By Eric Ronnebeck
So last season in this column I jumped the gun on a team (Carolina), wrote that their season was over, and then had to more or less apologize and make a correction in Week 17. I may be doing that again this season, for more than one team. In the spirit of being prepared, let’s take a look at both of these teams and see what chance they have at making their way into the playoffs.
Kansas City Chiefs (7-5): The Chiefs are the winners of six in a row, an impressive streak that can take any team out of the cellar. Prior to their winning streak, the Chiefs lost three games to three probable playoff teams: the Broncos, Packers, and Bengals. After that, they lost two close games to the Vikings and Bears. Whatever motivation the Chiefs found, it’s served them well. With only four games remaining on the schedule, the Chiefs may have a clear path to the playoffs. Three out of their four remaining games are at home against the Chargers (3-9), Browns (2-10), and the Raiders (5-7) with their only road game being against the decimated by injury Baltimore Ravens (4-8).
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-6): I’m still not a believer in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. In fact, I say there is no way they make the playoffs. With their last four games being against the Saints (4-8), Rams (4-8), Bears (5-7), and Panthers (12-0) they have a schedule that can put them on either side of the playoffs. None of those teams are chumps and a couple of them are fighting for the playoffs themselves. Not only are the Bucs going against a decent level of competition but they are 6-6. That’s not a record with a lot of wiggle room in a tight NFC playoff picture. I say the Buccaneers finish the season 8-8, or 9-7 if Santa Clause id really nice to them. I need to point out, however, that they would win out and totally make the playoffs if they went back to the orange creamsicle uniforms of the 80’s. Just sayin..
Looking at the teams that could have made “Your Season is Over” this week, it occurred to me that the playoff races in both conferences are pretty tight. Call it parity, call it mediocrity, call it whatever you want, this is what keeps the NFL popular in so many cities. The Texans are terrible in every aspect that is not JJ Watt and they have a very good chance to win their division. Hahaha, NFL, you’re so entertaining.