Week Eleven is officially
in the books the Playoff picture has become clearer. Any team under .500 at
this point needs to win out plus get help from a serious losing streak by multiple
teams to make the post season, meaning that they are mathmatically alive, but
are realistically playing for pride. The .500 teams (NY Jets, Atlanta, San Francisco
and Philadelphia) are going to have to win at least four of their remaining
games to have a shot and may have to win out depending upon their division.
In the NFC, all of the 6-3 teams (Seattle, New Orleans and the Giants) had opprotunites to separate themselves from the rest of the pack, and all of them lost. Dallas and Carolina both won to pull into ties with the Giants and New Orleans, respectively. If the season ended today, Chicago would have homefield throughout (by a 3 game margin) and the other team with a first week bye would be ... the Giants.
Here's how it breaks down right now. The Giants beat Dallas so they have the division tie-breaker. The Panthers beat the Saints so they have the division tie-breaker. So Seattle, New York and Carolina are all tied for the 2nd seed, so we use the 3 or more team tiebreakers. The first tie-breaker is head-to-head, and Seattle won't play Carolina this year so that cannot be used. The second tie-breaker is win percentage in conference games: New York: .714, Seattle .625, Carolina .571. That advances the Giants to the number two seed. Seattle and Carolina then go back to the 2 team tiebreakers. The first tiebreaker there is head-to-head, which as previously stated, doesn't apply. The second tie-breaker is win percentage in conference games, which seeds Seattle number three and Carolina number four. For the Wildcard teams, Dallas and New Orleans don't play each other for a few weeks, so the win percentage in conference games would apply: New Orleans .857 Dallas .500. So Seattle would host Dallas and Carolina would host New Orleans in the wildcard round.
In the AFC, Jacksonville and Kansas City both won and are battling for the final Wildcard spot. The Jets lag one game behind the Cheifs and Jags but with a relatively easy schedule (they play no teams with winning records from here on out) they still must be considered contenders. If the season ended today the Colts would have homefield throughout and the other team with a first week bye would be ... Baltimore.
Here's how it breaks down right now. Baltimore and San Diego are tied at 8-2. Baltimore beat San Diego back on October first earning the Ravens the first week bye. San Diego would be the three seed. New England and Denver are tied at 7-3. Denver beat New England back in September giving the Broncos the number four seed and earning a re-match with the fifth seeded Patriots, although this time in Denver. Jacksonville and Kansas City meet on the final game of the season but until then, the tie-breaker for these teams is win percentage in conference games: Jacksonville .500, Kansas City .333. So the final AFC Wildcard match up would be Jacksonville at San Diego.
The Colts were sloppy with the football and it finally cost them a game. Now let's see how well they play with the "unbeaten" pressure off of them.
The Bears aren't blowing the doors off of teams anymore, but in the NFL there ain't no style points so it's all good.
L.T. just keeps getting better as the weeks go by. I shudder to think what he's going to do to the Seahawks in a few weeks.
The Ravens took charge in the second half of last Sunday's game against Atlanta and looked every bit of their impressive 8-2 record.
The Broncos much ballyhooed defense couldn't do anything right in the second half against the Chargers and now, suddenly, it's looking like Wildcard Weekend for Denver.
The Patriots bounced back from two disappointing losses to throttle the Packers in Green Bay. The AFC East still remains firmly in their grasp.
Tony Romo is 3-1 as a starter, and the loss had nothing to do with how he played. Imagine if the Cowboys had started the season with him instead of AARP member Drew Bledsoe.
Jacksonville rose to the occasion and is now tied for the final AFC Wildcard spot with Kansas City.
The center of the Seahawks defense looked as soft as Ultra Charmin and was used in much the same way by the 49ers last week. This team is going nowhere until that gets fixed.
Drew Brees threw for over 500 yards, but his knack for killing drives with turnovers kept the Saints from contending last week.
With an opportunity to separate themselves from the rest of the NFC, the Giants looked lost and confused.
Carolina once again controls their own destiny in the NFC South. Their remaining schedule is one of the toughest, though.
Trent Green played it conservatively in his return from a concussion, but it was enough to get past the Raiders.
Palmer and Johnson torched the Saints time and time again to get back to .500. Win again this week and we'll talk.
The good news: Michael Vick didn't turn over the ball this week. The bad news: he didn't score, either.
Chad Pennington's turnovers cost the Jets a huge upset against the Bears. He's simply got to play better than that if the Jets want to play with the big boys in January.
The Eagles season ended with a pop, as Donovan McNabb went down with an ACL tear that threatens the start of the 2007 season, too. Time to draft a QB.
The 49ers tried to give away the game but the Seahawks wanted to lose even more. San Francisco is now only one game out of first place in the NFC West.
There's no question in mind that the Dolphins have the best defense in the NFL. Too bad their offense is putrid.
Five straight losses ends the Rams post-season dreams.
Pittsburgh hung on by the slimmest of margins to win last week and keep their post-season hopes alive for another week, albeit on life support.
J.P. Losman started strong and finished strong. I wonder where that's been all season long?
Any thoughts at a late season playoff run were snuffed out last week. The Packers are now officially rebuilding.
I really thought that the Vikings off-season commitment to the running game would pay off in the latter half of the season. I was wrong.
Tampa Bay played a solid game on both sides of the ball on Sunday. Good news heading into a very short week.
The Browns were one tip away from a huge last-second win against Pittsburgh last week. Horseshoes and hand grenades.
The Titans played pass all game and the Eagles obliged. That strategy won't work this week against the Giants.
Jason Campbell looked solid in his NFL debut but it wasn't enough to get the Redskins off the schnide.
The Texans let another game slip through their fingers last week against Buffalo.
The Lions are 0-5 on the road this year, and they're not much better at home.
Aaron Brooks came back from injury to end the game with an INT. Rumor has it he owned the Chiefs secondary with his eyes.
Matt Leinart looked good and the Edge almost crested the century mark as the Cardinals broke an eight game losing streak.