It’s Now Or Never For A Few NFL Teams Remaining In The Postseason Hunt

The Kansas City Chiefs and the Jacksonville Jaguars are moving forward toward the postseason following their NFL games on Saturday. Now it’s time to settle more questions in the playoff battle today.

Dallas Cowboys QB Micah Parsons
Dallas Cowboys QB Micah Parsons reacts on the field after a play. The Cowboys face the Washington Commanders in a game that could help them settle at the top of the NFC. (Image: USA Today Sports)

There’s a full slate of games on tap today, although not all have the same significance as others. One thing they all share in common, though, is the unified support for Damar Hamlin’s quick recovery.

The NFL is honoring in all games the Buffalo Bills safety, who died on the field last Monday before being brought back to life. Meanwhile, several teams will fight one last time for a possible spot in the postseason.

The Stars Need To Align For the Cowboys

The Cowboys can’t take less than fifth place in the NFC; however, for them to finish on top, they must first beat Washington. They also need the Philadelphia Eagles, the current leaders of the NFC and the East, to lose to the New York Giants. With the Giants keeping QB Daniel Jones on the bench to start, the Eagles get a bonus.

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Courtesy of Caesars

In addition, the San Francisco 49ers, after putting up a solid streak of nine straight wins, are in control of the NFC West. Dallas needs them to lose to the Arizona Cardinals, with the penultimate worst record in the entire league, to be able to take the NFC.

It’s a difficult, but not impossible, task. Still, the Cowboys can only control what they do on the field. Fortunately for them, the Commanders’ season comes to an end with today’s game, and Washington is dealing with several losses. They won’t have a number of regular starters today, and rookie QB Sam Howell is going to take over in the last game of the regular season.

That’s good news for Howell, as it gives him a chance to prove himself. The former North Carolina Tar Heel starter has been waiting for this moment, and it’s now or never.

Last season, the Cowboys made it to the postseason, qualifying first in the NFC East. However, they didn’t make it very far, with the Niners sending them home in the Wild Card round.

Dallas has already beaten Washington once this season, but that was before the Commanders found their stride and started looking like a playoff-bound team. However, with injuries plaguing the team and an offensive line that will lack experience today, the Cowboys are a safe bet. It’s very likely the under will hit, as well, although it will be close.

Packers Need A Win

The last time the Detroit Lions entered January with playoff aspirations, Barack Obama still controlled the White House, and the Cowboys had the best record in the NFL. That was 2017, and Detroit barely slipped in.

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Courtesy of Caesars

That year, the Lions wouldn’t make it any further, losing their Wild Card game. As they get ready to face the Green Bay Packers today, it’s not looking good.

The Packers need to win to see the postseason. The Lions have a shot, but only if several other moving parts sync up.

Green Bay took four straight wins – the response QB Aaron Rodgers gave to doubters following a slump. They have also won five of their last seven, and Rodgers will be looking to keep his season alive a little longer.

Perhaps model Mallory Edens will continue to be his good luck charm. He has come alive, with the help of running backs Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon, and the Lions will have trouble stopping them today.

On the other hand, the defense is going to have to step up. The secondary has missed more than a few key stops, and the Packers have given up 2,268 yards already this season.

These two met a couple of months ago, with Green Bay shutting down Detroit’s offense. At the time, though, the Lions were playing without three top receivers, with DJ Chark, Josh Reynolds and Jameson Williams riding the bench.

They’re all back today. That’s going to cause some grief for the Pack, but not enough to secure a win. This will be a close game that Green Bay has to fight for, but they’ll get it in the end. The over/under seems high this late in the season, but bettors can expect both teams to be pushing the ball repeatedly today.

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