As if the weekend wasn't bad enough for San Francisco's Jim Harbaugh — reeling from Sunday's loss at Oakland — the
"Two-dollar steak," he joked with reporters Monday in a light moment, increasingly rare with his team these days.
Back-to-back defeats largely have rendered the 49ers toothless, their playoff hopes dangling by a thread with an ominous road game at Seattle on Sunday.
With three weeks to go in the
"It's crazy how fast things change," Hoyer told reporters. "I feel like four or five weeks ago we're talking about contract talks and now we're talking about if I'm even going to be staying here. It's the furthest thing from my mind right now."
Miami's make-or-break showdown with Baltimore didn't go the Dolphins' way, and that 28-13 loss could dash their hopes of reaching the playoffs for the first time since 2008.
In San Diego, the
But the season doesn't end today. There are three arduous weeks of football left, and for the Chargers that means games against Denver, at San Francisco and at Kansas City, with about as much wiggle room as a middle seat in economy class.
While NFL teams universally embrace the one-game-at-a-time philosophy, staunchly refusing to look too far into the future, it's sometimes safe to talk about the playoffs.
That's the case with the
"I didn't even know we can clinch this week," Knighton said Monday. "That's the first thing on our checklist, to win our division, and once we handle that, we'll focus on the next task at hand. Like I said, we're just taking it a week at a time. We'll watch the previous game we played against San Diego, watch the games they've been playing since then and just go on the road and execute against a team that's hungry to get in the playoffs."
Indianapolis is in a similar situation. If the
After Sunday's victory over Tennessee,
Arizona emerged from Sunday atop the
Asked what makes December football special, Arians said: "For some teams, it doesn't mean a damn thing except the season's almost over. I've been on that side. This one means a lot because everything rides from here on in, so every game is really a playoff game, especially the way the NFC is sitting right now with so many teams at nine [wins]. Every game's a playoff game."
In Philadelphia, the Eagles were recovering Monday from a home loss against Seattle, and looking forward to Sunday's home game against Dallas. The victor of that game will be in the driver's seat to win the
"Everybody understands that the more games you win, the better opportunities you have to play in the postseason and that's what this deal is all about: trying to qualify for the postseason," Philadelphia Coach Chip Kelly said Monday. "But I don't think talking about it does anything for us. I mean, we are going to meet for a certain amount of time for me to go over playoff scenarios with them, but it means absolutely nothing if we don't play well against Dallas.
"Bottom line is, let's just play well in our next game."
It's all about action now. Talk is as cheap as, well, a two-dollar steak.