After the Cincinnati Bengals’ Thursday night win over the Philadelphia Eagles, it seems proper to take a renewed look at the playoff chances of our bubble teams. Here are my picks for the AFC and NFC wild card playoff spots.
No. 5 Seed: The Indianapolis Colts
The Colts have found ways to win game all year long. Games many would argue should never have been won, when they look at their schedule at this point in the season. Andrew Luck has taken a team reeling in the loss of Peyton Manning last year, to create an opponent that no one wants to face in the coming playoffs. Indianapolis’ story may be the best feel-good sports story so far this year, as they have battled through their coaches’ illness, and have played with visible hunger in close games. They’ve also shown a ton of heart this season.
No. 6 Seed: The Cincinnati Bengals
After seeing this Bengals team falter against the Dallas Cowboys last week, my answer was no, they would not make the playoffs. However, that was without taking into account the Pittsburgh Steelers’ embarrassing home loss against the San Diego Chargers. I think that Cincinnati has some problems on either side of the ball, but no other team is there to take this spot away from them right now, especially with the issues the Steelers have all around. I don’t expect the Steelers to come out of their game against Dallas with a win, and even if they do, I think the Bengals will still hold on to the last AFC playoff spot with a meeting against their rivals next week. A win over the Eagles certainly didn’t hurt.
No. 5 Seed: The Seattle Seahawks
The Seahawks have been quite an interesting team this season. The obvious reason is that they seem to be the most magical team at home, beating the New England Patriots and the….well….the Green Bay Packers (technically speaking). They own a perfect 6-0 record with home field advantage. However, the team is just 2-5 away from Seattle, and one of those wins came against the Carolina Panthers. Does their win in Chicago two weeks ago represent a change in that trend? I don’t know, but I do have confidence in them taking this spot in the playoffs. That’s if they don’t catch the San Francisco 49ers in the next few weeks. Despite everything, they need to figure out how to continue beating good teams on the road after Chicago.