Not into college bowl games? Still need that NFL fix on Sunday?
There’s plenty to watch, all with playoff implications. Here’s a rundown of the top five pro games no TV screen should be without this weekend.
Chicago (11-4) at Green Bay (9-6): An incredibly important game for Giants fans, provided the Giants are beating the Redskins. If the Giants win and the Packers lose, the Giants are in the playoffs as the sixth seed. Aaron Rodgers, who sliced and diced the Giants’ defense for 404 passing yards and four touchdowns, might have something to say about that.
Pittsburgh (11-4) at Cleveland (5-10): Jets fans probably would not like to see the tough Steelers again on Wildcard Weekend. A win here clinches the Steelers a first-round bye. Lose, and they’ll be thrown into the mix for the third seed which, if the Jets don’t beat the Bills and get to the fifth seed, would force them back to the Steel City again.
Tampa Bay (9-6) vs. New Orleans (11-4): The NFL’s surprise team vs. the defending champion, who has plenty of momentum now after winning seven of eight. They’ll probably go in as a wildcard -- they’d need Atlanta to lose to lowly Carolina for the NFC South title -- but don’t bet against Drew Brees.
Tennessee (6-9) vs. Indianapolis (9-6): If the Colts lose and Jacksonville beats Houston, Jacksonville wins the AFC South and the Colts don’t make the playoffs. Now ask yourself, who’s more interesting as a postseason quarterback, Peyton Manning or David Garrard? ‘Nuff said.
St. Louis (7-8) vs. Seattle (6-9): It would be nice to see St. Louis save the league from having its first losing team in the playoffs. It would also lock down much-beloved former Giants defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo’s first postseason berth.