By Lawrence Edwards
It’s already week 11 in the NFL season. Man! time has really flown by. It’s November and all the games from here on out have playoff implications for many teams, specifically in the NFL’s two best divisions, the AFC West and NFC East. The AFC West has 3 teams sitting at 7-2 after week 11, Kansas City Chiefs, Oakland Raiders and the Denver Broncos. One of these 3 teams will most likely be in the AFC Championship taking on New England. Kansas City is probably the strongest team out of the West based on the team being well rounded on both sides of the ball, but Oakland is a potential juggernaut offensively and the defense showed signs of living up to it’s potential before the bye. I still find it rather impressive how Kansas City can lose it’s franchise and pro bowl rusher and still have the talent to never miss a beat in the run game. Spencer Ware will the face of that backfield for some time. Denver is more of the card here. The Broncos have a super bowl caliber defense that can win championships but the sub par play of the offense is a major achillies heel. Yes the defense is capable of stopping teams like New England, but what happens when Tom Brady has one of those games where the defense doesn’t matter? Trevor Seimian will not be even close to capable of matching Brady point for point. Still the Denver defense and offense have done just enough to be sitting at 7-2 with a shot to still take the division. The AFC West is the toughest division in the league right now and all three of these teams are probably dead set on knocking off the AFC favorites Patriots when the time comes.
In the NFC East there is much less room for mistakes, because unlike the AFC West, not every team has the same amount of wins. The Dallas Cowboys sit atop the NFL with a record of 8-1 thanks to the stellar play of the offensive live and the two rookie sensations. Coming in at #2 is the New York Giants and they are a game and half behind Dallas with a record of 6-3. The win in the season opener puts the Giants within striking distance of catching the Cowboys. Dallas would need to drop a game and lose to New York on December 11th for that to happen. The Redskins are 5-3 and the Philly brings up the rear at 5-4 but sit at 0-3 in the division. As it stands today and if they can keep pulling out wins, the NFC East would send 3 teams to the playoffs; The Cowboys, Giants, and Redskins. That’s right, in just one season the East has gone from least to beast. The division is made up of offenses who can light up a score board and relentless bend but don’t break defenses who may not always wow you with crazy amounts of sacks and flashy plays but will keep you out of the end zone at critical moments and step up to the plate when they’re called upon to give the offense another chance. The play calling of Ben McAdoo has been getting better and better since coming out of the bye week and the Giants offense is beginning to click and take shape. The run game however still needs work, they did however have one of their best ground performances against the Bengals on Sunday. The Redskins are another team who’s offense is starting to play to its potential. Although the Vikings have been on the decline the Skins put up an impressive performance against one of the NFL’s best defenses and their defense really came to play making critical plays in key moments that helped them secure the victory. The room for mistakes for everyone besides Dallas is extremely scarce. A loss gives Dallas more separation and other teams more momentum to move up into your place. From here on out for the Giants, Redskins, and Eagles, every game is a must win game.