The NFL schedule is heading into Week 13 of the season and there are some teams that can clinch playoff spots, while others will try and remain alive in the AFC and NFC wild card chase. The schedule has some big divisional matchups, including the Cowboys and Redskins on Monday night football.
Here are 5 Things to Know heading into Week 13 of the season:
Multiple teams can clinch playoff spots this week
The Carolina Panthers, New England Patriots and Cincinnati Bengals can punch their tickets to the playoffs this week depending on how things go. The Panthers don't need any help to clinch, as they can take the NFC South division title with a win against the New Orleans Saints. The Panthers also can win the division if they lose, but they need the Falcons to lose to the Buccaneers.
The Panthers also could clinch a spot if they lose, the Falcons win and as NFL.com puts it: "the Seahawks lose or both the Cardinals and Packers lose." The Patriots can clinch if they win and the Jets lose this week and the team can also clinch if they win, the Jets win and either the Steelers or Chiefs lose. The Bengals can't win the division this week no matter what, but they can get into the playoffs with a win along with a Texans loss, Colts loss and some other losses for teams. Got all that?
AFC and NFC wild card races continue to stay close
Heading into Week 13, the AFC wild card has the Kansas City Chiefs and Houston Texans in position, while teams like the New York Jets, Pittsburgh Steelers, Oakland Raiders and Buffalo Bills will try and stay in contention. The NFC wild card has the Green Bay Packers and Seattle Seahawks in position, while the Falcons, Buccaneers, Giants and Bears will try and keep things going.
The schedule has some important divisional matchups
The Dallas Cowboys and Washington Redskins will be playing on Monday night football in an NFC east showdown, while the Atlanta Falcons and Buccaneers are playing in an NFC South battle. The Panthers and Saints also have a division showdown along with the Jacksonville Jaguars and Tennessee Titans. The Redskins can take a good hold of the NFC East with a win, while the Falcons will try and remain in playoff contention. The Chiefs and Raiders will play an AFC West divisional matchup and that will have some playoff implications as well.
Can the Cowboys rebound?
The Dallas Cowboys lost Tony Romo and the game last week against the Panthers and now the team will try and rebound against the Redskins. The team is down at the bottom of the conference standings, but with how bad the division has been, the Cowboys remain alive if they can get a win. Two games against the Redskins left on the schedule gives the team a slight chance, but they must win on Monday night.
Can Panthers stay undefeated against Saints?
The Carolina Panthers come into the weekend at 11-0 and the team now has a divisional matchup on the road against the Saints. New Orleans has struggled at times this season, but Drew Brees playing at home is always dangerous. The Panthers have said they will not overlook the Saints, can they win on Sunday to stay undefeated?