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Predicting The Final 5 Weeks Of The NFL

As usual, the NFL has seen a season full of injuries and surprises.  The Houston Texans saw their season derailed by injuries, the Dallas Cowboys look terrible with Ezekiel Elliott serving his suspension and the Green Bay Packers handed the NFC North to the Minnesota Vikings when Aaron Rodgers broke his collarbone.

So what do the final five weeks of the season have in store for us?  The AFC & NFC East and North divisions are all but locked up but the South & West divisions in both leagues are up for grabs.  Those races will create some fun battles for the wild card spots.

We took a look at each remaining game and picked winners:

AFC East

New England Patriots win the division and earn a bye

The Patriots will travel to Pittsburgh in week 15 in a game that could determine which city the road to Super Bowl LII runs though.  We all know these two teams will meet again in the AFC Championship game.

AFC North

Pittsburgh Steelers win the division and earn a bye
Baltimore Ravens earn the wild card

The Ravens will continue to rely on their defense to lead them to a wild card game.  However, they have not exactly beat the best QBs in the NFL.
  • Tom Savage
  • Brett Hundley
  • Matt Moore
  • EJ Manuel
  • DeShone Kizer
  • Andy Dalton
A win is a win but they still have to play Matthew Stafford & Ben Roethlisberger.  If they fail to beat one those QBs they can not win 10 games.  Without that 10th W, they could be looking at NFL tie-breaking procedures to see if they earn the 2nd wild card spot over the Chargers.

AFC South

Tennessee Titans win the division
Jacksonville Jaguars earn the wild card

If I had told you back in August that week 17 Jaguars @ Titans was going to be must see TV, would you have believed me?

The Titans face the Texans, Cardinals, 49ers and Rams before hosting the Jaguars.

Jacksonville gets Indianapolis, Seattle, Houston, and San Francisco.

Both teams can only afford one loss if they want the division, but it is highly likely they both earn a playoff berth.

AFC West

Kansas City Chiefs win the division

Despite the fact that Kansas City is just 1-5 after a 5-0 start to the season, they are still the favorites to win the AFC West.  Los Angeles has won 5 of their last 7, but started the season 0-4, including a loss to the Chiefs.  The two clubs still have a week 15 matchup in Kansas City.

The Chargers would have to win out and the Chiefs would have to lose two or more games in the final 5 weeks for LA to win the division.

NFC East

Philadelphia Eagles win the division and earn a bye

The Eagles could lose the next two weeks, on the road in Seattle and Los Angeles (Rams), but with 10 wins already, the NFC East is theirs.  The best the Redskins can do is 10 wins, and the Eagles already beat them twice, so a tiebreaker would go to Philly.

NFC North

*Minnesota Vikings win the division

With a three game lead in the division, the Vikings have all but locked up a division title.  Even with a 2-3 record the rest of the way, they would win the division.

The Lions need to win out to keep pace with the NFC South for a wild card berth.  That starts in week 13 with a road win against a tough Ravens defense.

NFC South

*New Orleans Saints win the division
Atlanta Falcons earn the wild card

This division is nearly impossible to predict as the Saints play the Panthers and Falcons in the next two weeks.  We have a New Orleans win over Carolina but a loss to Atlanta on the road.  Then in week 16, the Saints host the Falcons where we give the W to New Orleans.

To make things even more interesting, the Falcons and Panthers play in week 17!  If Atlanta wins that game there could be three teams with 10/11 wins (ATL, CAR, SEA (maybe DET if they win out)) and only two wild card spots!

The Falcons need to beat the Vikings, Saints & Panthers at home to keep pace.

Carolina has to beat Minnesota at home and win one of those two division road games in order to secure a playoff spot.  On top of that challenge, week 15 might feature the return of Aaron Rodgers in Charlotte!

NFC West

*Los Angeles Rams win the division

The Rams should beat the Cardinals in week 13, but then have a tough matchup, at home, against the Eagles.  It would take a win over Philly or a W at Seattle the following week to lock up the NFC West.  In week 16 they should beat the Titans on the road before returning home to take care of the 49ers.

If Los Angeles drops both games to the Eagles and Seahawks, both teams would likely finish with 11 wins and a tiebreaker would determine the division winner and we could see three or four teams all with 10/11 wins and just two wild card spots!

*NFL Tiebreaking Procedures