As we enter into week 13 of the NFL regular season, the playoff picture is beginning to sharpen. While there are still plenty of spots up for grabs in the National Football Conference, the cutthroat jumble of teams stuck grappling for a wild card spot in the American Football Conference warrants a more in-depth look. With that in mind, let’s jump into where the 16 teams in the conference stand in the hunt for the playoffs.
Reece Christian is a writer for the sports section at the Tufts Daily. He is a first year who is currently undecided. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In last week’s column, I wrote about the success of the Houston Texans with CJ Stroud at quarterback, and I stated that the Texans had ‘finally’ found their franchise quarterback. This ignored a wrinkle in the Texans’ history, that being the promise of 2017 draft pick Deshaun Watson during four seasons in Houston.
The Houston Texans aren’t exactly a historically successful franchise. They’ve only made the playoffs six times out of their 21 full seasons of existence, and are the only franchise to have never played in a conference championship game. As a result, when there’s finally a hope for the future, it’s a big deal.
Nobody beats the Denver Broncos 17 times in a row. Certainly not after the Broncos ended a 16-game losing streak in a 24–9 victory against their division rival, the Kansas City Chiefs. The victory also ended Patrick Mahomes’ NFL record 16 straight divisional away victories.
We are roughly a third of the way through the NFL season, and narratives are beginning to take hold of teams. Contenders are separating from pretenders, and jobs are being won … or lost. By week 10 of last season, two coaches had already been fired and three more would be on the way out by the end of the season. Now, this season’s most vulnerable coaches are beginning to face the pressure to either perform or be ousted. With that in mind, let’s look at who is most vulnerable, and who may be showing up in headlines in the coming weeks.
The Buffalo Bills faced some unwelcome déjà vu while facing off against the New York Giants in week six. Towards the end of the second quarter, Bills running back Damien Harris suffered a dangerous hit that left him lying on the field for several minutes and required an ambulance to take him to a local hospital.
In October 2022, the San Francisco 49ers traded four mid-round draft picks for dual-threat running back Christian McCaffrey. A year later, and that trade seems like more and more of a bargain. The Niners destroyed NFC rivals, the Dallas Cowboys, 42–10 on Sunday Night Football, as McCaffrey notched his 14th straight game with at least one touchdown (including four in one game a week ago).
Cities@Tufts kicked off its first digital colloquium of the fall semester with writer Audrey Petty on Sept. 20. Petty authored “High Rise Stories: Voices from Chicago Public Housing,” a collection of narratives from individuals who lived in now-demolished public housing high rises in Chicago.