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NFL Playoff Scenarios Going into Week 15

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NFL 2010-11 Playoff Scenarios

The Chicago Bears have won the NFC North and the New England Patriots, Pittsburgh Steelers (who lost this week) and Atlanta Falcons have all secured playoff spots. That leaves 8 spots still to be decided.

Still at stake in the AFC are all 4 AFC Division Titles and 2 Wildcard spots with the New England Patriots and Pittsburgh Steelers assured of 2 of those 6 spots

In the NFC the Bears have won the North, and still at stake is 3 Division Titles and 2 Wild Card spots with Atlanta being assured of one of them.

Random NFL Musings....WOW. Can you say Joe Pisarcik! There was a lot more to the Eagles comeback then DeSean Jackson's punt return and that makes this game simply even more amazing. Given the breath of the comeback and what was at stake, this will go down as one of the all time great NFL come backs or debacles (depending on who you were rooting for.)

As for the NFC West, the most amazing thing here is that if the 49ers win their last two games and Seattle losses at least one of two, THE 49ERS WILL WIN THE DIVISION @ 7-9 AND GET A PLAYOFF HOME GAME!!! If that happens we might as well just legalize marrying your sister because that's eff'ed up!

afc

Seed Team AFC DIVISION LEADERS Record Remaining Opponents
1 East 12-2-0 at Bills (4-10), vs. Dolphins (7-7)
New England Patriots - (Clinched Playoff Spot) The Pats can clinch the AFC East and a first-round bye with a win or a Jets loss.
         
2 North 10-4-0 vs. Panthers (2-12), @ Browns (5-9)
Pittsburgh Steelers - (Clinched Playoff Spot) Even though they lost to the Jets Sunday, the Steelers clinched a playoff spot based on a tiebreaker that will go their way on strength of schedule. The Steelers and Ravens split their season series, so tie-breakers could determine a winner. And the Steelers, at this point, have a superior division record, so if they win out, they take the AFC North.
         
3 West 9-5-0 vs. Titans (6-8), vs. Raiders (7-7)
Kansas City Chiefs - The Chiefs have their final games @ home where they haven't lost this season. If they win both games, the division is theirs.
         
4 South 8-6-0 @ Raiders (7-7), vs. Titans (6-8)
Indianapolis Colts - A HUGE win Sunday against the Jaguars as the Colts are now tied for the AFC South lead and Colts control their own destiny. If they win out the division title is theirs once again.
    AFC WILD CARD SPOTS     
5 North 10-4-0 @ Browns (5-8), vs. Bengals (3-10)
Baltimore Ravens -Playoffs shouldn't be really be issue here with games against teams that have combined for just eight wins, and a head-to-head tie-breaker over the sixth-seeded Jets. They would have to lose both and have other unlikely thing happen to miss out altogether.
         
6 East 10-4-0 @ Bears (9-4), vs. Bills (4-10)
New York Jets - HUGE victory against Steelers from a confidence standpoint if nothing else. Win one of their remaining two and the are in and they can even back in by losing their last two with some help. Things are looking much better for the Jets than they did before kickoff against the Steelers.
    AFC OUTSIDE LOOKING IN    
7 West 8-6-0 @ Bengals (3-11), @ Broncos (3-11)
San Diego Chargers - The Chargers need to win their final two and have the Chiefs drop one of their home games (the Chiefs are 6-0 @ home.)
         
8 South 8-6-0 vs. Redskins (5-9), @ Texans (5-8)
Jacksonville Jaguars - A win yesterday would have put the Jaguars in the playoffs. Now they have to win out and hope the Colts lose one or win one and hope the Colts lose two.
         
10 West 7-7-0 vs. Colts (8-6), @ Chiefs (9-5)
Oakland Raiders - The Raiders 5-0 in the AFC West and if they can somehow end up in a tie for the division lead, they would win it. That's not likely to happen, but they aren't out yet.
         
