The race to the playoffs in the NFL is always crazy. There is never any calm, and things are always hectic. Teams are lapping each other week after week, and there are always a lot of questions that need to be answered.
There are a litany of NFC teams in race for 7th seed. And currently, there are three teams with a 5-6 record, all tied. Let’s look at them.
Perhaps the worst all-around team in the hunt, the Atlanta Falcons have had plenty of bad luck this year. The offense has been cold for long stretches, while their defense is always finding a new way to let them down. They have still not recovered from being up 28-3 to the Patriots in the Super Bowl.
They have Cordarelle Patterson making crazy plays on offense, but few other options that. They scored a combined three points in the prior two games before beating Jacksonville. The only way they make the playoffs is if Matt Ryan turns back the clock, and they figure out what it takes to finally get things done right.
New Orleans Saints:
After starting the year 5-2, the Saints have not won any games since. Trevor Siemian is still yet to win a game at the helm. He is 0-4 when starting the game, and it has not been good. Sure, his numbers have been okay. But, it’s not all his fault.
Alvin Kamara has missed several games, while Michael Thomas is still yet to see the field this year. He is not coming back until the beginning of next year at the earliest, and it is a truly brutal blow to a team that has relied so heavily on him before.
They have injuries to offensive linemen as well as those on D, and if players don’t come back for them, Siemian and company will have their year come to an end after week 18.
Washington Football Team
Despite losing Chase Young for the year, the Washington Football Team has continued to look good. They also lost J.D. McKissic, who got carted off this past week, but he helped them by scoring two touchdowns before that. Taylor Heinicke has helped this team to three wins in a row.
They have scored fewer than 20 points on five occasions, but have been racking up enough of late to get by. They do have playmakers on D coming through for them, especially so when they went against the Seahawks at home.
They need to stay hot and cannot afford a loss just yet if they want to honestly consider a berth in the playoffs. But, crazier things have happened.
Minnesota and Carolina in the Mix
The Vikings suffered a critical loss to the 49ers and lost Dalvin Cook in the process. They do have the firepower on offense to be considered a possible playoff team, but it will be a long road.
And as for the Panthers, Cam Newton went just 5-21 for under 100 yards and two picks on Sunday. The now $10 million-a-year man was horrible and got benched in the fourth quarter. They sit at 5-7 and are technically in the hunt, but it is a bit of a mess.
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