Don’t touch that dial.
That seemed to be the message from the NFL last weekend as it showed that no lead is ever safe.
The Minnesota Vikings came back from a 33 point deficit to beat the Colts in the biggest comeback ever, overshadowing the Jaguars and Bengals both coming back from 17 point deficits to beat the Cowboys and the Bucs.
And the Bills made an interesting move to beat the Dolphins and clinch a playoff spot as time expired. Instead of trying to score a touchdown with about 30 seconds left and giving Miami time for a comeback, they let the clock run down before Tyler Bass kicked a field goal to win it.
The Bills took the chance he would make it in a snowstorm and he did. The Bills obviously remembered their playoff loss last year to the Chiefs when they scored to take the lead with 13 seconds left in regulation and lost in overtime.
And then there was the wild finish to the Raider-Patriot game.
Despite all that drama, there isn’t a lot of drama involving the race for the top playoff spots.
The Eagles victory over the Bears combined with Dallas loss to Jacksonville means the Eagles only have to win one of their last three to clinch the top seed. They have already clinched a playoff spot. So their Christmas Eve game with the Cowboys doesn’t have much at stake for either team. Despite their loss the Jaguars, the Cowboys clinched a wild card spot.
The Vikings and 49ers have clinched division titles so the Eagles, Cowboys, Vikings and 49ers are all in and one of them figures to be in the Super Bowl. The other three spots will be window dressing.
In the NFC South, for example, the Bucs lead at 6-8 while the other three teams are 5-9. The Giants and Commanders currently have the sixth and seventh spots at 8-5-1 and 7-6-1. The Lions and Seahawks both have a shot at the final spot. They are 7-7.
The team with the best chance of stopping the Eagles is the 49ers, who may have the best team. But they have a rookie at quarterback in Brock Purdy, who has played d well but it is difficult to imagine a rookie drafted on the seventh round getting to the Super Bowl.
In the AFC, only two teams – Buffalo and Kansas City – have clinched a playoff spot. They are both 11-3 after the Chiefs had to go to overtime to beat the Texans. Buffalo has the tie-break because they beat the Chiefs. The two teams figure to meet in the AFC title game.
The Bengals, attempting to become only the second Super Bowl loser to win it the following year since 1972, are the one team that could have a shot to upend one of the top two after their comeback against the Bucs. they are 10-4 and have a game lead in the AFC North on the 9-5 Ravens, who could wind up as a wild card team.
The Chargers and Dolphins figure to get wild card spots. They’re both 8-6 and currently have the sixth and seventh spots.
Tennessee at 7-7 and the Jaguars are 6-8 are likely headed towards playing for the division title in the season finale. At one point the Titans were 7-3 and the Jaguars were 3-7 but the Titans are struggling while the Jaguars are surging.
Only five teams – Texans, Bears, Browns, Rams and Arizona – have been eliminated with five games left. The Rams suffered the worst Super Bowl hangover ever after winning it last year.