🏈 NFL Playoff Picture

Breaking down the current NFL playoff scenarios...

It’s already Wednesday! Based on the amount of Out of Office replies we got yesterday, seems like Blitz Country is enjoying the holidays. Well, if you have a minute between the hectic family time and poolside mojitos, take a second with us as we breakdown the NFL Playoff Picture of who’s currently dancing and who’s rooting for some magic to happen with only two weeks left to play. Plus, the Detroit Pistons “Sad Boys” were on the wrong side of history and College Bowl games never disappoint as we recap it all. Let’s ride!

WTF Stat: 49ers are now 0-38 when trailing by 8+ points in the 4th quarter under HC Kyle Shanahan and are the only NFL team without a win in that situation since 2017.

Written By: Danny Healey

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🏈 Vikings TE T.J. Hockenson is out for the season with a torn ACL, MCL - he had a career high in catches and yards this year

🏈 Aaron Rodgers ripped into critics after the Jets put him on the 53-man active roster so he could continue to practice with the team, while his roster spot, to never play in an actual game, came at the expense of fullback Nick Bawden who was cut and later put on practice squad - it was the coaches decision, not Aaron’s… lay off him

⚾ Rays star Wander Franco was unsuccessfully found at two homes by Dominican Republic police after it’s been reported he’s had inappropriate relations with a minor, an allegation that removed him from Tampa Bay’s roster in August - the 22-year-old signed an 11-year, $182M contract extension in 2021

🏀 Grizzlies PG Ja Morant was named the Western Conference Player of the Week in his first games back since his 25-game suspension - averaged 28 PPG, 9 AST and 5.7 REB

🏈 Who’s In & Who’s Out?

Photo: Lamar Jackson | Source: USA Today

AFC Playoff Picture

  1. Baltimore Ravens (12-3): Clinched playoff berth with a huge matchup against the Dolphins next week - only #1 seed gets a bye week

    1. Next Two Games: vs. Miami, vs. Steelers

  2. Miami Dolphins (11-4): Clinched playoff berth, need to essentially win out to fend off Bills for AFC East title and have a shot at #1 seed

    1. Next Two Games: @ Baltimore, vs. Buffalo

  3. Kansas City Chiefs (9-6): Patrick Mahomes has never played a road playoff game but are in the driver seat to win the AFC West

    1. Next Two Games: vs. Cincinnati, @ L.A. Chargers

  4. Jacksonville Jaguars (8-7): Own AFC South tiebreaker over Indy and Houston (both 8-7) based on head-to-head win percentages

    1. Next Two Games: vs. Carolina, @ Tennessee

  5. Cleveland Browns (10-5): Hold the top Wild Card spot with favorable matchups to finish the year, while the Ravens hold the AFC North lead

    1. Next Two Games: vs. New York Jets, @ Cincinnati

  6. Buffalo Bills (9-6): Can win AFC East if they win out and Dolphins lose to Ravens next week - who counted out Josh Allen a few weeks ago when they were 6-6??

    1. Next Two Games: vs. New England, @ Miami

  7. Indianapolis Colts (8-7): Own tiebreakers over Pittsburgh (head-to-head win), as well as Houston and Cincinnati who are on the outside looking in

    1. Next Two Games: vs. Las Vegas, vs. Houston

In the Hunt:

  • Houston Texans (8-7): Own tiebreaker over Pittsburgh (head-to-head win)

    • Next Two Games: vs. Tennessee, @ Indianapolis

  • Pittsburgh Steelers (8-7): Own tiebreaker over Cincinatti (head-to-head wins)

    • Next Two Games: @ Seattle, @ Baltimore

  • Cincinnati Bengals (8-7): Lost twice to Pittsburgh, and will need to win out to have a chance

    • Next Two Games: @ Kansas City, vs. Cleveland

  • Las Vegas Raiders (7-8): Need to win out to have a chance

    • Next Two Games: @ Indianapolis, vs. Denver

  • Denver Broncos (7-8): Could easily win out with Chargers and Vegas left, but still need lots of other loses to happen from team in front of them

    • Next Two Games: vs. L.A. Chargers, @ Vegas

NFC Playoff Picture

  1. San Francisco 49ers (11-4): Clinched NFC West title, hold tiebreaker over Philly and Detroit based on best NFC win percentage

    1. Next Two Games: @ Washington, vs. L.A. Rams

  2. Philadelphia Eagles (11-4): Clinched playoff berth and need to fend off Dallas for NFC East title with a favorable schedule ahead, own tiebreaker over Lions based on strength of victories

    1. Next Two Games: vs. Cardinals, @ New York Giants

  3. Detroit Lions (11-4): Clinched NFC North title (first time in 30 years) and could snag the #1 seed only if Eagles and Niners slip up

    1. Next Two Games: @ Dallas, vs. Minnesota

  4. Tampa Bay Bucs (8-7): Hold a 1-game NFC South lead over Falcons and Saints - all division winners will never be less than a 4 seed no matter their record and will play a Wild Card Weekend home game vs. 5 seed even if that team has a better record (aka the Cowboys)

