There are 16 regular season games left on the 2008 NFL schedule.
This weekend, 10 of those 16 have something on the line for at least one of the teams.
With one weekend of games to play, only half of the division titles are spoken for right now. The other half will be decided in the outcome of those 10 games.
After the Bears overtime victory on a Robbie Gould FG (left) against Green Bay Monday evening, 18 of the league’s 32 teams has a rooting interest in what happens on the field. Seven teams are already in, with 11 others in various states of possible.
There are six teams that can make the playoffs this weekend simply with a victory. Those teams holding destiny in their own hands are Minnesota, Dallas, Denver, San Diego, Baltimore and Miami. Five other teams need help: Chicago, Philadelphia, New England and the New York Jets.
Here’s how it breaks down.
Tennessee (#1), Pittsburgh (#2) and Indianapolis (#5) are locked into their spots in the first round.
The No. 3 spot will go to the winner of the AFC East: Miami, New England or the Jets. The No. 4 position will go to the AFC West champion, either Denver or San Diego. The No. 6 spot will feature either Baltimore or the New England Patriots.
The New York Giants have the No. 1 seed and the other five spots are up for grabs among six teams. Even though both Carolina and Atlanta have wrapped up positions in the playoffs, they are not locked into particular positions.
Here are the games that matter this weekend in the NFL:
- St. Louis at Atlanta: Falcons need victory and Carolina loss.
- Jacksonville at Baltimore: Ravens need victory.
- New England at Buffalo: Patriots need victory and one by Jets.
- Chicago at Houston: Bears clinch NFC North with victory, Vikings loss.
- New York Giants at Minnesota: The Vikings are in with a victory, or Bears loss.
- Carolina at New Orleans: Clinches frost with intensity of pass rush.
- Miami at the New York jets: Dolphins win and they are in.
- Dallas at Philadelphia: Cowboys win they are in, while Philly needs all sorts of help.
- Oakland at Tampa Bay: Buccaneers only chance is with a victory.
- Denver at San Diego: winner takes the AFC West; loser goes home.
One of those six games that means nothing in the post-season picture of course is the Chiefs and Bengals in Cincinnati.
FROM THE PAGES OF CHIEFS HISTORY
On December 23, 1962, the Dallas Texans won the American Football League championship by beating the Houston Oilers 20-17 in double-overtime at Jeppesen Stadium in Houston. The longest game in pro football history at the time, the teams played for 77 minutes, 54 seconds before Tommy Brooker’s 25-yard field in the second extra period provided the Texans with the victory. The Texans grabbed a 17-0 lead at half-time thanks to a pair of TDs from Abner Haynes. He ran for two yards and then caught a 28-yard scoring pass from Len Dawson on the other. The Oilers scored all 17 points in the second half, thanks to a 15-yard pass from George Blanda to tight end Willard Dewveall and Charley Toler ran in from the one-yard line. The Texans allowed a lot of yardage to the Houston offense, but the defense did pick o ff five Houston passes, with Johnny Robinson grabbing two Blanda throws.
SAY HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO …
Chiefs strong safety Bernard Pollard, born on December 23, 1984 in Ft. Wayne, Indiana. A second-round choice out of Purdue University, Pollard has now played in 47 consecutive games for the Chiefs.
A couple of former Chiefs celebrating birthdays today are QB Steve Stenstrom, who was drafted by the Chiefs in 1995 out of Stanford but n ever played a down for the team. He ended up spending four seasons in the league with Chicago and San Francisco. Born on this day in 1980 was linebacker Rich Scanlon, who spent parts of three seasons with the Chiefs (2004-06) and played in 31 games.
A trio of Pro Football Hall of Famers were born on this day as well, led by former Heisman Trophy winner Paul Hornung, who was arrived in this world in 1935. He spent nine seasons with Green Bay and scored 62 touchdowns.
Born on December 23, 1948 was Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Jack Ham (left). He spent 12 seasons with the Steelers contributing a total of 53 takeaways.
Also born on this day in 1936 was Hall of Famer Willie Wood, who spent 12 seasons with Green Bay and had 48 career interceptions.
The Bengals will be without both QB Carson Palmer and WR Chad Johnson this coming Sunday because of injury.
AROUND THE LEAGUE
OverÂ in St. Louis, the guy who operated as president of football operations Jay Zygmunt isÂ out of the Rams front office after 27 years ofÂ working for the franchise.