If, as they say, the Canadian Football League season doesn’t really begin until Labour Day, then it should be said that the National Football League season doesn’t begin until the U.S. Thanksgiving weekend.
With that being said, thanks for coming out, Washington (3-9), Miami (3-9), the New York Giants (2-10) and Cincinnati (1-11) — your season is already over.
For all intents and purposes, their seasons were projected to be write offs well before the first kickoff of 2019.
Of the 12 NFL playoff positions up for grabs, nine of them are either locked in or pretty much spoken for with New England, Baltimore, San Francisco, New Orleans, Green Bay, Minnesota, Seattle, Kansas City and Buffalo post-season bound — barring an epic catastrophe.
That leaves the NFC East, AFC South and an AFC wild card spot available for the taking and a glut of teams that are in the hunt.
Two teams, one from each conference, will be the ones to watch right up until the final whistle of the regular season.
Dallas Cowboys: A loss against Buffalo on U.S. Thanksgiving dropped the Cowboys to 6-6, head coach Jason Garrett’s future with America’s Team is suddenly hanging in the balance, the drama meter in Big D is off the charts, and a Week 16 showdown in Philadelphia (BTW the Eagles have the easiest schedule down the stretch) will likely decide which of them wins the division and plays in the post-season.
Kansas City Chiefs: With QB Patrick Mahomes’ knee injury long forgotten, the Chiefs got a massive 40-9 win over division rival Oakland on Sunday to improve to 8-4. It doesn’t appear that K.C. will have enough W’s in the bank to earn a first round playoff bye in the AFC but with Mahomes and a healthy roster in tow the Chiefs — a team many people picked before the season began to win the Super Bowl — will be a force in the playoffs.