Ranking the 5 Best NFL Games Left on the Schedule
With Week 12 in the books, the NFL can now stare down the barrel of the five-round rifle that the schedule has left.
From Week 12 to Week 17, the schedule begins to feature games with serious playoff implications and those usually turn out to be the best.
Everyone wants a taste of playoff football, from the ownership to the last man on the roster—get ready to see players fight tooth and nail over the next few weeks for just one more chance at a Super Bowl trophy.
Here are the five best games left on the NFL schedule.
Honorable Mention: DAL at NYG Week 17
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A lot of things have to go right for the Giants to make this game a meaningful one.
The Cowboys currently have a lead in the NFC East and the Giants are looking increasingly weak down the stretch.
I'm honestly hesitant to even mention the Giants because, at this pace, the team could be 6-9 by this game.
I'll give this game an honorable mention for now—it could upgrade to No. 1 if the Giants and Cowboys are tied for the division lead on the last day of the season though.
5. PIT at SF Week 15
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This game barely makes the list because, despite the fact that both teams will probably be in the playoffs at this point, it will be a match of two superpowers as both teams look to roll into the postseason.
49er coach Jim Harbaugh is probably unhappy after losing to another AFC North powerhouse, the Baltimore Ravens, and he will get his guys up for this one.
On the other side, the Steelers might need to get a win here to hold off a team like Denver or New York for the Wild Card.
If Pittsburgh can shut down the running game of Frank Gore, we will truly see if Alex Smith is finally a big-time NFL quarterback.
4. CIN at PIT Week 13
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Judging by these two teams' last encounter, I'm betting on a good game in the 'Burgh.
Cincinnati quarterback Andy Dalton needs to beat the Steelers at Heinz Field if he wants his Bengals to be considered legitimate title contenders, but the Steelers need to win here to all but lock up a playoff spot.
The Steelers must find their offensive identity soon after only scoring 13 points against the hapless Chiefs—this game would be the perfect opportunity.
Look for this to be a true match of heart and desire, as both teams really want this one.
3. DET at NO Week 13
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Fans will get to see two of the premier teams in the NFC play in Week 13 when the Detroit Lions and New Orleans Saints face off at the Superdome.
The Lions are sputtering to the finish line right now and would love to knock off a rolling team like the Saints.
This could be an interesting playoff preview, as it's certainly feasible to think that these teams will play one another in the Wild Card Round.
New Orleans coach Sean Payton and his Saints need to keep the good times rolling and get a win here to push for the division title.
2. NYG at DAL Week 14
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I'll be honest; it doesn't get much better than this.
The Giants and the Cowboys on Sunday Night Football at Cowboys Stadium promises to be on the best games of the year.
Even if the Giants lose to the Packers next week and the Cowboys win, Big Blue will be hot on the heels of Dallas for the division come Week 14.
An intense rivalry between two teams that hate each other has all the makings of a fantastic finish in Dallas.
1. ATL at NO Week 16
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This could be the best game of the entire season, not just the next five weeks.
The NFC South will be on the line and the Saints and Falcons have one of the most underrated rivalries in all of sports, with constant battles on Twitter, between fans and especially on the field.
This game will be a great one, with two evenly matched teams fighting for the division championship.
Look for both squads to come out fighting and watch as this is the best game of the year.