NFL fans have got it made for the final two weeks of the 2013 NFL season. With the AFC East, AFC North, AFC West, NFC East, NFC North and NFC South divisions still not decided, there is still a litany of divisional and playoff issues to be addressed.
It gets even more interesting when you consider how many divisional clashes (with huge implications, mind you) we’re blessed with in the final two weeks.
The magic gets started in week 16, as NFL fans are given no shortage of drama in the form of crucial match-ups that can start deciding team’s playoff fates right away.
There is no shortage of value this week, either. Even with steep price tags, fans will find that the hype matches the ticket prices. Let’s take a closer look as we break down the top-five priced NFL games for week 16:
1. Falcons @ 49ers | Avg: $438 | Get-in: $242 | Trend: -3%
The Atlanta Falcons are out of the playoffs and have just four wins on the season. Do you think 49ers tickets have enough value on their own?
Yes, despite a losing opponent that is out of the NFC playoff picture, 49ers tickets jump up over 62% this week. San Francisco fans always come to see their team and don’t mind the price, but perhaps the 49ers needing to win their final couple of games to secure a wild card playoff spot has 49ers fans antsy.
With San Francisco heavy favorites against the long ago sunken Falcons, though, San Francisco fans can just come enjoy the likely win.
Atlanta fans, on the other hand, will have to pay much more than they’re used to, as the 49ers cause their road ticket average to take an insane 193.96% leap in week 16.
2. Cardinals @ Seahawks | Avg: $312 | Get-in: $144 | Trend: -3%
Seattle has without a doubt been the best NFL team through 16 weeks, and with a 12-2 record look to be locked into the NFC’s top overall seed. While they’ve been extremely successful so far, further success by the Seahawks could get in the way of the Cardinals’ post-season hopes. In fact, Arizona needs to win their final two games just for a chance at a wild card spot.
The NFC remains extremely competitive in 2013 and with their season on the line, it’s hard to imagine Arizona coming up as short as they did in their first meeting with the Seahawks. It won’t be made any easier this time around, however, as meeting number two is in Seattle, where the ‘Hawks rarely lose.
With such huge weight in this one, it’s a mild surprise that Seattle Seahawks tickets for the game are almost 7% below their average in week 16. That has more to do with Seattle not playing for a whole lot than anything else, however.
On the other hand, Arizona Cardinals tickets are 189% more than their normal road average. If AZ is going to escape with a win and keep their playoff hopes alive, they’ll need a huge performance from Carson Palmer against arguably the league’s top defense. It’s not likely, but the mere possibility makes this one make a whole lot of sense at #2 overall this week.
3. Saints @ Panthers | Avg: $257 | Get-in: $88 | Trend: -10%
New Orleans just wiped the floor with Carolina two weeks ago, when Drew Brees tossed four touchdowns and put an end to the Panthers’ eight game winning streak. Carolina plays host this time for an epic clash, as the NFC South division rivals both sit at 10-4.
The winner of this week 16 battle will have the leg up for the division title and a first round bye, while the loser may have to take it to the road for much of the post-season. Needless to say, it’s the biggest game of the year for both teams and is well worth the $257 price tag. Tickets for this game are currently 72% above Carolina Panthers tickets at home this year, and 20% above Saints tickets on the road.
4. Broncos @ Texans | Avg: $216 | Get-in: $93 | Trend: -2%
Houston has dropped an incredible 12 straight games, so how are Texans fans still getting up for a game in week 16? One reason: Peyton Manning.
Manning is a major draw wherever he goes, while there’s also the nice fact that the Texans tend to be very competitive. They’re chasing just their third win of the year, but that doesn’t stop Texans tickets from rising up almost 29% this week above their home average. For the Broncos tickets, this game is 22% below their average road ticket this year. Houston isn’t likely to keep up with Denver’s potent offense, but it should still be an interesting game.
5. Bears @ Eagles | Avg: $210 | Get-in: $99 | Trend: -2%
This week’s number five game in terms of price could (or should) easily be much higher, as both Chicago and Philly have a ton on the line over the final two weeks. In fact, both teams have a shot at winning their respective divisions. A win this week puts them in prime position to do just that, while a loss hurts their chances.
Because of that Eagles tickets and Bears tickets both see a solid spike this week, 20% for Eagles tickets at home and 44% for Bears tickets on the road. However, fans still have a reasonable $99 get-in price tag. With Jay Cutler back under center again and both teams looking for a big win to propel them to a division title, it doesn’t get much bigger than this.