There are a few teams around the NFL that are in must-win situations in Week 13, and for one reason or another, a loss would essentially end their playoffs hopes.
Luckily for these teams, they are in great position to succeed this weekend.
With the playoffs looming, there are several mid-level teams that need to start picking up wins each week. They don't have the luxury of losing a close game or falling short against an opponent that they need to beat.
It's do or die.
Anything is possible beyond this week should they lose, but losing would not put them in a favorable situation. That's what makes Week 13 a must-win for these three teams.
The Chicago Bears are in a must-win against the Minnesota Vikings this week because of the Detroit Lions dominating performance against the Green Bay Packers on Thanksgiving Day.
Their NFC North rival Chicago appear to be the team to beat in the division, and a win against Minnesota will help them keep pace. Thankfully for the Bears, the Vikings are just 2-8-1 and in no position to upset Chicago this week.
Saying that this is a must-win for Chicago may sound strange considering they are 6-5. But losing out on the NFC North title would be terrible for Chicago's postseason hopes. Even if they made the playoffs as a wild card, getting past the Carolina Panthers or San Francisco 49ers (potential first-round opponents) would be difficult.
Even without Jay Cutler this week—Ryan Wilson of CBSSports.com reports that he'll be out—the Bears will be strong favorites. Brandon Marshall, Alshon Jeffery and Matt Forte should all put up big numbers and keep their team's NFC North hopes alive.
New York Giants
The New York Giants probably won't be given any more chances if they lose to the Washington Redskins this week. For one, a 4-8 record would not bode well for them in the NFC playoff picture. Secondly, if you can't beat the Redskins right now, then you probably don't belong in the playoffs.
Leading the division at 7-5, the Dallas Cowboys have yet to really break away from the rest of the pack. The Philadelphia Eagles are second at 6-5, and the 4-7 Giants can make a much-needed jump this week with a win.
Luckily for New York, the Redskins are playing very bad football right now. Robert Griffin III doesn't look like the player who took the league by storm as a rookie, and the defense isn't as strong as many had predicted.
Alfred Morris is the main weapon for Washington, but the Giants defense has done a decent job containing running backs in recent weeks.
A loss this week effectively ends the Giants' season. They'll win when it counts.
New York Jets
If the New York Jets win this week, they'll be 6-6 and very much alive for the final AFC wild card spot. The Baltimore Ravens currently occupy the No. 6 seed.
It's shocking to think that the Geno Smith-led Jets are still in a position to make the playoffs. They've had some terrible performances this season, but they still win enough to keep their postseason dreams afloat. Their victories may not be pretty, but hey, a win is a win.
They face off against the Miami Dolphins this week, and it couldn't be at a better time. Miami has lost two of their last three games—one of which was at the hands of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers—and their running game has been nearly nonexistent.
The Jets have a stout run defense anyway, but essentially eliminating the running game will make the play-calling for the Dolphins much more predictable. New York should be ready to take advantage of Ryan Tannehill mistakes.
This will be a close game, but the Jets will be able to win. All Smith has to do is minimize turnovers and control the game—something that he has proven he can do on occasion.