NFL Playoff Picture

Fourteen weeks into the NFL season, there is much still to be determined as we inch closer to the playoffs. The NFL playoff picture is becoming a little clearer as two NFC teams can clinch a playoff berth this Sunday.
Both the Philadelphia Eagles (11-1) and the Minnesota Vikings (10-2) find themselves in the perfect position to take some pressure off for the future by securing a playoff spot and creating a great opportunity for postseason home-field advantage. This year looks to be an exciting race to the finish line for both conferences, as both have strong competition for the number-one seed and the first-round bye.
In the NFC, the Vikings and Eagles are in a firm position at taking the top spot, especially with the San Francisco 49ers losing their starting quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo for the remainder of the season to a broken foot. After Sunday’s contests, there will be four more games this season. The Eagles will have a relatively easy finish to the end as their remaining games are ranked 19th in the league for strength of schedule with a .508 average win percentage with its opponents. The Vikings, however, have the 35th most challenging schedule, with only one of their opponents above .500 in wins. The Eagles will need some big wins, with one of those coming this Sunday against division opponent New York Giants. The Eagles’ biggest contest will come on Christmas Eve against the Dallas Cowboys, who have been on a roll scoring 199 points in a five-game span and turning into an offensive juggernaut. It will be interesting to see how the NFC looks when the season comes to an end Jan. 8.
On the other hand, we have an AFC conference with a tight race, with seven teams still in the race for the number one seed and home-field advantage in the playoffs. To no surprise, the Kansas City Chiefs and Buffalo Bills still sit atop the conference at 9-3. At the beginning of the season, both teams were picked as the top Superbowl Contenders. Hot on their tails are the Baltimore Ravens (8-4), Tennessee Titans (7-5), Cincinnati Bengals (8-4), Miami Dolphins (8-4), and the New York Jets (7-5).
“The AFC is crazy right now, and I had no clue it was going to be this close of race because I really thought the Chiefs and the Bills were gonna run away with it,” said Grossmont Griffin Joseph Hamer. “I think one of the biggest surprises in this race is the Jets because not only are they in contention, but they beat the Bills this season, which blew me away.”
The Bills and Jets have a huge matchup this Sunday, and the winner of this matchup can grab a significant advantage in the AFC East. It’s not a secret that this is a must-win game for the Jets as they can jump into second in their division and give themselves a significant advantage over the Bills by taking the win in both matchups. When we look at the strength of schedule for the Chiefs and Bills, Kansas City has the most manageable schedule in the league, with their opponents’ average win percentage at .320. The Bills have a more demanding schedule at 14th in the league with an average win percentage of .525. The Dolphins are the biggest threat to both the Chiefs and Bills as they boast an impressive offense and have the league’s leading receiver in yards in Tyreek Hill. The Dolphins suffered a tough loss at the hands of the 49ers last week, and many are saying they may have been exposed after a lackluster performance from the offense that put up only 17 points.
“I am really hoping that the Dolphins and Jets can make a run for the playoff this season, but I really want it to come down to the Chiefs and Bills in the AFC championship because last year both of these quarterbacks put on such a great show and was one of the best games of the year,” said Grossmont Griffin Manuel Trinidad.
No matter how these next few weeks play out for the NFL, there is no question that the competition is fierce, and it will be exciting to watch.