    1. Next Two Games: vs. New Orleans, @ Carolina

  5. Dallas Cowboys (10-5): Clinched playoff berth with a chance at the NFC East title if they win out and Eagles drop a game

    1. Next Two Games: vs. Detroit, @ Washington

  6. Los Angeles Rams (8-7): Own tiebreaker over Seattle win a head-to-head win - not a team I’d want to face right now!

    1. Next Two Games: @ New York Giants, @ San Francisco

  7. Seattle Seahawks (8-7): Hold 1-game lead for final Wild Card spot over four teams

    1. Next Two Games: vs. Pittsburgh, @ Arizona

In the hunt:

  • Minnesota Vikings (7-8): Own tiebreaker over Falcons, Packers and Saints based on head-to-head percentage

    • Next Two Games: vs. Green Bay, @ Detroit

  • Atlanta Falcons (7-8): Own tiebreaker over Packers and Saints based on head-to-head percentage

    • Next Two Games: @ Chicago, @ New Orleans

  • Green Bay Packers (7-8): Own tiebreaker over Saints based on a head-to-head win

    • Next Two Games: @ Minnesota, vs. Chicago

  • New Orleans Saints (7-8): Two NFC South games left are both must wins and gives them a chance at the 4 seed

    • Next Two Games: @ Tampa Bay, vs. Atlanta

  • Chicago Bears (6-9): Need to win out and pretty much every team in front of them in the hunt and in the Wild Card to lose

    • Next Two Games: vs. Atlanta, @ Green Bay

See the full NFL standings here.

Photo: The Detroit Sad Boys | Source: USA Today

NBA - Top Games

  • Brooklyn Nets 118, Detroit Pistons 112: The 2023-24 Pistons are officially one of the worst teams in NBA history losing a single-season record 27th consecutive game despite a 41-point effort from former #1 overall pick Cade Cunningham (76ers lost 28 straight but that was two seasons combined 2014 & 2015) - we are going to take credit for coining the name the “Detroit Sad Boys”, but hey Motor City, at least you have the Lions!

  • Oklahoma City Thunder 129, Minnesota Timberwolves 106: OKC dominated the team with the best record in the Western Conference behind their budding superstar Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (34 PTS, 9 AST, 6 REB)

  • Indiana Pacers 123, Houston Rockets 117: Tyrese Haliburton (33 PTS, 10 AST, 6 REB) did his thing knocking down seven threes as the Pacers get above .500 with the road W - Pacers +2.5 was our Prime Lock of the Day in yesterday’s letter. Upgrade to Blitz Prime to unlock our daily best bets

See the full NBA scoreboard here and the current standings here.

College Football Bowl Games

  • Quick Lane Bowl | Minnesota 30, Bowling Green 24: Freshman RB Darius Taylor (208 YDS, 1 TD) ran wild with QB Cole Kramer only throwing for 26 yards in a seventh straight bowl victory - the Gophers at 5-7 only made a bowl game for having the “Best Academic Progress Rate” among five-win teams

  • SERVPRO First Responder Bowl | Texas State 45, Rice 21: DB Brian Holloway had two interceptions returned for touchdowns and 320-pound linemen Nash Jones caught a screen pass and ran in a TD - this was Texas State’s first ever bowl win after joining the FBS in 2012

See the full bowl scoreboard here.

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Which college coach has the most bowl wins of all-time?

A. Joe Paterno

B. Bobby Bowden

C. Nick Saban

D. Bear Bryant


  • Toronto Raptors @ Washington Wizards 7:00pm ET, NBA TV

  • Full Schedule


  • Boston Bruins @ Buffalo Sabres 7:30pm ET, TNT

  • Full Schedule - there are 14 games tonight!

College Football Bowl Games

  • Military Bowl presented by GoBowling.com - Virginia Tech vs. Tulane 2:00pm ET, ESPN

  • Duke's Mayo Bowl - North Carolina vs. West Virginia 5:30pm ET, ESPN

  • DirecTV Holiday Bowl - Louisville vs. USC 8:00pm ET, ESPN

  • TaxAct Texas Bowl - Texas A&M vs. Oklahoma State 9:00pm ET, ESPN

Grab $20 off tickets to your favorite games, concerts and events using code TORCH20 at Vivid Seats - Promo is for first-time buyers and orders over $200!

Trivia Time Answer

A. Joe Paterno. 24 wins is the record and Paterno did them all with Penn State. Bobby Bowden is second with 22 and Nick Saban is third all-time with 19 - my money is on Saban passing Paterno before he retires

Prime Lock of the Day

Subscribe to Blitz Prime to unlock this betting slip. For those already signed up, enjoy the winner!

Blitz Prime is 11-5 on NFL bets this season. If you like to throw some action, it’s time to sign-up.

Make sure this is the only email you read today. Thanks for spending your holiday with us and we’ll see you tomorrow!