Each week through the 2019 season, former NFL defensive back and current BBC analyst Jason Bell will highlight five things to look out for that weekend. Watch Jason twice a week on the BBC.
This week it's starting to get interesting with regards to the play-offs. So, I'm going to look at the five teams that could clinch their place in week 15.
The Bills can clinch this week with a win against the Pittsburgh Steelers and I think this is going to be a tough game for them. Pittsburgh defense is a super bowl calibre defense and the way they're playing on offense with Devlin Hodges, they can be very effective. This is going to be a difficult game for the Bills. Especially being away from home and coming off a loss. This is going to be one of my games of the week as far as the competitiveness is concerned. This is not a given for the Bills at all. We need to see if this offense and Josh Allen can score points and be effective verses the defense of the Steelers. It's going to go to the wire and it's going to be really tough.
San Francisco 49ers
The 49ers can clinch this weekend. They are at home and playing against the Atlanta Falcons. We know the Falcons have not been great this year. The 49ers have proved they are as good as their record. They don't play down to their competition. They always play elite football and they are going to take care of business in this one. They are coming off a great win against New Orleans and they need to dominate this game as well.
The Seattle Seahawks can clinch their play-off berth, but they are also relying on other results. They're up against the Carolina Panthers and they need to keep running. The loss of Rashaad Penny is going to be big and this offense will have to re-group. It will come down to Russell Wilson again, making those big plays and using his legs on third downs. He'll also be looking to get the running game going with Chris Carlson again. They'll have to switch up from what they did before. Their defense also needs to cover the pass better if they are going to have any success. I think they will be ok at the Panthers, but it will be a challenge for them.
New England Patriots
The New England Patriots will clinch their play-off berth this weekend because they are playing against the Cincinnati Bengals. I want to see the Patriots really go out there and fix things on offense. This is a game where they can try different schemes and different personnel and take risks because of their opponent. Tom Brady and his offense need to improve and get their confidence back, especially after two losses. They need to do better against this team.
Green Bay Packers
This is another game of the week. Green Bay can clinch their place if they win against the Chicago Bears, but they also need the LA Rams to lose. I've seen Mitch Trubisky and the Bears offense improve steadily. Their quarterback has stepped up and they have an elite defense. This will not be an easy game for the Green Bay Packers. They have a slight advantage because they're at home. However, they're relying on their defense to get turnovers. They need to help Aaron Rodgers get on the pitch so he can go down and score. There is so much on the line for both of these teams and it will be a tough game and one to watch.