NFL

Top Wild Card hopefuls to breakout into NFL postseason

12/16/12 in NFL   |   Mia781   |   953 respect

With a hoard of NFL teams boasting a 7-6 or 6-7 record across both conferences, still on the brink of a make-it or break-it season, the playoffs picture can’t be more unpredictable. However, entering the later part of the regular season there are four likely teams leading the battle for the conference wild card spots.
 
AFC
Cincinnati Bengals
The AFC North arguably provides the most uncertain scenario to determine leader in the division right now. The Baltimore Ravens, Pittsburgh Steelers and Cincinnati Bengals all have divisional games left in the last part of the season.
 
Nonetheless, the Baltimore Ravens are likely to seize the divisional crown, while the Cincinnati Bengals (with an easier road ahead) are the safer bet to the Pittsburgh Steelers for the wild card spot.
 
The Pittsburgh Steelers face the Dallas Cowboys next Sunday with a rusty Ben Roethlisberger before gearing up against the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 16, while reeling from a likely Week 15 loss. The Cincinnati Bengals simply have to defeat the Pittsburgh Steelers and steal another divisional win over the Cleveland Browns in the final regular season game.
 
Considering the Cincinnati Bengals’ talents, it’s not totally out of the realm of possibilities for them.
 
Indianapolis Colts
Not the easiest schedules here – but considering the Indianapolis Colts’ biggest wild card contender the Pittsburgh Steelers may finish 8-8, the Colts could win the last conference wild card spot.
 
Even splitting two games with the AFC South leader (Texans Houston) down a three-game stretch, with a single win against the Kansas City Chiefs, can’t bust their playoffs chances – unless the Steelers Pittsburgh Steelers run the table. After all, the Indianapolis Colts nine-win record contrary to the Pittsburgh Steelers or Cincinnati Bengals six losses this season.
 
The Indianapolis Colts foresee a far better road and likelihood to win the wild card or end-up leading AFC South division than Pittsburgh Steelers do to obtaining the wild card spot.
 
NFC 
Washington Redskins
In Robert Griffin III absence towards and beyond Week 15, the Washington Redskins are unlikely to win the NFC East title or top the Dallas Cowboys in Week 17. But backup quarterback Kirk Cousins’ Week 14 performance has proven he can setup the Washington Redskins for the wild cards.
 
All the Washington Redskins need to do is win two consecutive games against the Cleveland Browns and Philadelphia Eagles.
 
 With the New York Giants playing two tough teams (Atlanta Falcons and Baltimore Ravens) those two weeks, the Dallas Cowboys and Washington Redskins can rise to first and second seeding in the division if they make best of the opportunity. And if the New York Giants hold a 9-7 record at the end of the season along with Washington Redskins, a tie breaker will put the Redskins on top of NFC East based on division wins.
 
Seattle Seahawks
Even with two NFC West showdowns and a possible loss to the San Francisco 49ers, the Seattle Seahawks will likely head into the playoffs given the home advantage in the final two games against 49ers and St. Louis Rams.
 
The Seattle Seahawks just have to beat two teams (Buffalo Bills and St. Louis Rams) which they are already likely to beat for the wild card spot. Additionally, with an impressive rookie quarterback Russell Wilson leading a solid offense through an easy schedule the Seattle Seahawks can welcome the postseason with open arms.
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