After a thoroughly entertaining slate of Sunday games, some NFL fans might think they have all the answers. Russell Wilson is still winning games for Seattle, the NFC Wild Card hunt is as tight as ever, and Pittsburgh proves that losing your starting QB may not be the end of the world (but it likely is). Despite all the certainties the league provides, there are plenty of questions we don’t know the answers to yet. Here are the top 3 questions we have after Sunday.
Is Defence The New Offence?
We’ve all heard the phrase ‘Defence wins championships’, but it seems as though it’s winning regular season games too. A lot of them. The two best records in the league are held by teams with notoriously good defences and questionable offences. The New England Patriots seem to have a distinct inability to move the ball consistently, but when they win the turnover and field position battles, it seems only a matter of time before even the worst ‘O’ finds the end zone. Whilst not quite as anemic on offence, and not quite as lockdown on defence, the San Francisco 49ers are reigning quite nicely on top the of NFC. Leaning on their terrifying front-7, they seem destined to meet the Patriots in the Super Bowl this season. The only question left for them is: Does their current play-style translate to postseason success? It remains to be seen.
Are Bad Teams Bad And Good Teams Good?
On any given Sunday, this can go horribly wrong (or right) for any NFL team. Massive blowouts against Super Bowl contenders, close games against bottom-tier opposition; how significant is the divide between a good team and a bad team? Tha Packers are supposed to be great, but got shut down by the 49ers. The Steelers played the only winless team in the league and narrowly survived. The one-win Washington held on and won against a ‘better-than-their-record’ Lions team. The league is less of a divide between good and bad and more of a melting pot of talent that matches up whenever it seems fit. Rare is the day where all the ‘good’ teams win, which begs the question: Are good teams really that much better than the bad ones?
How Clear Is The Playoff Picture?
With week 12 more or less in the books, the playoff picture is finally clear enough to draw up lists of teams ‘in the hunt’, as well and teams digging around in the mud for that elusive #1 overall pick. In the AFC, the top 2 seeds seem to be locks, and no team looks capable of stealing the top spots from Baltimore and New England. The Buffalo Bills seem to be all but guaranteed a Wild Card berth, a full 2 games clear of the rest of the pack, but both the AFC South and West, as well as the final wild card spot, are tightly contested and up for grabs. The NFC is far cloudier, with only one team in the bracket without at least 8 wins. That bottom wild card spot (currently held by the 6-5 Dallas Cowboys) is public property at the moment, and the 5 teams ahead of them seem destined for the postseason. The San Francisco 49ers, New Orleans Saints, Seattle Seahawks, Minnesota Vikings, and Green Bay Packers are all separated by only 2 games, and the seeding is anything but a lock. Incredibly, almost every team is still capable of a postseason berth, but its only a matter of time before they get eliminated. The question remains: who has what it takes in the late season to secure a spot for themselves?