To be honest with you, the entire playoff picture is a mess. I thought that after Sunday we would have had a good idea of who is in and who is out, but really nothing got solved. The only thing that happened is that the playoff picture got even more confusing.
The NFC South, the NFC North, the AFC East, the AFC West, and all four wild cards spots are still up for grabs. Sure some are closer than others to clinching, but you can’t even begin to think of who will be in and who will be out two weeks from now.
Just looking at the standings, the schedules, and the tie-breakers gives me a headache, and I am not sure it is even worth trying to solve at this point.
The NFC has two teams in (Giants and Cardinals) and there are seven teams will a legitimate shot of being plugged into the other four spots.
The AFC has two teams in (Titans and Steelers) and there are six teams with a chance to still make the playoffs.
It is really mind blogging and outrageous that the season has become such a mess. Upsets are appearing in the most unlikely scenarios as playoff teams choke away their chances. There is not a person in the world who can tell you right now what teams will make the playoffs and be 100% confident in their prediction. Because right now, you could draw up about 9,000 different scenarios and all of them would have a real chance of happening.
I am desperately trying to pick apart both conferences and try to put together what will happen in the next weeks, but I can’t. I really can’t without immediately thinking of replacing one team I chose with another. I have really never seen a season as complicated as this one considering we are about be in Week 16 and over half the league is still in the playoff race.
Entering this week, the Bears, Jets, Dolphins, Patriots, Falcons, Bucs, Cowboys, Colts, Ravens, and Eagles had to win. So far only the Bucs and Ravens lost (Eagles haven’t played, but should win) and their losses are what made everything complicated because they were both already penciled into the postseason.
So trying to solve this mess that has become the 2008 NFL playoffs will have to wait another week. Because as of right now only the Giants, Cardinals, Titans, and Steelers are safe.
***THE BIG THREE STORIES***
9-5 For All.
The Jets win. The Dolphins win. The Patriots win. You would think that something would have changed this week, but with all three 8-5 teams becoming 9-5, the East is still a statisical disaster. And now Chad Penninton returning to win the East on the final day of the season in East Rutherford against the Jets is a Dolphins win and Jets win in Week 16 away from happening.
The Best of the Worst.
The San Diego Chargers are still alive. Writing the sentence on December 15th had about 9000 to 1 odds two weeks ago when the team was 4-8. But because the Denver Broncos might be even worse than the Chargers, the most overrated team in the NFL is still breathing entering Week 16. And if the Chargers can beat the Bucs (which I don’t think they can) and the Broncos lose to the Bills which they shouldn’t, then the San Diego/Denver game in Week 17 will be for the AFC West. If it does come down to that and Broncos lose, they should have to forfeit all of their 2008 draft picks or be banned from the NFL for a year, or start the 2008 with an 0-4 record. Because when you hold the kind of lead in the NFL that the Broncos held over the Chargers and you somehow find a way to not win your division, you don’t deserve to be in the league.
The Redskins were 6-2 and trying to win the NFC East with a first round playoff bye in mind. But since their amazing start, the Skins have gone 1-5 and are now .500 at 7-7. Jason Campbell has looked a lot less than average, Jim Zorn has utilized poor clock management, and Clinton Portis has feuded with the coaching staff over his carries. The Redskins are from being a good football team and after losing to the 1-11-1 Bengals on Sunday, they officially ended their playoff hopes.
Are the Minnesota Vikings for real? How can a team that has used Tavaris Jackson and Gus Frerotte as their QB this season be winning a division and a near lock for a playoff spot?
What happened to the hype around the Arizona Cardinals? Can they regain their glory from early on and eliminate the Patriots at Gillette on Sunday?
Jets fans have to know that Gang Green will win in Seattle only to lose at home to Chad Pennington in the season finale and be eliminated from the playoffs, don’t they?
If the Falcons can find a way to make the postseason, can they actually win a postseason game? And all this a year after their franchise was in even worse shape than hitting rock bottom. If that is possible.
If the Broncos somehow lose out and the Chargers win out and Denver misses the playoffs, that has to be the worst regular season collapse in the history of professional sports, doesn’t it?
***MORE TO COME***
After a long weekend, capped off with a Giants lost to the ‘Boys, I am going to end this edition of the MMH short, but there will be more with the MMH Part 2 on Tuesday morning. Stay tuned.