It appears that the Cowboys season is saved (for now). After giving up 202 yards on the ground, Dallas escaped from New York with a 24-21 win over the Giants. Dallas swept the Giants for the first time since the 2007 season. So far Dallas has a perfect record within the NFC East with two games vs. divisional opponents left: Week 16 at the Redskins and then the season finale at home against the Eagles.
Quarterback Tony Romo had a clutch moment leading the Cowboys to the game winning field goal at the end of regulation. Well, we'll see how this goes as the season progresses. Five games are left starting with the Thanksgiving Day game against the Raiders, followed by a Monday Nighter in Chicago, followed by a home game against the Packers, and the last two games against NFC East opponents. 6-5 could easily become 11-5 or 6-10 or 8-8. We shall see.
Kansas City started the season winning their first 9 games and followed that up with losing their last two. Up next is hosting the Broncos. Another Chiefs loss would hinder their chances to win to the AFC West. Baltimore kept their playoff chances alive with a win over the Jets and like the Cowboys and Raiders, have a short week hosting the Steelers.
Tampa Bay started 0-8. They are now 3-8 with wins over the Dolphins, Falcons, and now Lions. Chicago was upset by the Rams 42-21. And rounding up the NFC North, the Packers and Vikings played to a 26-26 tie. The last time there was a tie was last season between the Rams and 49ers in San Francisco.
That tie cuts both ways. A tie counts as half a win and half a loss. If the Packers end up with the same number of wins as the Bears or Lions, that tie helps them. If Green Bay has the same number of losses as one of those two teams, it could mean they are one of the 18 teams not invited to the playoffs.
Both Kansas City and Denver lost but the Broncos kept their lead in the AFC West due to their win in Week 11 over the Chiefs in Denver. The rematch takes place in Kansas City this Sunday.
The Texans.... poor, poor, poor Texans. They lost to the Jaguars. Yes, I did pick them to win the AFC South and I did pick them to end up in the AFC Title Game. It won't get better. They play New England who came back from down 24-0 to beat Denver 34-31 in overtime.
Surprisingly, the Jaguars weren't the first team to be eliminated from playoff contention. That honor went to the Falcons who I picked to win the NFC.
No teams are on the bye week. Everyone has five games left. The race to the playoffs start right now with the three games on Thanksgiving Day: Packers at Lions, Raiders at Cowboys, and Steelers at Ravens.
Some of the key Sunday Games: Jets at Dolphins, Titans at Colts, Cardinals at Eagles, Bengals at Chargers, and Rams at 49ers. All these games have some determination in who makes the playoffs.
The big one is Denver traveling to Kansas City. The Broncos can enter the playoffs with a win AND losses by the Chargers, Titans, Jets and Ravens. Kansas City is in with a win AND losses by the Chargers and Titans and a combination of losses by the Ravens and Jets, or losses by the Dolphins and Patriots.
Sunday Night could be viewed as an elimination game. Both the Giants and Redskins lost last week. Another loss by either of these teams and their playoff chances will be hindered.
Monday Night will determine which path the NFC will go through: Seattle or New Orleans. Seattle could be the first NFC team in the playoffs with a win and a loss by either the Cardinals or 49ers.
Last week I ended up with the best record and closed the gap between me and Mr. Blake to 2 games. Ms. Roberts pretty much has last place locked up. She has a better record than the Astros and Texans. And I was about to throw some massive shade on the Rockets, but I see they are right now 10-5 in the NBA's Southwest Division, but that won't last long.
All kidding aside I have a massive level of respect for Ms. Roberts. I appreciate the birthday wishes she gave me last month and I wish I could do a fraction of the writing she does. She brings up stories that very few people are willing to discuss and highlights issues that don't see the light of day in the normal press. I think she did a good job writing about why she enjoys writing about sports.
On that note, hope everyone has a safe and Happy Thanksgiving (and for my Jewish friends a Happy Hanukkah).
Picks are in BOLD
Times are Central Time Zone
Games airing in DFW are noted by (DFW)
Packers at Lions, 11:30 AM Fox
Raiders at Cowboys, 3:30 PM CBS
Steelers at Ravens, 7:30 PM NBC
Patriots at Texans (DFW)
Dolphins at Jets
Jaguars at Browns
Titans at Colts
Cardinals at Eagles (DFW)
Bears at Vikings
Buccaneers at Panthers
Broncos at Chiefs (DFW)
Bengals at Chargers
Bills vs. Falcons (at Toronto)
Rams at 49ers
SUNDAY NIGHT, 7:20 PM (CT) NBC
Giants at Redskins
MONDAY NIGHT, ESPN 7:30 PM (CT)
Saints at Seahawks