1. Atlanta Falcons
The Monday night game against New Orleans is must-see-TV, but regardless of the outcome, the NFC playoffs will run through Atlanta where the dirty birds are 6-0 this season.
2. New England Patriots
The Pats cruised a bit too much Sunday night with the Packers in town, but they are also cruising into home-field advantage for the playoffs.
3. Philadelphia Eagles
The Eagles can set their sights on the NFC’s number two seed after pulling off another miracle at the Meadowlands. Nobody wants this team on their playoff schedule.
4. Baltimore Ravens
The Ravens got the ground game in high gear Sunday. They need to sustain that through January to compete for the AFC Championship.
5. New Orleans Saints
The Saints got ripped on the ground Sunday and have to travel to Atlanta and face an even better running team on Monday night.
6. New York Jets
The Jets came up huge in a huge spot on Sunday. It was the kind of win on which a team can start a long playoff run. Sunday’s trip to Chicago is another big test for a team hoping to keep its momentum and, more importantly, its confidence growing.
7. Pittsburgh Steelers
The Steelers were the second most desperate team on the field Sunday. The loss probably will not hurt them as they have the edge in the division and the AFC’s second seed in their control with very winnable games on the schedule.
8. Chicago Bears
The Bears have a division crown in hand and look now towards securing the NFC’s second seed. The Jets come to town Sunday in less than a giving mood. The last AFC East team to visit wasn’t a very good guest (New England).
9. New York Giants
Sunday was a horrific loss and the type of setback that can send a team off a cliff to close the season. The Giants have to find a way to put it behind them and get back to work. They are in a fight for the playoffs with two road games left to play.
10. San Diego Chargers
The Bolts got Vincent Jackson back and appeared more than ready to play. The loss of Antonio Gates will be costly against the better defenses.