With the playoffs looming right around the corner, teams are looking to make sure they are in positions to extend their seasons. A win for some teams this week will keep their playoffs hopes alive, while a loss will put them farther behind in the playoff race. Here are a few games that you should pay attention to get an idea of how the post-season could look…
Houston vs. New York
Houston has kept their playoff hopes alive winning the last three of their four games, which places them and the Indianapolis Colts at the top of the AFC South. Their opponent the New York Jets are also looking to push into the post-season, tied for second place in the AFC North. The Texans quarterback situation has been rocky, coming into this game they have had three different signal callers. TJ Yates will be the fourth in the lineup to see action, but let’s be clear he was a pivotal player in the Texans win against the Cincinnati Bengals. Sunday he will be going up against the Jets defense which ranks fourth in league for total defense, averaging 88.1 yards per game. Both teams are scrapping to get into the playoffs.
Cincinnati @ Arizona
Here we have two outright division leaders facing off. The Cincinnati Bengals are coming off an embarrassing loss to the Texans where they failed to reach the end zone all game, and now they are facing an Arizona Cardinals team which is on a three game win streak. Two of the league’s top offenses are facing off, with the Cardinals who has the league’s best total offense matching up with the Bengals who themselves place seventh on the list. But ultimately the game will come down to how the teams’ defense responds to these strong offensive units. Arizona will have home field advantage here, but look for the Bengals to come out aggressive after giving up their hopes for an undefeated season last week.
Green Bay vs. Minnesota
Watch out for this division showdown between the Green Bay Packers and the Minnesota Vikings. The stakes for this game is a position at the top of the NFC North. The Vikings have been on top of their game lately winning five straight, while the Packers have left fans questioning the season after dropping the last three games. Things are clicking for the Viking with Peterson running efficiently averaging 106.8 yards a game, and the defense is holding their own as well coming in ninth in the league for total yards allowed. The Packers are looking to correct the ship; Aaron Rodgers has been struggling lately but don’t be too worried because typically he fairs well against the Vikings, winning nine of the last 10 games. There is a lot on the line for both teams, so expect a tight game until the end.