NFL playoff positioning heats up!

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Nobody likes playing during a pandemic. Already this year 300,000 Americans have died because of the coronavirus. Good to know the historically fast vaccine is on the way. Help us God, it’s all around us.

The NFL, now 13 weeks into the season, is trying to do the impossible: 32 teams playing 256 games with no fans and no cancellations.

Amazingly, with several adjustments because of COVID-19, the NFL is back on schedule. With 14 playoffs spots, seven in each Conference (AFC, NFC), so far Kansas City (12-1), Green Bay and New Orleans (both 10-3) and Pittsburgh (11-2) have clinched playoff spots.

With the odd number seven, this year is unlike years past when two teams from each Conference, number-one and number-two seeds, got first-round playoff byes. In 2021 just two teams get byes. If the season ended last week it would be Kansas City and Green Bay.

We are closer than you think with three weeks to go In the AFC it’s Kansas City, Pittsburgh, Buffalo, Tennessee, Cleveland, Indianapolis and Baltimore. In the NFC it’s Green Bay, New Orleans, Los Angeles, Washington, Seattle, Tampa Bay and Arizona.

The Vikings still have a shot at getting in with 6-7. They host the Chicago Bears, also 6-7, on Sunday after losing 26-14 to Tampa Bay and Tom Brady.

It’s difficult for Mike Zimmer. His kicker Dan Bailey missed three field goals Sunday. He also missed kicks vs. Jacksonville the previous week, but the Vikings survived to beat a 1-11 team 28-27.

What will Zimmer do? There is no margin for error. It’s fish or cut bait time in the NFL. It’s win or go home.

A 9-7 record will likely grab a Wild Card in the NFC. Vikings star linebacker Eric Kendricks has been selected the Vikings NFL Walter Payton Man of the Year.

About Larry Fitzgerald

Larry Fitzgerald is a longstanding contributing columnist at the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder. He can be heard weekday mornings on KMOJ Radio 89.9 FM at 8:25 am, on WDGY-AM 740 Monday and Friday at 9:10 am, and at www.Gamedaygold.com. He also commentates on sports 7-8 pm on Almanac (TPT channel 2). Follow him on Twitter at FitzBeatSr. Larry welcomes reader responses to info@larry-fitzgerald.com, or visit www.Larry-Fitzgerald.com.

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