Steelers Comeback To Clinch
It’s been a difficult few weeks for the Pittsburgh Steelers, who had lost 3 in a row after winning their previous 11. They appeared destined to lose another as they trailed 24-7, but a second half comeback with touchdowns to Diontae Johnson and Ju-Ju Smith-Schuster saw them win 28-24. The win coupled with the Browns loss to the New York Jets means the Pittsburgh clinches the AFC North division, and Cleveland needs to beat Pittsburgh in week 17 to clinch a playoff spot themselves, something which I’m sure Pittsburgh would love to deny them. This defeat could be costly for Indianapolis, who missed out on a chance to take the lead in the AFC South after Tennessee lost heavily in a snowy Green Bay, and Indy must beat Jacksonville and hope that one of Cleveland, Baltimore or Miami loses in order to get a wildcard spot, or that Tennessee loses in order to win the division.
NFC East Battle Goes Down To The Wire
The winner of the NFC East is yet to be decided, but we do know that whoever wins it will have a losing record. Washington currently has the upper hand, and would secure the division with a win over already eliminated Philadelphia. It is unclear who will start at QB for Washington, as their starter from last week Dwayne Haskins was cut after a series of poor performances and off field misdemeanours. Washington will hope that veteran Alex Smith is healthy enough to play, but could be forced to play Taylor Heinicke, who came on for Haskins late last week. If Washington slips up, the division will go to the winner of the game between the Dallas Cowboys and New York Giants. All 3 teams are very flawed and are unlikely to go far in the playoffs, but you never know what can happen in the NFL.
Seattle Are The Best In The West
The Seattle Seahawks cinched the NFC West title with a win over the LA Rams on Sunday. Seattle’s defence limited LA to just 9 points, and has improved massively over recent weeks. The Rams meanwhile face an uphill battle to make the playoffs after losses to the Jets and Seahawks over the last 2 weeks. They face division rival Arizona in a crucial clash which will give a playoff spot to the winner. Both teams may be without their starting QB’s for the game, as Jared Goff underwent surgery on a thumb injury this week and Kyler Murray in uncertain to play with a leg injury. A loss for Arizona would open the door for Chicago, who can clinch a playoff spot with a win at home to NFC North winners Green Bay.
Chiefs Are Still #1, But For How Long?
The Road to the Super Bowl will once again go through Kansas City, as the defending champions clinched the #1 seed in the AFC with a win over Atlanta. It wasn’t an easy win however, as KC’s offence struggled for much of the game and Atlanta missed a field goal that would have sent the game to overtime. If anyone is going to knock the Chiefs off their perch, it may well be the Buffalo Bills, who put up another impressive performance in New England, and look perhaps the most in form side right now with WR Stefon Diggs forming an excellent partnership with Josh Allen, who is having an MVP Calibre season.
Jaguars Win Lawrence Sweepstakes
The Jacksonville Jaguars secured a #1 seed of a different kind, as their loss to Chicago and the NY Jets win over Cleveland means that the Jags will pick 1st in the 2021 draft in April. Everyone expects Jacksonville to select Clemson QB Trevor Lawrence. Lawrence is regarded as the best QB prospect to come out of college in some time, and it will be interesting to see how he fares in the NFL next year.