PLAYOFF RACES INTENSIFY AS NFL ENTERS FINAL MONTH
As the calendar turns to December, the NFL enters the final month of the regular season. With 11 games down, only five remain for teams to make their playoff push.
“This is when you need to be playing your best ball heading into the playoff atmosphere,” says New York Giants defensive end JUSTIN TUCK, who has won two Super Bowls (XLII, XLVI). “This is when you want to be playing your best. Hopefully we can end this season playing our best ball and head into the playoffs playing that way. That’s where you want to be.”
As the league enters Week 13, there are 26 teams either in or within two games of a playoff spot.
“Our goal is to keep winning and get to the big one,” says Denver Broncos wide receiver DEMARYIUS THOMAS. “We’re going to take every game one at a time, take it week by week and just keep going. We’re going to try to keep winning.”
Five teams – Atlanta (NFC South, playoff berth), Baltimore (AFC North, playoff berth), Denver (AFC West), Houston (playoff berth) and New England (AFC East) – can clinch a playoff berth this week. But there is still plenty of football left to be played.
“It’s all right there in front of us,” says quarterback DREW BREES of the 5-6 New Orleans Saints. “I firmly believe that if we take care of our business and worry about ourselves, things will happen in a way we envision and we’re going to have a chance to get into the playoffs. We understand the sense of urgency and the small margin for error at this point.”
The Saints will visit the division-leading Atlanta Falcons (10-1) on Thursday night (NFL Network, 8:20 PM ET) to kick off Week 13.
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