(1) Green Bay Packers (15-1)
(2) San Francisco 49ers (14-2)
Green Bay is expected to go undefeated. While I don't think this is the case, I still expect them to be playing for home field advantage and to win home field.
The Giants beat the Cowboys twice, but still must face them in the first round, as the Bears and Lions both finish 8-8. The Bears are without Cutler. The Lions have lost their composure and face tough teams in Oakland, San Diego, and Green Bay to finish the season. Atlanta keeps itself alive by stealing a game from the Saints (who have already locked up the NFC South by week 16).
(1) New England Patriots (13-3)
(2) Baltimore Ravens (12-4)
New England finishes off its cupcake schedule strong. Baltimore drops a game to San Diego, but remains atop the AFC North due to tie-breaker. Houston locks up the AFC South, and Pittsburgh drops a game to San Francisco with a hobbled Big Ben.
San Diego wins out against the following opponents: Bills, Ravens, Lions, Raiders. The team they could struggle with would of course be Baltimore, but I think there's a good chance the Ravens come out flat and lose that game. I have little faith in the Lions at this point, as I did when they were 6-0 at the start of the season. Talented team that will underperform down the stretch.
This is me also going out on a limb and saying that one of Oakland's three wins to finish the year will come against Green Bay this weekend. The Raiders have a physical defense, and in theory, Carson Palmer should be more and more comfortable with the playbook every week, and the Raiders have a ground game capable of keeping Aaron Rodgers on the sidelines. The Raiders are fired up and force a few big plays on defense to squeak out a win.
How do the Giants finish the season?
Hosting the Cowboys in the Wildcard round (11 votes)
Hosting somebody else (45 votes)
56 total votes