If you’re a little sad that Christmas is over and you have no more presents to open, you’re in for a treat! The final weekend of the NFL regular season will decide the fates of several teams, which means we’ll get to see some exciting matchups.
The best teams are playing for top seeds and first-round byes, and the lower-level teams are playing just to have a chance at competing for a Super Bowl. It’s been a fun season, and this is the perfect finish. Enjoy some great holiday football!
Tell us where you think your team should be ranked in the comments!
1. Seattle Seahawks (12-3, Last Week: 1)
The Seahawks are still number 1, but they’re no longer invincible at home. Thanks to Arizona’s 17-10 win in Seattle last weekend, the league is a little less scared of playing the Seahawks on their home turf. The NFC West is still up for grabs, so Seattle has a lot to play for in its regular season finale against St. Louis.
2. Denver Broncos (12-3, Last Week: 3)
Peyton Manning has had the best season ever for an NFL quarterback. His 51 touchdown passes are already a single-season record, and after Denver’s game against Oakland on Sunday, he could also set the record for most passing yards in a season. His terrific play has led the Broncos to their 12-3 record, and they’ve already clinched a first-round bye. One issue, though: LB Von Miller will miss the postseason with a torn ACL.
3. Kansas City Chiefs (11-4, Last Week: 2)
After scoring 45 and 56 points in weeks 14 and 15, the Chiefs couldn’t even get to double digits in their 23-7 loss to Indianapolis last weekend. The Chiefs can’t afford such sloppy games in the playoffs, or they’ll be eliminated very early. Kansas City has shown throughout the entire season that it can play smart football, and it must get back to that against San Diego this weekend.
4. Carolina Panthers (11-4, Last Week: 5)
The Panthers’ win over New Orleans last weekend should give them a huge confidence boost going into the playoffs. They withstood a pounding rain to take down the team many thought would win the NFC South, and all they need to do to win the division and get a first-round bye is beat Atlanta on Sunday.
5. San Francisco 49ers (11-4, Last Week: 4)
The 49ers’ win over Atlanta on Monday night was a lot closer than it should have been, but they provided one of the most exciting endings of the year. With Atlanta driving towards a potential game-winning touchdown, 49ers linebacker NaVorro Bowman picked off a Matt Ryan pass and ran 89 yards for a game-sealing touchdown. If the 49ers beat Arizona and Seattle loses, San Francisco will enjoy a first-round bye to start the playoffs.
6. Philadelphia Eagles (9-6, Last Week: 16)
One week after a bad loss to Minnesota, the Eagles made it clear they weren’t about to go on a losing streak. Their 54-11 win over Chicago showed how dangerous their offense can be. Nick Foles and LeSean McCoy can put up tons of points in any kind of weather, but they’ve got to beat Dallas this weekend to get to the playoffs.
7. New England Patriots (11-4, Last Week: 8)
The Patriots are AFC East champs, and showed they can still win big with their 41-7 win over Baltimore. New England is playing only for seeding, but will be a contender no matter where it ends up with. Injuries have depleted the Pats, but other teams will not be foolish enough to doubt them. Tom Brady can make average players look great, and he will make sure New England doesn’t go out without a fight.
8. Cincinnati Bengals (10-5, Last Week: 15)
Though they haven’t been as dominant as the higher-ranked AFC teams, the Bengals are back in the playoffs with a chance to go far. If their offense is clicking, as it was in their 42-14 win over Minnesota, the AFC North champs might surprise some teams in the postseason. If quarterback Andy Dalton struggles, though, the Bengals will make another early playoff exit.
9. New Orleans Saints (10-5, Last Week: 7)
Just a few weeks ago, we were talking about New Orleans as one of the best teams in the league. Now, everyone is wondering whether the Saints can win on the road. They haven’t even won a playoff spot yet, so they’ve got more to play for than any other contender in the league. Drew Brees must lead New Orleans to a win over Tampa Bay this weekend. Otherwise, 2013 will be an extremely disappointing season for the Saints.
10. Arizona Cardinals (10-5, Last Week: 13)
While the Saints are going backwards, Arizona is surging at the right time. They did the impossible and beat Seattle at home, and can now win a playoff spot with a win over San Francisco and a New Orleans loss or tie. If Arizona makes it to the postseason, it will become one of the scariest teams in the field. With a dominant defense and playmakers on offense, the Cardinals could play well into January.
11. Indianapolis Colts (10-5, Last Week: 10)
The Colts got an impressive late-season win over Kansas City which should build confidence going into the playoffs.
12. Chicago Bears (8-7, Last week: 6)
This was the worst time for Chicago to suffer its most embarrassing loss of the season. They can still win the NFC North by beating Green Bay, though.
13. Dallas Cowboys (8-7, Last week: 22)
The Cowboys set themselves up for a critical showdown with Philadelphia this weekend for the NFC East championship. But they might have to win that game without Tony Romo, who is suffering from a back injury.
14. San Diego Chargers (8-7, Last week: 12)
A lot would have to go its way for a playoff berth, but San Diego is guaranteed to win at least 8 games. That’s pretty good for a team that had to share a division with Denver and Kansas City.
15. Miami Dolphins (8-7, Last week: 11)
Miami could be a playoff team when the regular season wraps up, but they’re not talented enough to compete with the top seeds.
16. Baltimore Ravens (8-7, Last week: 9)
After an inconsistent season, Baltimore has to hope other teams lose to make the playoffs
17. Green Bay Packers (7-7-1, Last week: 17)
Winning the NFC North without Aaron Rodgers for much of the season would be an incredible accomplishment. Green Bay can do that by beating Chicago on Sunday.
18. Pittsburgh Steelers (7-8, Last week: 19)
It would be tough for Pittsburgh to get to the postseason, but the Steelers deserve credit for having a chance to get there after a horrible start to the year.
19. Detroit Lions (7-8, Last week: 14)
After three straight losses, the Lions are out of the playoffs and in disarray.
20. St. Louis Rams (7-8, Last week: 18)
St. Louis is out as well, but a .500 record would be great for this young team.
21. New York Jets (7-8, Last week: 25)
The Jets should also be happy about having a chance to finish 8-8 after an extremely inconsistent season.
22. Tennessee Titans (6-9, Last week: 24)
Last weekend, Tennessee avoided an embarrassing fate: losing to Jacksonville twice this season.
23. Buffalo Bulls (6-9, Last week: 23)
The Bills aren’t going to the playoffs, but they got a great win over a contending Miami team.
24. Minnesota Vikings (4-10-1, Last week: 20)
The Vikings have been one of the weaker teams in the league all season, but they can end the year on a hopeful note by beating division rival Detroit.
25. New York Giants (6-9, Last week: 28)
The Giants play Washington in a matchup of teams that disappointed from day one.
26. Atlanta Falcons (4-11, Last week: 30)
The Falcons can take some comfort in knowing they almost beat San Francisco on the road on Monday night.
27. Cleveland Browns (4-11, Last week: 21)
Cleveland fans haven’t had much to celebrate over the years, and this will be another tough season.
28. Oakland Raiders (4-11, Last week: 27)
The Raiders have a long way to go before they can compete in the AFC West.
29. Washington Redskins (3-12, Last week: 31)
After seven consecutive losses, Washington really needs a win.
30. Tampa Bay Buccaneers(4-11 Last week: 26)
A win over New Orleans would be a great way for Tampa Bay to end its season.
31. Jacksonville Jaguars (4-11, Last week: 29)
After an 0-8 start, the Jaguars can finish with a somewhat respectable record.
32. Houston Texans (2-13, Last week: 32)
Usually, even the worst teams can find something good about their season. That might not be possible with Houston.
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