Unlike the fraudulent advertising of the Bowl Championship Series which boasts that every game matters (unless you lose early enough and the right teams in front of you lose later), the NFL has an actual objective way in which its teams can qualify for the playoffs. That means that these next three weeks will feature games with extremely high stakes.
For teams like the Indianapolis Colts, even though a playoff spot is virtually a given, they have the opportunity to finish strong and actually win the division. The difference there is playing at least the first round of the playoffs at home, a distinct advantage, versus going on the road to a hostile environment. For teams like Pittsburgh and Cincinnati, it means win or go home.
For coaches and players, especially those not in the running for the playoffs, it means trying to keep one's job. Owners and general managers have a very low tolerance for employees who don't perform under pressure. The final three weeks of the NFL season is as pressure-packed as it gets.
Last week, Steven stumbled a bit early on Sunday, but rebounded to finish 9-7 (118-90 on the year). I lost three games that were decided on the final possession, but still finished a respectable 10-6 (138-70 on the year). Here's who we have winning this week: