5 NFL Teams That Absolutely Must Win On Sunday
Earlier this NFL season, about four weeks into the start of the year, I did a post about five teams that had to win at the time in order to salvage their seasons. Among them: The Oakland Raiders, the Pittsburgh Steelers, and the Atlanta Falcons, who were all 2-2 at the time. Since then, those teams have gone on to put themselves in a perfect position to make the playoffs (for the record, the other two teams, the Philadelphia Eagles and the Minnesota Vikings, have completely fallen apart and will not make the playoffs this year).
Now that there are just four weeks left in the NFL season, I thought it would be cool to do the same thing again. With playoff pushes in full effect and a handful of different teams fighting for a few precious playoff spots, there are five NFL teams that need to win this weekend in order to keep their postseason dreams alive. To find out who they are, keep reading. And if you’re a fan of one of these teams, make sure you’re rooting for your squad extra hard this weekend. They’ll certainly need it.
Their Record: 6-6
Their Opponent: Dallas Cowboys
Why They Must Win: If the G-Men lose to the ‘Boys on Sunday night, they’ll be two games behind them in the NFC East with just three games to play. The good news is that the two teams meet again in Week 17 of the season. However, it’d be much easier for the Giants to make the playoffs this year with a win on Sunday. Otherwise, they won’t really control their own destiny and they’ll have to rely on the Cowboys to lose one of their other final three games to catch them.
Their Record: 7-5
Their Opponent: Minnesota Vikings
Why They Must Win: The Lions have gone from a definite playoff contender to a team that’s in danger of being left on the outside looking in if they don’t win at least three of their final four games. And this is easily the easiest game they’ve got left, so they can’t lose it. They struggled with Minnesota in their first matchup of the year. But with the Vikes coming to the D this time, they need to capitalize off their home-field advantage and get a W.
Their Record: 5-7
Their Opponent: Buffalo Bills
Why They Must Win: For all intents and purposes, the Chargers are, at best, a looooooong shot to make the playoffs this year. Their long losing streak in the middle of the season really hurt their chances. But they do still have a shot, provided they can win this week and every week after it. Things won’t get much easier for them after this week, though, so they absolutely have to keep the momentum going after their big Monday Night Football win over the Jacksonville Jaguars last week.
Their Record: 7-5
Their Opponent: Kansas City Chiefs
Why They Must Win: Just when the Jets looked like they were done, a pair of wins has put them right back into the playoff picture. After this week, though, they’ll play at Philadelphia before taking on the Giants in game that’ll be huge for both teams. So they must handle business at home against the Chiefs to stay in the playoff hunt this week.
Their Record: 9-3
Their Opponent: Indianapolis Colts
Why They Must Win: It’s funny to think that a team that’s 9-3 must win, but they’ve gotta do it to keep pace with the Steelers, who beat the Cleveland Browns on Thursday night. The Ravens haven’t played particularly well on the road in a few games this year and they’re still in contention for home-field advantage in the AFC. They need to keep things that way by getting a victory against the hapless Colts this week. Just win, baby!