This week in NFL matchups is big, but not because of the lineups instead for the simple fact that it is so close to the post season. With these next couple of weeks some teams can coast into the playoffs, while others have to work some magic in order for a ticket. The three matchups this week have strong playoff implications for teams involved.
Pittsburgh vs. Indianapolis
A win for either of these teams brings them even closer to the post season. As of now the Indianapolis Colts are in position to play in the Wild Card round of the playoffs, while the Pittsburgh Steelers sit right outside the playoff picture, but could make their way in with a few wins. The Colts have been rolling lately with backup quarterback Matt Hasselbeck at the wheel and after last week’s game the Steeler defense will be tested. So will the Colts defense, averaging 272.8 yards per game be able to slow down or stop Big Ben? Ben Roethlisberger has averaged 389.7 yards over the last three contests, which is extremely impressive considering the injuries he’s already sustained this season. With the playoffs looming in the balance, these teams don’t want to and just can’t afford to lose any more games.
Kansas City @ Oakland
The Kansas City Chiefs started off the season 1-5, but since have rebounded and found themselves in the playoff picture. On the other side of the field, the Oakland Raiders came into this season looking really good. Although, now they sit at 5-6 and like the Chiefs, they are still playoff candidates. This game will be big for both teams. The Raiders have to rely on Derek Carr to continue putting up impressive stats, while the Chiefs will rely on protecting the ball as they’ve done so well. Let’s see if these two teams can continues off the success from last week.
Minnesota vs. Seattle
These two teams are both sitting in Wild Card positions, but after this game things will change for at least one of these teams. These teams have a lot on line coming into this game. The Minnesota Vikings are in first place of the NFC North, which could change with a loss. The Seattle Seahawks can make a push into the post season with a win, if they lose though they could be out of the playoff picture entirely. Lately the Seahawks have been doing well on both sides of the ball. The defense is ranked fourth in the league in total yards allowed and the offense has scored 100 points in the last three games. The same goes for Minnesota whose defense has been solid, and their offense is living off the legs of Adrian Peterson averaging 105.8 yards per game. These teams want to solidify their playoff spot but first they have to face each other, the level of competition here will be high.