The NFL With Four Weeks to Go

Are the 49ers starting to peak at the right time behind Colin Kaepernick?

I’ve written this much too early to have any comments on last night’s Seattle – New Orleans Monday Nighter so you’ll forgive me if I don’t comment on that. 530am comes much too early for me some days…

Week 13 in the National Football League once again provided us with a bounty of stuff to discuss, debate and mull over. What we know right now is that Denver controls their own destiny in the AFC after beating Kansas City. A loss however would put New England back in the one seed by virtue of their win over the Broncos. Indianapolis has all but wrapped up the AFC South, while the Patriots and Broncos have done the same in their divisions.

The AFC North is controlled by Cincinnati at 8-4 but they still have games remaining against the Ravens and Steelers. Common sense tells us that despite losing three straight, Kansas City will hang onto the 5th seed wild-card spot. The final spot is where it gets interesting.

Baltimore can claim the spot with four straight wins. A loss and four wins by the Steelers would give it to Pittsburgh. Miami and Tennessee still have shots as well as does San Diego.

The NFC is becoming a more focused situation. New Orleans and Carolina will claim both a South Division title and/or a wild-card. The Falcons and Bucs are out of it.

Can Stafford and the Lions hold off Chicago and Green Bay despite a tough final stretch?

NFC North is far from over. Detroit leads at 7-5 with Chicago behind at 6-6 but has a two-game sweep of the Bears this year. Green Bay is 5-6-1 and hopes to have Aaron Rodgers back this week.  The Lions still have to play New England and Baltimore while the Packers have Pittsburgh, Chicago and Dallas.

The Bears also have Dallas and have road games at Cleveland and Philadelphia. Nine wins will take this division.

The NFC East is Dallas and Philly. They are both 7-5 and will play in the season finale in Big D. The Eagles are becoming one of the great stories in the league behind QB Nick Foles. Could they be one of those hot teams we see make a run at a title so often recently?

The NFC West will give us not only a champion but more than likely the other wild-card as well. I expect the Seahawks to hang on to the division despite having to play in San Francisco next week. The Cardinals’ run has been valiant but their loss to the Eagles Sunday will probably do them in with games at home against San Francisco and a road trip to Seattle remaining.

My AFC Picks: 1. Denver 2. New England 3. Cincinnati 4. Indianapolis 5. Kansas City 6. Baltimore

My NFC Picks: 1. Seattle 2. New Orleans 3. Philadelphia 4. Detroit 5. San Francisco 6. Carolina

Other NFL Tidbits

The Steelers’ Mike Tomlin should be fined by the NFL for being so close to the field during the Ravens’ Jacoby Jones kickoff return. The talk of him being suspended or the team losing a draft pick is preposterous. The NFL could have avoided the situation period if the officials would actually flag teams for being within the boundary near the field but they never do. That’s why this stuff happens.

I think we can declare a winner in the Trent Richardson trade. Congratulations Cleveland! You nailed this one now just don’t screw up the draft picks.

I think there is one coach on the hot seat that might not know it, Washington’s Mike Shanahan. One playoff appearance in four years and consternation with the QB spell trouble to me. I also expect Tom Coughlin, Gary Kubiak and Mike Munchack to be on unemployment lines.