NFL Instant Reactions: Week 13 Edition


The playoff picture is becoming even clearer after 13 weeks of NFL action, so let’s take a look at how each team fared. Much like last week’s article, I have separated the teams into four different categories: True Contenders, Playoff Bound Material, Mediocre at Best, and Dead in the Water.

True Contenders: Philadelphia Eagles, Pittsburgh Steelers, New England Patriots, New Orleans Saints, Minnesota Vikings, Los Angeles Rams.

The Eagles (10-2) now hold a tie for the NFL’s best record, after losing last night to a tough Seattle team. The Vikings (10-2) also are now very much in the discussion for the top overall seed in the NFC after taking care of the Falcons. The Pittsburgh Steelers (9-2) have a pivotal game tonight against the Bengals to remain atop the AFC with The Patriots (10-2). The Rams (9-3) proved that they still belong in this group with another key win against a division rival. The Saints (9-3) got back to their winning ways as well, with a convincing home win over the Carolina Panthers.

Playoff Bound Material: Seattle Seahawks, Jacksonville Jaguars, Tennessee Titans, Atlanta Falcons, Baltimore Ravens, Carolina Panthers, Los Angeles Chargers, Green Bay Packers, Dallas Cowboys.

Seattle (8-4)  proved that they are still capable of beating anyone in the NFC, with a huge win over the Eagles last night. The Seahawks now find themselves in the playoffs, if the season ended today. Additionally, the Cowboys (6-6) got back into the playoff picture with a blowout win over the banged-up Redskins. Elsewhere, the Jaguars (8-4)still remain deadlocked with the Titans (8-4) atop the AFC South, as both teams found a way to win against divisional opponents. The Falcons (7-5) playoff aspirations hit a major speed bump as they lost to the Vikings, and the Ravens kept their playoff hopes alive with a huge home win over the Lions (6-6). I’m really liking what the Chargers (6-6) are doing right now, and they remain in a three-way tie atop the AFC West with the Raiders and Chiefs. Look for the Chargers to eventually win this jam-packed division race. Lastly, the Green Bay Packers (6-6) are still in the hunt with a huge win on Sunday against the Bucs, and Aaron Rodgers may be back in the starting lineup as early as Week 15.


Mediocre at Best:  Oakland Raiders, Washington Redskins, Kansas City Chiefs, Cincinnati Bengals, Arizona Cardinals, Buffalo Bills, Detroit Lions.

What in the world has happened to the Kansas City Chiefs (6-6)? They seemed to have the division wrapped up a few weeks ago, and now they find themselves in a tie with the Raiders and Chargers. Even though Andy Reid gave up play-calling duties this week, they embarrassed themselves with a bad loss to the Jets. The Bengals (5-6) look to stay alive in the AFC playoff race, but a Steelers squad is in their way tonight from accomplishing that goal. The Bills (6-6) took a big step back losing to the Patriots and the Lions (6-6) hurt their chances as well after getting roughed up by the Ravens in Baltimore.

Dead in the Water: Cleveland Browns, NY Giants, Indianapolis Colts, San Francisco 49ers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Chicago Bears, Houston Texans, Denver Broncos, NY Jets, Miami Dolphins.

The Browns still remain a near lock for the top pick in the 2018 NFL draft, while San Francisco got a glimpse into the future with Jimmy Garoppolo making his first start as a member of the 49ers in a victory over the Bears. The NY Jets and Miami Dolphins are showing the most fighting spirit left of the teams in this category, as they both came off impressive victories this week. Lastly, Denver Broncos team President John Elway, will likely have to fire his head coach Vance Joseph after being stuffed by a bad Dolphins team.

Be sure to check back next week to see the movement in these categories, which teams should start to be taken seriously, and the others we wish would just get off our TV screens for good.

Photo Credit: USA Today

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