It’s showdown Sunday for teams hoping to host a Wild Card game. The Eagles and Lions, both embroiled in tight races for mediocre divisions, meet at The Linc in a game that looks to figure prominently at the low end of the NFC playoff picture. Philly is the clear favorite at home especially with the way they’ve been playing of late. The Lions, however, are inconsistent enough that them randomly pulling an outstanding performance out of their ass isn’t beyond the realm of possibility.
The AFC North and AFC South leaders face off in Cincinnati. Of the two division leaders, the Bengals have the more tenuous hold on first place. In fact, ol’ Pey-Pey can clinch the division title for Indy with a win today over the Titans in Denver. The Bengals hold a two-game lead over Baltimore, but lost the first meeting against the Ravens and have a rematch set in Week 17 in Baltimore. For the Bengals to avoid what will essentially be a road playoff game for the division title the last weekend of the season, they’ll have to hang on to that two-game advantage.
Elsewhere, Mike Wallace returns to Pittsburgh to reacquaint himself with the cold weather and angry yinzers he left behind. The Chiefs look to avoid their fourth loss in a row. Lucky for them, they’re going against the Redskins in a game sure to be the source of many a Native American pun. Want to get in on the fun at a snowy FedEx Field? It won’t cost you more than $11. Oh, and a miserable day of your life.
On the injury/fantasy front, Vincent Jackson, Reggie Bush and Stevan Ridley are all expected to play.
Your early game slate, as rated by KSK’s not-at-all subjective, rigorously scientificated five-star system:
Minnesota at Baltimore **
Indianapolis at Cincinnati ****
Atlanta at Green Bay *
Cleveland at New England **
Oakland at New York Jets **
Detroit at Philadelphia ****
Miami at Pittsburgh ***
Buffalo at Tampa Bay *
Kansas City at Washington **