On The Bubble
Listed below are the top teams in each conference that are on the outside looking in come playoff time. The number attached is their current seeding.
7. Miami Dolphins (8-6)
For the second time this season, Joe Philbin’s team is riding a three-game winning streak. This comes after holding on for a 24-20 victory over the visiting New England Patriots on Sunday. It also ensured for that for the first time since 2008, the Dolphins will not finish with a losing record. That season, Miami was 11-5 and AFC East champions, the team’s last playoff appearance.
Remaining Schedule: at Bills (5-9), vs. Jets (6-8)
8. San Diego Chargers (7-7)
Are we seeing yet another late-season surge by the unpredictable Chargers? Mike McCoy’s team went into Denver on Thursday night and handed Peyton Manning and Co. a stinging 27-20 loss. And while quarterback Philip Rivers continues to stand out, running back Ryan Mathews had another strong game. But will it be too little too late for this club when it comes to reaching the playoffs?
Remaining Schedule: vs. Raiders (4-10), vs. Chiefs (11-3)
7. Arizona Cardinals (9-5)
Bruce Arians continues to work his magic and has kept his Cardinals in the thick of the playoff race. Sunday’s win over the Tennessee Titans gave Arizona a perfect 4-0 mark versus the AFC South this season. They hope to fare better the next two weeks against their NFC West rivals.
Remaining Schedule: at Seahawks (12-2), vs. 49ers (10-4)
8. Green Bay Packers (7-6-1)
You have to give Mike McCarthy’s club the nod minus quarterback Aaron Rodgers. The Packers have followed up that Turkey Day disaster at Detroit with a pair of one-point wins over the Atlanta Falcons and Dallas Cowboys, the latter featuring the greatest comeback (down 23 points) in Green Bay history.
And the Pack now sits just one-half game out of first place in the wild NFC North.
Remaining Schedule: vs. Steelers (6-8), at Bears (8-6)
9. Detroit Lions (7-7)
A week ago, the Detroit defense gave up 299 yards rushing in a snowy loss at Philadelphia. On Monday night against the Baltimore Ravens, Jim Schwartz’s club held the defending Super Bowl champions to 305 total yards and still found a way to lose, 18-16. That’s because the Lions have now coughed up the football a combined 18 times in their last five games, four of those resulting in losses.
Remaining Schedule: vs. Giants (5-9), at Vikings (4-9-1)
10. Dallas Cowboys (7-7)
Can someone explain how Jerry Jones’ team owned a 26-3 halftime lead and wound up not only being outrushed by the Packers in terms of yards (150-134) but attempts (27-18) as well? It adds up to another mind-numbing loss for the Cowboys, who have now given up 385 points in 14 games this season.
Remaining Schedule: at Redskins (3-11), vs. Eagles (8-6)