Hello everyone, and welcome back to Into The Endzone. Shrederdude63 is back. With the season winding down, several teams have already made the playoffs. For others, they’re guaranteed a spot on the couch following Week 17. As of now, here are the standings if the season ended today:
AFC Playoff Picture:
1. New England Patriots (12-3) – Y
2. Baltimore Ravens (11-4) – X
3. Houston Texans (10-5) – Y
4. Denver Broncos (8-7)
5. Pittsburgh Steelers (11-4) – X
6. Cincinnati Bengals (9-6)
In The Hunt
Oakland Raiders (8-7)
Tennessee Titans (8-7)
New York Jets (8-7)
NFC Playoff Picture:
1. Green Bay Packers (14-1) – Z
2. San Francisco 49ers (12-3) – Y
3. New Orleans Saints (12-3) – Y
4. New York Giants (8-7)
5. Detroit Lions (10-5) – X
6. Atlanta Falcons (9-6) – X
In the Hunt
Dallas Cowboys (8-7)
Z = Clinched Home-field Advantage Y = Clinched Division X = Clinched Playoff Berth
How The Rankings Could Change:
I’m going to start with the AFC, since next week could change the entire positioning. The New England Patriots are the top seed, and clinch home-field advantage if they win the season finale vs Buffalo. Due to tiebreakers, the Pats need the Ravens and the Steelers to lose in order to keep the top spot if they lose the game at home vs the Bills. The lowest the Patriots could be is the second seed, since they already have clinched a first round bye.
The Ravens have already clinched a spot in the playoffs, so they will play following Week 17. The question is when. If the Ravens win against the Bengals, they win the division and get a first round bye. If the Patriots lose, the Ravens get home-field advantage as well. But if the Ravens lose and the Steelers win, the Ravens drop from the second seed to the fifth, lose the bye, and venture on a harder road to the Super Bowl.
The Texans have the division title and No.3 seed. Even if they win their Week 17 game, they can not get a bye. They are guaranteed their spot. They should rest their starters in Week 17.
The Denver Broncos have not wrapped up a playoff berth yet. The only reason they are the No. 4 seed instead of the Raiders is because of strength of schedule. In order to clinch their division, they must defeat the Chiefs in Mile High Stadium or the Raiders lose at the hands of the Chargers. They can be no other seed; it’s either No.4 or at home.
The Pittsburgh Steelers have already wrapped up a playoff berth. They can only go up. If the Steelers win and the Bengals miraculously win against the Ravens, they get the division, first round bye, and No.2 seed. If the Patriots lose on top of that, the Steelers have home-field advantage. The Steelers can not get knocked down to the sixth seed, so its either enter the playoffs as a fifth, second, or first seeded team.
The Bengals have not clinched the playoffs. A win versus the Ravens will get them into the playoffs. In the first post Palmer season, the Bengals are playing better then they have in years. They most certainly will give their all versus Baltimore.
The Oakland Raiders is the best team in the hunt. In order for them to capture the division spot from the Broncos, they need a win vs San Diego and a loss by the Broncos vs a Kyle Orton led Chiefs. In order for them to achieve the sixth seed, the Raiders need to win, the Broncos lose and either/both a Titans loss and/or a Jets win.
The New York Jets will have to be very lucky if they are to get into the playoffs this year. They need a win, a Titans loss, and a Raiders loss. No other way.
For the Packers, they have already got the top seed locked up. They can rest their starters.
T he 49ers have clinched their division. In order to lock up the No. 2 seed, they need to either win or the Saints lose due to having a better conference record. The lowest the San Francisco 49ers can go is the No.3 seed.
The Saints have locked up their division. They can have the No.3 spot at lowest, but a win and a 49ers loss will get them the first round bye.
The New York Giants are the current division leaders due to a victory against Dallas in a head-to-head matchup earlier in the season. They will clinch the division and the No.4 spot if they beat Dallas in their second head-to-head matchup next week.
The Lions have locked up a wildcard spot. They maintain the No. 5 seed if they beat the Packers or if the Falcons lose to Tampa Bay.
The Falcons clinched a wildcard spot. To get the fifth seed however, they need a win and a Lions loss.
The Dallas Cowboys are on the outside looking in. Their only chance of making the playoffs is if they can somehow walk out of New York with the W.
The playoffs are approaching. Here’s how I see the season ending:
1. New England Patriots
2. Baltimore Ravens
3. Houston Texans
4. Denver Broncos
5. Pittsburgh Steelers
6. Oakland Raiders
1. Green Bay Packers
2. San Francisco 49ers
3. New Orleans Saints
4. New York Giants
5. Atlanta Falcons
6. Detroit Lions
Looking at my predictions, Green Bay automatically gets the top spot. I feel the Ravens will beat the 49ers because they have a chance at the division crown for the first time in more than 3 years. They will not blow it. Because of this, the Bengals will not clinch the playoffs due to not having as good of a conference record compared to the teams in the hunt. I feel the Broncos, Giants, and San Francisco 49ers will win, along with the Falcons. I will be putting Keys To The W post for the Giants-Cowboys game, Bengals- Ravens game, Broncos-49ers game, so my prediction may change over the next few days. But until then, here’s what I think. Comments, questions, feedback? Type it in the comments, and I will respond. This is Shrederdude63 signing off. ~
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