NFL Playoff Stock Report after Week 12

Jenna Watson/IndyStar / USA TODAY NETWORK

NFL Playoff Stock Report after Week 12

Football

NFL Playoff Stock Report after Week 12

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Jenna Watson/IndyStar / USA TODAY NETWORK

In golfing parlance, the NFL regular season is on the back nine. Only a handful of games remain as teams try to lock up a playoff spot. Thanksgiving week revealed a lot about teams in both conferences. It is a suitable time to see which teams are making a run while others flag toward the finishing line. Tayyib Abu and Marissa Myers see which NFC and AFC teams are seeing their playoff stock rise or fall.

 

NFC Stock Up:

Washington Commanders

Amidst the scandal, innuendo, and public relations blunders, “Riverboat” Ron Rivera has got his Washington Commanders furiously paddling into a playoff spot. Since the bye week, Washington is 3-0. They currently boast a 7-5 record in the NFC and have surrendered more than 20 points just twice since the start of October. In the last three games, the Commanders have allowed 13, 10, and 21 points, respectively. This aggressive, well-coached defense is allowing quarterback Taylor Heinicke to make enough plays to win games. The journeyman signal-caller is leading the offense with aplomb. And lastly, Washington has excellent momentum; they succeed in high-leverage moments and possess great self-belief. With games against the New York Giants, Dallas Cowboys, and Cleveland Browns left on the schedule, Washington has a real chance of crashing the playoff party. 

NFC Stock Down:

New York Giants 

The New York Giants’ Big Blue engine seems to have hit reliability problems at the wrong time. The Giants are 1-2 since the bye week and have lost 62-75 across those three games. With injuries piling up, New York’s margin of error has vanished. Saquon Barkley looks tired, and Daniel Jones is making mistakes. The Giants’ key to victory earlier this season was to run the ball and limit mistakes. Both of those elements are gone. And now the Giants enter the most challenging part of their schedule; the Commanders and Philadelphia Eagles appear twice on the Giants’ schedule, while New York also has games against the Minnesota Vikings and Indianapolis Colts left on the program. The Giants need to find another gear to take a playoff spot. 

 

AFC Stock Up:

New York Jets

The New York Jets are on the right track once again after benching Zach Wilson and starting Mike White. With White taking over, the offense looked in rhythm, and the entire team seemed to get a boost from his leadership on the field. White completed 22-of-28 passes for 315 yards, three touchdowns, and threw zero interceptions. Being able to have the stability between the pass and run is going to take the offense far as long as White starts. The Jets have the defense that is going to take them far in games. They have the fifth-lowest passing yards with 2,173 and have 12 interceptions. Their pass rush has gotten after quarterbacks with the ninth-most pressures (103), and they have held opponents to 111.3 rushing yards per game. This stout defense with an efficient offense has the Jets playoff stock taking off. 

 

AFC Stock Down: 

Indianapolis Colts 

When Jeff Saturday took over as the new head coach for the Indianapolis Colts, and they went on to beat the Las Vegas Raiders and lose by only one point to the Philadelphia Eagles, things were looking up. During those two weeks the offensive line was performing great, Matt Ryan looked more efficient, and the run game was going with Jonathan Taylor. All that came crashing back down against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Ryan was sacked three times in a game where he completed 22 passes for only 199 yards and threw a bad interception. Their run defense also had no answers for the Steelers ground game, allowing 172 yards and two touchdowns. At 4-7-1 on the season with the Jacksonville Jaguars currently surging after a win against the Baltimore Ravens, the Colts will have to cling onto luck if they want to make a playoff spot. 

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