With the picture surrounding NFL playoffs becoming ever clearer, we can start to get a sense of the teams that may or may not get a bye week as one of the top two seeds in their respective conferences. Let’s break them down and go over if the team should be seeking that week of rest (Bye-ing), or if a Wild Card game would do them good (Selling).
New England Patriots: 12–3/Bye-ing
The Patriots are locked in with a bye week, and that is what they wanted. The Pats are built around Tom Brady, who is used to having the extra week to rest and prepare. This team will not miss a beat with the week off. The team may opt to play hard this week though to try and secure the top overall seed.
Denver Broncos: 11–4/Bye-ing
Peyton Manning has been fighting a series of mystery illnesses and injuries and could use the time to rest his bones. Actually a lot of the team could use a bit of time to rest. This is mostly a veteran team, and the extra time to recharge is going to help with a playoff push.
Pittsburgh Steelers: 10–5/Selling
The Steelers need to play every week as I still see them as a young team that is growing. An extra week off would only serve to interrupt the rhythm. The only thing this team would love is some more home dates.
Indianapolis Colts: 10–5/Bye-ing
Likely not to happen (especially after the disappointing loss to the Dallas Cowboys), but the Colts would love the comforts of home, compared to the extra time. Andrew Luck is a great quarterback, but the success of this team hinges on speed and precision, something you get less of in the cold and snow.
Seattle Seahawks: 11–4/Bye-ing
The Seahawks don’t want the time, they want the 12th man that plays with them in Seattle. Seattle on the road isn’t half as good as Seattle at home. Forcing teams to come to them would be what Seattle wants most for the holidays.
Detroit Lions: 11–4/Bye-ing
The nasty defense can play on the road, and in the cold, but the offense is a speed-based group that would prefer the comforts of Ford Field. The team is also a little banged up, so a week off would serve them well.
Dallas Cowboys: 11–4/Selling
Dallas will get a home game, due to winning the NFC East, but after that I am sure Jason Garrett would be happy to go on the road (where the Cowboys are undefeated this season). Dallas is also still a team that swings from great to scary, so a little more time to get together as a unit might not be a bad thing. Though I’m sure Tony Romo and DeMarco Murray would love a week to rest their injuries.
Arizona Cardinals: 11–4/Bye-ing
The Cardinals only care about their quarterbacks, and without a bye week, they are going on the road with their third string QB as their signal caller. An extra week might see them starting with their second string QB, and for this team that makes all the difference in the world.
Green Bay Packers: 11–4/Selling
The Packers actually work better indoors than out, so playing on the frozen tundra might not be the best spot for Aaron Rogers and company. Oddly enough, if the Pack is on the same wavelength as me then they will want to lose the final game of the year to Detroit, in an attempt to set up a rematch in the playoffs. Maybe even the players don’t want to be outside in Wisconsin in the cold.