"There's a month of football left," says Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer. "There's a lot of football left to be played and a lot of crazy things happen this time of year. We just have to keep our heads down, continue to work and take it one game at a time. That's all you can worry about right now."
With four games remaining, 20 teams are either in or within one game of a playoff spot. Five more teams are within two games of a postseason berth.
"We just need to keep winning games" says Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo. "More than anything, you've got to keep stacking wins together and then see where you're at in the end."
Some of the top performers in December/January since 2008:
|Drew Brees||7,206||Adrian Peterson||2,200||Calvin Johnson||2,416|
|Philip Rivers||6,300||Chris Johnson||1,989||Andre Johnson||2,254|
|Aaron Rodgers||6,041||Ray Rice||1,948||Brandon Marshall||1,950|
|Eli Manning||6,000||Jamaal Charles||1,878||Roddy White||1,940|
|Tom Brady||5,816||Steven Jackson||1,811||Wes Welker||1,872|
|Marshawn Lynch||19||Jared Allen||24.0||Ed Reed||11|
|Adrian Peterson||18||Tamba Hali||21.5||Tarell Brown||8|
|Darren Sproles||17||DeMarcus Ware||21.0||Michael Griffin||8|
|Marques Colston||16||Julius Peppers||19.5||Reggie Nelson||8|
|Chris Johnson||16||Three tied||16.5||Many tied||7|
The NFL season enters the home stretch with 29 teams still in contention for a trip to Super Bowl XLVIII.
The final quarter of the season kicks off this week with playoff berths on the line.
"The games in December are the most important regular-season games by far," says NFL Network analyst and former NFL head coach Steve Mariucci. "It's extremely important to win in December and to make a run at the playoffs and show improvement. You want your team to peak in December. It's important to stay healthy and keep your players fresh. You remember what happens in December."
Over the past five seasons (since 2008), the New England Patriots own the best record in the month, which also includes regular-season games played in January.
"Every game counts this time of year," says Philadelphia Eagles linebacker TRENT COLE, who has four sacks in his past two games. "It's very critical. We're going to take every game one by one and see where we are at the end of the season. When December 29th comes, we'll see where we are at."
|New England Patriots||22||3||.880|
|San Diego Chargers||19||6||.760|
|Green Bay Packers||16||8||.667|