sit in the final spot at 6-6-1, with four teams within one game nipping at their heels.
Things will start to shake out a little bit more this weekend, with several key matchups on tap. To get insight into some of those matchups, we caught up with CBS Minnesota sports anchor Mike Max.
Green Bay Packers @ Chicago Bears, 1:00 p.m. ET (FOX)
“The Packers got a big lift because they made a coaching change. That isn’t going to hold up. Not against the Bears defense. Chicago wins the division title, beating the Packers by seven.”
Dallas Cowboys @ Indianapolis Colts, 1:00 p.m. ET (FOX)
“Cowboys look like they might have a little something going. And, they want home-field, if they can get it, in the first game of the playoffs. Take the Cowboys, but only by a field goal.”
Miami Dolphins @ Minnesota Vikings, 1:00 p.m. ET (CBS)
“The Miami Dolphins come here to Minneapolis to take on the Vikings. The Vikings are desperate to make the playoffs, so too are the Dolphins. The Vikings make a change to replace the offensive coordinator this week. Yeah, they are desperate right now. And that is why you are going to see a whole new set of plays and a different offense on Sunday. That is why the Vikings beat the Miami Dolphins on Sunday.”
New England Patriots @ Pittsburgh Steelers, 4:25 p.m. ET (CBS)
“The Patriots and the Steelers. Which team is angrier right now? When a team gets beat on a miracle play, a really good team, take that team the next week. I’m all over the New England Patriots going away.”