The 2018 NFL season is in the home stretch. The very good teams are starting to separate themselves from the middle of the pack and the bad teams are on their way to a total tank fest. Six out of eight of the division races are pretty much locked. The exception is the NFC East, which is once again a total mess, and the AFC West, which will likely go to the Chiefs.
Hypothetically, 15 teams are competing for three spots. The road to the playoffs for the sub .500 teams is a lot tougher for the 6-5 or better bunch, but they still aren’t out of it. The 5 and 6 seeds for both conferences could come down to the last week of the season.
Right now, the teams in control of their own destiny are the Los Angeles Chargers and Dallas Cowboys.
The Chargers could still win the AFC West with a win against the Chiefs on the road, but the fifth seed in the AFC seems the most likely even with a loss to the Chiefs.
The Cowboys have started playing well at the right time. They play the Saints at home this week, but even with an L from the best team in football, they’re still able to win a terrible division. This is due in part to Alex Smith’s leg snapping in half and the resurgence of Ezekiel Elliot and Amari Cooper. Jason Garrett might need to thank Cooper for saving his job if the Cowboys make the playoffs.
The Washington Redskins can still win a playoff spot with back up Colt McCoy or the “Butt Fumble Boy™” Mark Sanchez under center. If McCoy struggles, Sanchez could get the call because he is familiar with the Redskins offense and has playoff winning experience. That is more than anyone on the Cowboys can say.
The Seattle Seahawks and Minnesota Vikings have a potential loss remaining on their schedules against the Chiefs and Patriots, respectively, but, they play head-to-head in two weeks on Monday Night Football. That game could decide one of the Wild Card spots, and if one or both of these two teams can pull out an upset against their toughest remaining games mentioned above, they could snag both spots.
The Baltimore Ravens have tough games remaining against the Chiefs and Chargers but play sub .500 teams the rest of the way. They could snag the 6 seed in the playoffs.
The team most likely competing with the Ravens for the sixth seed in the AFC is the Indianapolis Colts. Andrew Luck is on track to win Comeback Player of the Year with the season he is having. The Colts have quietly won five games in a row to get above .500. Eric Ebron is playing out of his mind right now and Luck is finally playing behind a good offensive line.
The NFL is putting the Wild in Wild Card.
Photos courtesy of ESPN and the NFL