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AFCN Playoff Scenarios From The Sirk-o-puter 9000

The Data-matic Factastical Sirk-o-puter 9000 has been fed all the input data it needs about the NFL's playoff rules, weather patterns in the Northern Hemisphere, and Mike Brown's combover. As a result, we are now able to give you the most complete breakdown of playoff scenarios anywhere. All the answers you need, right here. <BR><I>Fraidy Cat logo courtesy of <A HREF="" target="_new">these characters</A>.</I>

While the AFC North playoff picture has cleared up a bit now that Pittsburgh has clinched the division after defeating Tampa Bay in a tense battle that lasted nearly until the first commercial break, there is still much work to be done in analyzing the rest of the potential playoff field.


In an effort to help fans around the AFC North get a better grip on the dizzying array of playoff possibilities, I fed the results of every NFL game from the 2002 season into The Data-matic Factastical Sirk-o-Puter 9000, a machine that is so powerful that it is capable launching upwards of several hundred thousand spy-cam pop-up ads per millisecond.  This is the type of lightning-fast, processor-intensive supercomputer used by NASA, which explains why we are always sending tiny cameras into outer space.


After inputting the data into the Data-Matic Factastical Sirk-o-Puter 9000, I am able to share the following...





Pittsburgh Steelers


* Clinched AFC North by defeating the 1976 Buccaneers.


* Can clinch home-field advantage and a chance to lose another AFC Championship Game on their home field with a win AND a loss by Oakland AND a loss by Tennessee.


Cleveland Browns


Can clinch a wild card birth by not snatching defeat from the jaws of victory in excruciating fashion at home AND any of the following:


*   Denver doesn't believe in cruel irony and ruin a Browns season by losing a big-game AND the Jets somehow beat the Packers.


* The Raiders don't throw their helmets on the last play to give the Chiefs an improbable win AND Brett Favre is mummified in duct-tape and stuffed into a Meadowlands janitor's closet allowing the Jets to beat the Packers.


* Denver, and this bears repeating, doesn't believe in cruel irony and ruin a Browns season by losing a big game AND Miami is finally capable of winning a football game while dodging snowflakes instead of random gunfire.


* Priest Holmes doesn't rise from the dead to gain 580 yards from scrimmage to single-handedly defeat Oakland AND Bill Belichik doesn't cause any more pain and anguish in Cleveland by leading the Patriots over the Dolphins.


Can clinch a wild card by tying and having a bunch of other crap happening.


Can clinch a wild card by losing and having even more crap in addition to the other crap happening.


Note: In addition to the above crap, there is even more possible crap that can't be determined until a crapload of other crap is analyzed.


Baltimore Ravens


Can clinch a wild card by finally executing Brian "Sooper Genius" Billick's offensive game plan semi-properly and therefore putting up a minimum of 60 points to defeat Pittsburgh AND all of the following events occur:


* Denver loses to Arizona.

* N.Y. Jets lose to Green Bay.

* Cleveland loses to Atlanta.

* New England loses to Miami

* Kansas City loses to Oakland

* San Diego loses to Seattle

* Nebraska loses to Mississippi in the MainStay Independence Bowl OR the Continental Tire Bowl goes to a minimum of three overtimes.


Cincinnati Bengals


Can clinch a playoff spot by winning, or even losing for all it matters, provided one of the following events occur:


* Bud Adams relocates the Titans to Cincinnati.


* 10 AFC teams fold AND the Bengals are not one of them AND the NFL does not shift any NFC teams to the AFC to take the place of the departed teams.


* The NFL expands the playoff field to include 32 teams AND none of them are Canadian.


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