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NFL Playoff Picture Just Starting To Clear

Mill Woods

Posted on October 20, 2021 13:04

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No, it's not time to snap the photo. The National Parity League must keep posing and shifting positions for several more weeks before anyone can say with certainty who the winners and losers are. But some teams are showing signs of leadership, and it's not just due to talent — the ones who make the playoffs will do so because of consistency.

In the NFC, the playoff picture is starting to clear. Starting. It looks to me like the Cowboys, Packers and Bucs are going to win the NFC East, North and South, because they are showing consistently high levels of play — on offense and defense. The NFC West is still wide open, with the Rams and Cardinals the clear top contenders. Again, both teams have powerful, consistent offensive and defensive squads.

When it comes to the NFC's three wild card positions, it is far, far too early to even comment. Only one team seems to be out of it: the Lions, who are the last team in the league without a win.

The entire AFC is nowhere close to settled. The Ravens and Bills look formidable, but the Browns, Titans and Chiefs have stumbled badly at times — while remaining a very real threat, of course. I think there is only a clear division leader in the AFC East. There are several upstarts who can still contend for division titles: the Chargers, Bengals, Colts and Broncos, for example. And, like the NFC, the AFC has a bunch of names that could earn a wild card spot.

Now, we move on to Week Seven. I'm sorry, but I have to repeat myself: it is a tempting schedule with several juicy matchups (beyond just the ones the home team fans want to watch). Because of parity, we fans are kept tuning in over and over. And the most ardent fans watch not only their home town favorites, but also their team's competition.

This weekend, all 13 matches get my nod of approval, but here are the biggest headliners:

The Chiefs try to regain relevancy against the Titans

The Ravens host the upstart Bengals for the division lead

The Bears bring their excellent D to try to cool the Bucs

The Colts try to close against the 49ers

The Saints try to take advantage of the wounded Seahawks (no Russell Wilson).

Last week, I went 7-7, breaking my streak of six +.500 weeks.  Here are my picks for Week Seven:
 
          Away               Home               My Pick           
 
1       Broncos           Browns             Broncos
2       Panthers          Giants             Panthers
3       Jets                  Patriots            Patriots
4       Chiefs              Titans             Titans
5       Washington    Packers             Packers
6       Falcons            Dolphins           Falcons
7       Bengals           Ravens              Ravens
8       Lions                Rams               Rams
9       Eagles              Raiders             Eagles
10     Texans             Cardinals          Cardinals
11     Bears               Buccaneers      Buccaneers
12     Colts                49ers               49ers
13     Saints              Seahawks         Saints.

Enjoy!

 

 

 

Mill Woods

Posted on October 20, 2021 13:04

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Source: NYT

The process then moves swiftly through preparation, false hope and recrimination.

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