Exactly three months ago -on September 26- Bryan did a Friday 5 on Saturday, helping pick up the slack from me being out of town and him not knowing that I wouldn’t be able to do the Friday 5 that week. Well this time around it’s me picking up the slack for Bryan. He went home for the holidays and the internet at his parent’s house is out. I knew this and therefore also knew he wouldn’t be able to write a Friday 5, but give me a break, it was Christmas. I wasn’t about to write a post any longer than the one that I did write.
That means we are having second ever special edition Friday 5, which simply means we didn’t get around to doing it on Friday and thus had to do it on Saturday. This special Saturday edition is going to be the top five NFL games this week based on how much they will have an impact on the playoff picture.
5. New York Jets @ Indianapolis Colts:
If I had actually written this post yesterday then last night’s game between the Chargers and Titans would have claimed this #5 spot, but with that game being in the past it came down to the Jets @ Colts and the Panthers @ Giants. The Colts already have their spot locked up in the playoffs and the Panthers are already out of the running to make the playoffs so both games have one team that won’t be impacted by the outcome. If the Giants lose that game they will need to win their last game and have the Cowboys lose both of their remaining games to still make the playoffs. If the Jets lose their game then they will essentially need divine intervention to make the playoffs. That is why the Jets @ Colts game actually got this spot… plus anything that involves the Colts gets a few bonus points in my book. As an interesting side note, this is a rematch of Super Bowl III which the Jets won 16 to 7.
4. Denver Broncos @ Philadelphia Eagles:
This game is huge for the Broncos; like the Jets they will need a lot of help to still make the playoffs if they lose this game. The Eagles on the other hand already have a spot locked up in the playoffs but are still looking to clinch the division and even possibly grab a first round bye by overtaking the Vikings for the #2 seed in the NFC. If Denver wins this game however then they would still be in control of their own destiny and the Eagles would have a lot more pressure on them next week when they face the Cowboys. A message to Knowshon Moreno: the last time the Eagles faced a highly touted rookie running back in an extremely important game, this happened to said running back:
3. Jacksonville Jaguars @ New England Patriots:
If the Jaguars win this game it would greatly increase their chances of making the playoffs. It would give them a win, which always helps, but on top of that it would give a loss to another team that they might have to beat in a tie-breaker for a wild-card spot. If the Jaguars lose this game they would still need help from a handful of teams mixed with a bit of luck and a win in week 17 to make the playoffs. The patriots on the other hand would clinch their division with a win but if they lose it would give the Dolphins a great opportunity to steal the division away from them. At this point the patriots are still technically in danger of not even making the playoffs and if the Jags can upset them this week it would be a big reason for a lot of pats fans to start worrying about not making the post season at all. If they lose this week and next week then the Ravens, Steelers, Jaguars and Texans would all have a very good chance at beating them out for a playoff spot. The Jags have never beat the pats in the regular season (0-4 against them) and haven’t fared much better in the playoffs (1-3). The below picture is from that one win.
2. Baltimore Ravens @ Pittsburgh Steelers:
This is a game that has HUGE playoff implications. Both teams essentially need to win this game. The Steelers will be significantly worse off if they lose this game than if the Ravens lose it, but don’t let that fool you. Whichever one of these teams lose will be in a bad spot to still try and make the playoffs. If the Ravens lose then they need the Jets, Dolphins and Jaguars to all lose one more game. If the Steelers lose then they’ll need the Dolphins, Jags, Jets, Broncos and Texans to all lose their remaining two games. So if the Ravens win they essentially knock the Steelers out of the playoffs. If the Steelers win then they keep their own playoff dreams alive and greatly hinder the Ravens playoff hopes. Plus the cherry on top is that this is a huge rivalry game. These two teams have played each other 29 times -including two playoff games- since the Ravens entered the league in 1996, with the Steelers winning 18, including both playoff games. The Ravens season ended last year at the hand of the Steelers and I’m sure they’d love to return the favor this year.
1. Houston Texans @ Miami Dolphins:
If the Ravens/Steelers game is going to have a huge impact on the playoffs then this one is like the asteroid in the movie for Armageddon. Ok, fine. It’s not quite that big but you get the idea. If the Dolphins lose this game they are done. They can not make the playoffs if they lose. But if they win the not only keep their playoff hopes alive, but will also still have an outside chance at winning the division over the patriots. If the Texans lose this game then they must win their last game AND have the Jaguars, Titans, Jets, Ravens and Dolphins all lose their last two games and the Steelers and Broncos would both have to lose one more game. So basically if the Texans lose this game they’re out. However if the Texans win this game they remain in the hunt a playoff spot, which would be their first playoff appearance in franchise history and would also give them to opportunity to have their first winning season in franchise history. They would obviously like to accomplish both. There is only one AFC team that the Texans have never lost to and guess who it is. That’s right, it’s the Dolphins, who are 0-4 against Houston. They’ll look to change that tomorrow.
Let me know what you think about these games. Who do you think will win them? Who do you think will make the playoffs? Who do you think will make the Super Bowl? Let me hear all about it in the comments and be sure to vote in the poll below.