In the Hunt: Playoff season is in full swing  

Staff Writer: Kevin Mitchell  

The NFL is getting into the time of year where the playoffs are beginning to take form and the eyes of the public are becoming more prevalent. No team has officially clinched a playoff berth yet but the teams upon the top are the ones slated to stay but, when looking at that 7th and 6th place spot for both NFC and AFC, there is very much still time for a switch up. The teams sitting on the bubble are right there in the hunt and most of the teams who are slated as really having a chance to make the berth, are less than or just around 3 games behind in the division. The playoffs talks are starting to heat up but, if the league ended today, these teams would be on top. 

AFC 

1. The Kansas City Chiefs (9-2 & 1st in AFC West)  

2. The Miami Dolphins (8-3 & 1st in AFC East)  

Photo Credit: thephinsider.com/Megan Briggs  

Tua Tagovailoa and his offense in a huddle going over the game plan for the next drive to close out the game  

3. The Tennesse Titans (7-4 & 1st in AFC South)  

4. The Baltimore Ravens (7-4 & 1st in AFC North)  

5. The Buffalo Bills (8-3 & 2nd AFC East)  

6. The Cincinnati Bengals (7-4 & 2nd AFC North)  

7. The New York Jets (7-4 & 3rd in AFC East)  

NFC 

1. The Philadelphia Eagles (10-1 & 1st in NFC East) 

2. The Minnesota Vikings (9-2 & 1st in NFC North) 

3. The San Francisco 49ers (7-4 & 1st in NFC West)  

4. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5-6 & 1st in NFC South)  

5. The Dallas Cowboys (8-3 & 2nd in NFC East)  

6. The New York Giants (7-4 & 3rd in NFC East)  

7. The Washington Commanders (7-5 & 4th in NFC East) 

There are three shocks to be in the running for the playoffs and in a good spot. The New York Jets, The New York Giants, and The Washington Commanders. The Jets have been having an amazing season which is irregular to how the past few years have been. New York is overall going up in the football divisions with new dynamics and the first-round picks came in tremendous help for the teams this season. The Commanders are barely in, and, according to many beliefs, they won’t be in much longer. They are in that spot for now, but they are undoubtedly going to drop, being in the hunt or out completely within the next few weeks.  

There are two teams that are on the top that have been having almost story book years. Years that are too good to be true. The Eagles and The Vikings. The Eagles are a force to be messed with 1 loss on the year. They are an offensive and defensive force that can’t be stopped, and Jalen Hurts is having a career year. As for the Vikings, they are a team that really banded together. They came together and turned some things around in order to get the team to where they are now. Kirk Cousins is also having a very good year. When Stefon Diggs left to Buffalo, the Vikings were essentially entirely counted out and now they are back like they never left.  

Sitting on the bubble are 4 teams that have the best shot at making their way into the playoffs. For the AFC, The New England Patriots and The Los Angeles Chargers. The Patriots are on a –2 drop but they currently hold that 8th place spot which is right on the cusp of a spot. As for the Chargers, they started off rougher than expected but they were turned around. The team has begun to really connect from Justin Herbert throwing touchdown passes to Austin Ekeler rushing for touchdowns and big yardage. In the NFC, The Seattle Seahawks and The Atlanta Falcons are in the hunt and on the bubble. Atlanta sits within the reaching point of taking the 1st place spot for NFC South. Seattle dropped a spot from 7 to 8 which was how the Commanders made a spot in the 7. The Seahawks can make a move back into the 7 with how Geno Smith has been slinging the ball and really taking over that starting position after the loss of Russell Wilson, who is having a rough year, to the Broncos. The team most likely to make a jump is the Falcons. Although ranked at 9 in the current standing (if the league ended today), they could grab a hold on the 1st place spot for the NFC South overtaking the Buccaneers and then they could cement that spot as the Buccaneers and Tom Brady are struggling to be prevalent this season as the off the field issues plague that team heavily.  

Photo Credit: pff.com/ Gary A. Vasquez/ USA Today Sports 

Justin Herbert rolling out of the pocket vs The Pittsburgh Steelers to complete a first down pass on the run  

A senior at Woodstock High School, Ryan Guzman, said “I think the Saints are really going to turn it around and get themselves into a playoff spot. It’s been a rough year, but it can happen.” Nathan Cain, fellow Saints fan and senior at Woodstock High School said, “I’d rather the Falcons than Tampa again. The division is wide open for the Falcons to take in the next few weeks.” 

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