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Taking Stock of the NFL’s Biggest Story Lines Heading Into the Final Stretch

Chris Ryan, Robert Mays, and Danny Kelly look at some fringe contenders and pick some dream matchups

(Getty Images/Ringer illustration)
(Getty Images/Ringer illustration)

The NFL playoffs are rapidly approaching, and it’s must-win time for many of the league’s franchises. Chris Ryan, Robert Mays, and Danny Kelly took a look at who will make the postseason and who will fall short on the latest Talking Football Live. They covered more than a dozen different teams — these are the highlights.

Are the Redskins Actually Good?

Danny Kelly: Every time I think they’re going to fold, they play a really good game.

Robert Mays: That offense is dangerous.

D.K.: They have probably the best skill group in the NFL in Jordan Reed and Vernon Davis at tight end. They have a good receiver group with DeSean Jackson, Jamison Crowder, and Pierre Garçon.

R.M.: The fact that Pierre Garcon is the [fifth] name mentioned in that group is crazy.

The Steelers Could Be As Scary As Anyone

Chris Ryan: I have it written down here: “A healthy Big Ben paired with Antonio Brown and Le’Veon Bell creates possibly the league’s scariest offense.” … Everybody’s waiting for it to be true. They still have an electric offense, but because of injuries and this, that, or the other thing they just haven’t been able to put it all together this year, despite Todd Haley mixing up the medicine.

R.M.: You know I love Todd Haley. I believe just because I still think that version of them is possible. I think we can see it moving forward.

Battle for the NFC North: Packers vs. Lions

D.K.: I think the Lions are starting to believe.

R.M.: How could you not believe in Jim Caldwell?

D.K.: He’s so inspiring. But honestly, they’ve been really good in the end of games. I think they’ve won all their games with fourth-quarter comebacks, or almost all of them anyway.

Dream Playoff Matchup: Seahawks vs. Cowboys

R.M.: I can’t wait to watch that game if it happens. If you’re Seattle, you’ve been the best defense in the league for five years, you’re a contender, you’re the class of the league. You go into Dallas for that game, there’s that feeling.

C.R.: Nobody believes in you, everybody wants the Cowboys to win …

R.M.: Exactly.

C.R.: The chip on the shoulder is going to be out [of this world].

R.M.: And if you’re Earl Thomas or Kam Chancellor you’ve got to be thinking, “we’re the Seahawks.”

Potential Super Bowl: Cowboys vs. Raiders

R.M.: Watching those two offenses go at it in the Super Bowl would be incredible.

D.K.: And it would be cool just from a TV point of view, they’d have some cool options to do the histories of these two teams. Great, great storied franchises.

C.R.: The documentaries leading up to it would be insane.

D.K.: Plus, you get to talk about Al Davis.