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A Tale Of Two Conferences

Mill Woods

Posted on December 30, 2021 19:50

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In the National Football Conference, five teams are already in the playoffs and three of four division titles are decided. But in the American Conference, the race for postseason glory is still wide open. Only one AFC team — the Chiefs — has secured a playoff spot. That will change dramatically on Sunday.

Here we are at the end of 2021, and only eight of 32 NFL teams are eliminated from the playoffs.
 
The entire league is benefitting from unprecedented parity among teams, but the situation in the AFC is unbelievable. Only the Chiefs are in the playoffs already, and an astounding 12 of 16 teams are still in the hunt. In the NFC, five teams are already in the playoffs; six teams are vying for the other two playoff spots.

The weekend's action will clear the playoff picture substantially. 

I expect the Eagles to secure a playoff spot and simultaneously knock out the Washington team. I see the Colts delivering the same blow to the Raiders.

While the Packers are already in the catbird seat, I think they will continue to pound the NFC North rival Vikings, and a loss Sunday could end the Vikings' season as well.

Perhaps the biggest match of the weekend is the surprising Bengals hosting the conference-leading Chiefs, in a match that could either secure the Bengals a playoff spot or solidify the Chiefs' hold on the #1 seed.

Other must-see events are the playoff-bound Rams visiting the Ravens (who seem to be sliding out the back door right now) and the Cowboys hosting the downtrending Cardinals. I think the Cowboys are too much for Arizona, and the Ravens are still struggling with the loss of key players.

Oh, and just one more: those red-hot Dolphins are going to get a shot at the Titans — plus a chance to catch the Patriots and Bills in their division. That is the one outcome that I find very hard to predict.

Now, most fans will have no way to see most of these matches, and that's a shame, because I suspect the weekend will produce some of the best football of the year.  But fans will be able to get flash updates on key matches during and after the games that are viewable in their area. So, hard core fans will be glued to their sets this Sunday, and, if there are still playoff positions to be decided at the end of Sunday night, we'll find those same seats, make the same plans, and do it all again next week. After all, there's only so much football left this season.
 
Last week, I had my best outing: 13-3.  Here are all the Week 17 matches and my picks:
 
1.     Eagles at Washington             Eagles
2.     Rams at Ravens                     Rams
3.     Bucs at Jets                           Bucs
4.     Dolphins at Titans                   Titans
5.     Jaguars at Patriots                  Patriots
6.     Raiders at Colts                      Colts
7.     Chiefs at Bengals                    Chiefs
8.     Giants at Bears                       Bears
9.     Falcons at Bills                        Bills
10.  Texans at 49ers                       49ers
11.  Broncos at Chargers                Chargers
12.  Panthers at Saints                    Saints
13.  Lions at Seahawks                   Seahawks
14.  Cardinals at Cowboys               Cowboys
15.  Vikings at Packers                    Packers
16.  Browns at Steelers                   Steelers
 
Happy New Year!

Mill Woods

Posted on December 30, 2021 19:50

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