13 South 6-8-0 @ Chiefs (9-5), @ Colts (8-6)
Tennessee Titans- They are not yet mathematically out, but realistically it's just a formality as virtually everyone ahead of them would have to lose two and they would have to win two. They will most likely be eliminated next week if they win or not.
    ELIMINATED AFC TEAMS    
9 East 7-7-0 vs. Lions (4-10), @ Patriots (12-2)
Miami Dolphins - One wonders without Parcells no longer there if Miami will keep Tony Sparano (he deserves to stay, but GM's like to bring in their own guys.) I would be SHOCKED if Chad Henne is the Dolphins QB next year. They spent a ton of money on Brandon Marshall and they will bring in someone who can get them the ball.
         
11 South 5-9-0 @ Broncos (3-10), vs. Jaguars (8-6)
Houston Texans - Who news that the Texan players were going to let their wives suit up for them on Sunday. The loss last week to Baltimore was the straw that broke their backs. Just too many crushing defeats this year. There are a lot of prominent coaches out there and with a first rate QB in Schuab, a first rate receiver in Johnson , a first rate pass rusher in William, and a first are owner in Bob McNair, coaches will be tripping over themselves to get this job as it may be the best opportunity in football.
         
12 North 5-9-0 vs. Ravens (10-4), vs. Steelers (10-4)
Cleveland Browns - They have found both their RB and QB of the future in Peyton Hillis and Colt McCoy. They should be able to challenge for a playoff spot next year.
         
14 West 3-11-0 vs. Texans (5-9), vs. Chargers (8-6) 
Denver Broncos - Hmmm, can Tim Tebow become a proficient NFL passer? With the other problems he causes defenses, one would think that the Broncos will give him a shot. This will be one of the more interesting off season stories to follow.
         
15 East 4-10-0 vs. Patriots (12-2), @ Jets (10-4)
Buffalo Bills - This team has not given up all year and is playing much better that it did at the beginning. They have found a QB in Ryan Fitzpatrick, a WR in Steve Johnson and things are definitely looking up in the snowy city.
         
16 East 3-11-0 vs. Chargers (8-6), @ Ravens (10-4)
Cincinnati Bengals - Clean house and get a new roster of players and coaches. If there's a way that they can get rid of Carson Palmer twice they should try that. Does he even look anymore before he throws it? BTW - Didn't anyone send the Bengals the memo? They had a golden opportunity at the number one pick, would it have killed them to just lose their last three?

nfc

Seed Team NFC DIVISION LEADERS Record Remaining Opponents
1 South 12-2-0 vs. Saints (10-4), vs. Panthers (2-12)
Atlanta Falcons - (Clinched Playoff Spot) The Falcons clinched a playoff berth with the Giants' loss to the Eagles. They are likely to wrap up the NFC South this week, and it appears that the NFC path to the Super Bowl will go through Atlanta.
         
2 North 10-4-0 vs. Jets (10-4), @ Packers (8-6)
Chicago Bears - (Clinched NFC North) With Monday night's win against the Vikings the Bears have clinched a the NFC North. At this point, they are the 2 seed and would get a 1st round bye.  They have incentive to play it out and stay ahead the Eagles. The worst they can be is the e seed.
         
3 East 10-4-0 vs. Vikings (5-7), vs. Cowboys (5-9)
Philadelphia Eagles - WOW. Can you say Joe Pisarcik! There was a lot more to this comeback then DeSean Jackson punt return to this and that makes this game simply even more amazing. Given the breath of the comeback and what was at stake, this will go down as one of the all time great NFL come backs or debacles (depending on who you were rooting for.) The Eagles have now swept their season series with the Giants, and are just a victory or New York loss from wrapping up the NFC East.
         
4 West 6-8-0 vs. 49ers (5-9), @ Seahawks (6-8)
St. Louis Rams - The NFL needs to figure out a way to make a rule that basically says "Teams that suck are not allowed host a home game in the playoffs." The best the division winner can do here is 8-8 and it wouldn't surprise anyone if the division was won @ 7-9. This one looks like it will come down to the finally against Seattle.
    NFC WILD CARD SPOTS     
5 South 10-4-0 at Falcons (12-2), vs. Buccaneers (8-6)
New Orleans Saints - Unless they lose their last two and others run the table, the Saints will be a playoff team. Sunday's loss to the Ravens however made winning the division an unlikely scenario. More than anything, the Saints need to stay healthy and game plan to figure out how to beat the Falcons in Atlanta which no one seems to be able to do.
         
