AFC North
Junior Browne  |  Sun 30th Dec   | NFL

The NFL playoff picture is still up in the air for a few teams going into the final game of the season. Even the top seeds still don’t all know where exactly they will open the playoffs which makes for a very interesting final day.

The AFC South is already in playoff mode

The Houston Texans are in control of their own destiny in the division but not so much in the overall AFC playoff picture. If they win they are division champs which means they will be at least a top 3 seed. That part they don’t have total control over as they could finish as high as number 1 overall depending on results from other games.

As for the other 2 teams in the division that are still alive, the Titans and the Colts, they have a head to head matchup on Sunday night football that for all intents and purposes is a playoff game. The Titans might be the hardest team in the NFL to figure out. One minute they are destroying the New England Patriots and the next week they are getting their butts kicked by the Colts.

All of that is irrelevant today as they have the chance to make the playoffs with a home win against a division rival. However inconsistent they were earlier in the season, they have been very impressive over the last 5 weeks. The Titans have won their last 4 games in a row and their running game has looked especially impressive. Marcus Mariota is not the prototypical in the pocket passer and the added threat of running back Derrick Henry plus Mariota’s own running ability gives the Titans offense the versatility it needs to put points on the board for their strong defense to protect.

Rest of the AFC

The Pittsburgh Steelers are not in control of their destiny and that is the price they are paying for their very inconsistent season. The amount of issues on and off the field that they’ve had are too long list right now but the topic of the moment is the fact that their defensive coordinator said they have to prioritize stopping Tyler Eifert who hasn’t played since September. Although it’s a silly mistake, it’s really just background noise. What the Steelers really need is for the Cleveland Browns to play spoiler.

The Browns usually aren’t in the business of doing the Steelers any favors but fortunately for Pittsburgh, the one team the Browns hate more than them is the Ravens. Knocking Baltimore out of the playoff picture would make the Browns season.

On top of possibly knocking Baltimore out of the playoffs depending on results, they would finish the season with a winning record for the first time in over a decade. The Ravens and Browns will most definitely be one of the games of the day.

NFC playoff picture

The defending Super Bowl champion Eagles can still make the playoffs but the chances are slim. They need to beat the Redskins which they should but will also need help from the Minnesota Vikings which is a little bit more complicated. The Bears still have something to play for and will not be resting anyone.

Junior Browne