NFL Playoff Picture: Week 14

The playoff picture is finally taking shape and it's time for some frosty December football to separate the boys from the men. Let's dive right into some divisional and wild-card races.

The AFC:

East: The Patriots. Again. God help us. Next.

West: This was supposed to be the strongest division in football but all of a sudden it cratered. The Chiefs have lost four in a row and the Broncos have doubled that with eight. All of a sudden the Chargers are right back in it, finally getting some pass protection for their journeyman QB. And the Raiders are looking to give their loyal fans in the Bay Area something to cheer about. This one is a true coin-flip, but I think I've got to ride with the hot team with the veteran QB. There's value on Chargers to win this division against all odds.

North: The Steelers look to have this sewn up but appearances can be deceiving. If the Ravens can somehow grind out a win this week in Pennsylvania and the Steelers lose the week after at New England, suddenly it's a race. It's not over, but I'd give Pittsburgh a 90% chance of taking this one home.

South: Look out because the Jags are playing some impressive defensive football. This is a young, brash, hungry defense that reminds me of the Seattle defense five years back. The Jags can run the football with Fournette and they rank first in almost every meaningful defensive category. Their only real competition is the Titans. I like Mariotta but not much else about them. Bank on the Jags to get back to the playoffs for this first time this millennium.

Wild Card Picks: Titans & Ravens

The NFC:

East: The Eagles. Something new. Probably go out Wild Card weekend. Next.

West: This will be a sprint to the finish with two of the NFL's elite defenses and offenses trying to keep pace. Don't be shocked if both the Rams and Seahawks get to eleven wins. I have a feeling the Rams will take this one down, but don't ever count on Seattle. Russell Wilson has got to be in the conversation for MVP.

North: I can't believe the lack of respect of what the Vikings are doing on defense. Outside of Jacksonville, they're giving up the fewest points in the league and not turning the football over. I wouldn't shocked if they catch the Eagles and wrap up home field advantage throughout the entire playoffs (remember the Super Bowl is being played in Minneapolis). The only other question is whether Rodgers can return to rescue the Packers and give them a miracle shot at a wild card.

South: The Saints offense is scary. Drew Brees wants another ring and his dynamic two-headed RB monster ground game has finally alleviated some pressure. The Panthers are pretenders and I wouldn't be shocked if they drop out of a playoff spot. Look for Hotlanta to wake up and catch them.

Wild Card Picks: Seahawks & Falcons