6 East 9-5-0 @ Packers (8-6), @ Redskins (5-8)
New York Giants - SEE PHILADELPHIA EAGLES. With the Buccaneers and Packers both losing Sunday, the Giants actually are in a pretty decent to secure the number 6 seed. Barring a collapse, the Giants should still make the playoffs. Then again, if there was ever a loss that would prompt a collapse, Sunday's loss was it.
    NFC OUTSIDE LOOKING IN    
7 North 8-6-0 vs. Giants (8-6), vs. Bears (9-4)
Green Bay Packers - The loss to the Pats means that the Packers need the Bears to lose Monday night and hope their season finally against them is meaningful as their only real hope is to win the division.
         
8 South 8-6-0 vs. Seahawks (6-7), @ Saints (10-3)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Loss to Detroit put Tampa on life support. They now need to win their final two and get lots of help. Not likely, but they still have a faint heart beat.
         
9 West 6-8-0 @ Buccaneers (8-6), vs. Rams (6-8)
Seattle Seahawks - SEE ST. LOUIS RAMS
         
13 West 5-9-0 @ Rams (6-8), vs. Cardinals (4-10)
San Francisco 49ers - The most amazing thing here is that if the 49ers win their last two games and Seattle losses at least one of two, THE 49ERS WILL WIN THE DIVISION @ 7-9 AND GET A PLAYOFF HOME GAME!!! If that happens we might as well just legalize marrying your sister because that's eff'ed up!
    ELIMINATED NFC TEAMS    
10 North 5-9-0 @ Eagles (10-4), @ Lions (4-10) 
Minnesota Vikings -  That was sad to watch actually. Unfortunately like many great athletes Favre tried to stay too long and while he will forever be knows as an iron man, the last thing people remember of him will be an old player who couldn't stay healthy and on the field. Assuming there is a season next year (which no one appears to be talking about, what will the coach / quarterback combination look like here next year? That's the question in Minnesota.
         
11 East 5-8-0 vs. Giants (9-5), vs. Giants (9-5)
Washington Redskins This year was a disaster for the franchise. Who's calling the shots here, Mike Shanahan or his son Kyle. McNabb and Haynesworth won't be back, is Rex Grossman the future QB? What a mess! Rome wasn't built in a day and apparently Washington won't be either.
         
12 East 4-9-0 @ Cardinals (4-10), @ Eagles (10-4) 
Dallas Cowboys - It looks like Jason Garrett will become the permanent head coach of the Cowboys. They will take one more whack with this nucleus with Garrett at the helm before dismantling and starting over.
         
14 North 3-10-0 @ Dolphins (7-7), vs. Vikings (5-7)
Detroit Lions - Sunday's win ended the longest road losing streak in NFL history at 26 games Sunday. They now have that money off their back and it's all clear from here to start making progress in the win column. The Lions really don't have any choice other than to find out if Matthew Stafford can be the guy. It doesn't really matter how good he is or could be if he can't stay on the field. Detroit will be somewhere near the top of the draft board again this year and will once again add a top pick to the roster. Whether it's Stafford or someone else under center, there really isn't any reason they should not be a playoff contender next year as they have plenty-o talent on both sides of the ball.
         
15 West 4-10-0 vs. Cowboys (5-9), @ 49ers (5-9)
Arizona Cardinals - If they can get Kurt Warner to come out of retirement, perhaps they can keep Larry Fitzgerald. Short of that, they guy isn't long for the desert. I'm not sure where they go from here as it certainly looks like another dry spell ahead in the desert.
         
16 South 1-11-0 @ Steelers (10-4), @ Falcons (12-2)
Carolina Panthers John Fox knows he's out after the season and he's apparently doing his best job to prevent them from getting the number one pick as they actually have been playing better of late. They need to use the last two games to figure out if Jimmy Clausen is going to be there QB without winning their least two games and losing the number one pick.

Mike Cardano is the founder of Around the Horn Baseball & Xtra Point Football.

Email Mike at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter at MC3SportsMedia

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