NFL Predictions Week 12: Teams That Will Have Their Playoff Hopes Dashed

Josh SchochAnalyst IIINovember 23, 2012

OAKLAND, CA - NOVEMBER 18:  Drew Brees #9 of the New Orleans Saints waits for the play to resume during their game against the Oakland Raiders at Coliseum on November 18, 2012 in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Week 12 of the NFL season starts the final stretch of the season, with every team playing every week for the last five weeks of the season.

Even with five games remaining, several teams are clinging to their playoff hopes but will have them snatched away in Week 12.

As the season reaches its end, these teams will no longer have much of a chance to make it to the postseason following their games this week.



Buffalo Bills

If fans in Buffalo had much hope left after the team started the season 4-6, it will be ripped away from them on Sunday against the Indianapolis Colts.

The Bills are currently two games back of the 6-4 Colts for the final wild-card spot in the AFC, but with a win would cut that gap to just a single game. However, the Colts will be victorious on Sunday, sinking the Bills to 4-7 and ending all hope of making the playoffs.

Andrew Luck has been on fire as of late, throwing for 994 yards in his last three games, including a new rookie passing record of 433 yards against the Miami Dolphins.

The Bills rank in the bottom half of the league in passing yards allowed per game, and are not much better than those Dolphins who gave up 433 yards.

Look for Luck and the Colts to torch the Bills' defense and end all hope of the Bills making it to the postseason for the first time since 1998.



San Diego Chargers

Another AFC team that is trying to claw its way back into the playoff race, the Chargers host the Baltimore Ravens this week in a game that could get ugly.

The Chargers are in the same boat as the Bills, going 4-6 on the year after losing two straight games and five of the team's last six.

Phillip Rivers and the Chargers have been struggling recently, and are playing against a hot Ravens team that has won seven of its last eight games.

Once the Ravens blast the Chargers, San Diego will fall to 4-7 and will have no chance of making the playoffs anymore.



New Orleans Saints

As much as I'd like to see the Saints rebound from an 0-4 start to the season to make the postseason, the NFC is tough this season and the team will not be able to bounce back from its dreadful start.

The Saints have a tough matchup with the San Francisco 49ers this week, and even with Colin Kaepernick under center the 49ers defense will be able to stymie the Saints.

Drew Brees is going to struggle against the No. 2 pass defense in the league when San Fran comes to town. On the other side of the ball, San Francisco's No. 1 ranked rushing attack will run all over the Saints' run defense, which ranks dead last in the league in yards allowed per game.

Kaepernick's presence can also open up the ground game because he is such an unknown. He burned the Chicago Bears for 243 yards and a pair of touchdowns last week, and similar numbers would ensure a win for the 49ers.

Even playing in the Superdome won't help the Saints in this game, and falling to 5-6 would probably push the team to two games out of the wild-card race, as long as the Minnesota Vikings, Tampa Bay Buccaneers or Seattle Seahawks wins on Sunday.