NFL Playoff Picture Taking Shape: Are You Ready for Some Football?

Benjy MillerContributor IDecember 26, 2008


Week 17. Wow, the NFL season always seems to come too late and leave too soon. Many teams are out of the playoff race, while others need a win, and still some need a win and other things to happen. It's gonna be a crazy week.

Who is already in the playoffs: These teams have already clinched a spot in the playoffs and are looking to go in to the playoffs with a win.



Tennessee Titans (Division winner)

Pittsburgh Steelers (Division winner)

Indianapolis Colts (Wild-card)



New York Giants (Division winner)

Arizona Cardinals (Division winner)

Carolina Panthers (At least wild-card)

Atlanta Falcons (At least wild-card)


Who is still alive? There are many teams still looking for a playoff berth. The teams still alive are:


Miami Dolphins (Looking for division title/wild-card)

New England Patriots (Looking for division title/wild-card)

New York Jets (Looking for division title/wild-card)

Baltimore Ravens (Looking for wild-card)

Denver Broncos (Looking for division title)

San Diego Chargers (Looking for division title)



Dallas Cowboys (Looking for wild-card)

Philadelphia Eagles (Looking for wild-card)

Minnesota Vikings (Looking for division title/wild-card)

Chicago Bears (Looking for division title/wild-card)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Looking for wild-card)


Let's see the most critical matchups this week.



Miami Dolphins at New York Jets

This is a must win for both teams. If the Dolphins win, they're in. If the Jets win and the Patriots lose, the Jets are in.


New England at Buffalo

New England needs to win and hope Miami loses. Buffalo, rival of the Patriots, will most definitely be trying to play spoiler.


Jacksonville at Baltimore

If Baltimore wins this, they have themselves a wild-card spot. If they lose, they'll need New England and New York (Jets) to lose to get a playoff berth.


Denver at San Diego

Quite possibly the biggest game of all the games this week. Whoever wins this also wins the AFC West. Can Denver cap a two-game losing streak or will San Diego keep their three-game win streak alive?



Chicago at Houston

The Bears are looking for a division title or a wild card. A win could supply either. A win may not get it done though. If they win, they'll need either Minnesota to lose for the division title, or Dallas and Tampa Bay to lose for the wild card.


New York at Minnesota

The Giants are already in, but they will probably want to go in to the playoffs with a win. The Vikings don't need to win this one, it would help, but they don't need to win. If they lose and the Bears lose, they still advance. A win would be needed if the Bears also win.


Oakland at Tampa Bay

Will this home game for the Bucs keep the season alive? Can they end a three-game losing streak? Oakland seems like an easy team to beat, but I'm sure they'd just love to ruin a season.


Dallas at Philadelphia

Philadelphia, the surprise team still alive, started the season 2-3, last in the NFC East. They've turned it around, but with the loss last week, can they come away with a wild-card spot? Philadelphia needs to win and hope Tampa Bay and Chicago or Minnesota lose. Dallas just needs to win for a playoff berth.


There's a lot of exciting games going on this week. Are you ready for some football?