Pay attention to the Philadelphia Phillies if you are an NFL fan.
With the third-best record in their division going into the postseason, they were the sixth seed in the National League and are now in the World Series. The World Series, which begins this week, will pit them against the Houston Astros despite their four games to one victory against the San Diego Padres.
Some will argue that having a club like that compete in the World Series invalidates the significance of the regular season. Maybe, but NFL teams ought to be interested.
It is simply a matter of getting there; what you do to get there is not important. The Los Angeles Rams and Cincinnati Bengals demonstrated that last season. They were the fourth seeded into the playoffs, and they won the Super Bowl.
Every NFL team that now appears to be struggling—such as Tampa Bay and Green Bay—should be communicating that message to their locker rooms. Let’s get started, get things in order, and then make a run since it’s not quite November yet.
Five clubs appear to be strong candidates to make the playoffs after seven weeks of the current campaign. The top three teams in my Power Rankings this week are the Philadelphia Eagles, Buffalo Bills, and Kansas City Chiefs, who appear to be the best in the league. The AFC South is firmly in the hands of the Tennessee Titans, with the other three teams barely posing a threat. The Minnesota Vikings are 5-1 and have already defeated second-place Green Bay, which is 3-4, so they appear to be in good shape for the time being.
For the remainder of the league, however, it’s about getting ready for December in order to qualify for the tournament and heat up in the postseason. Teams like the San Francisco 49ers, Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals, Packers, and Buccaneers must use the upcoming six weeks to address their problems and prepare for a postseason run.
It only remains to be seen when and if they can execute their potential, which they all possess.
The 6-1 New York Giants and 5-2 New York Jets round out the field. Are you yet believers? Can they endure? It will be difficult going forward as both are suffering from wounds.
The clubs that are now falling short of expectations must find comfort in the notion that they still have time to make up ground. Fixing your problems will ensure that you have a ticket to the playoff party and the opportunity to get hot at the proper time, not about winning the regular season.