NFL Playoff Outlook
December 18, 2008 by AlexV
With just two weeks of play left in the regular season of the 2008-2009 year, a few teams have locked up a spot in the playoffs while others are still fighting to make it. What is about to unfold in this article is, what are in my mind, the teams that will make it.
We already know the Steelers and Titans have locked up spots and first round byes in the AFC. In the NFC the Giants have clinched their division while the Cardinals have as well. First I will go over the locks to get in.
In the AFC the only sure-fire lock I have is the Indianapolis Colts. If they beat Jacksonville this Thursday in Florida, they’re in. With the way the Jags have disappointed, I do not even see them using the rivalry bug as added motivation to beat Indianapolis.
In the NFC, surprisingly, the Carolina Panthers have not clinched even with an 11-3 record, which is a testament to the competitiveness of the NFC. However, one more win or one more loss from another team or two would put them in. The Cowboys have been hot lately. I don’t care about Romo’s performance in Pittsburgh. The game was still close, and it has been their only slip up since his return from injury. They face the Ravens at home, and Eagles in Philadelphia. The Eagle game should be tough and they easily can lose, but to me, I think all of the air got sucked out of the Raven team with their last minute loss to Pittsburgh last weekend.
The Vikings should clinch their division as the Bears face the Packers on Monday Night at home, but then travel to Houston the last week. Houston is on pace to finish up 9-7 and Andre Johnson should be able to shred their weak pass defense.
After that I don’t think Tampa will get in as they have slipped up and their weaknesses are beginning to be exposed. The Falcons and Eagles to me will be the ones to fighting for the 6th seed in the NFL as they have both been consistent as of late.
Back in the AFC, I’ll take the Patriots to win their division. They are at home against the Cardinals who have clinched, and then at a bum Buffalo team. That would put them at 11-5. The reason I see this happening is because the as-of-late inconsistent Jets should lose in Seattle this weekend, and the Dolphins will beat the Kansas City Chiefs. But when they play each other in New York, I’ll take a last-ditch effort by Favre to even their records at 10-6, giving one of them the 6th seed.
The only seed I am unsure of is the 4th seed in the AFC as the Broncos are 8-6 and Chargers 6-8. If the Chargers beat Tampa Bay in Tampa this weekend, which is not an oversight, and the Broncos lose at home to the Bills, which is still a bit of a stretch even if the Broncos aren’t so consistent, then they will be playing in San Diego for the division in week 17. If that happens, I’ll take the Chargers.
So that’s how I believe the “tournament” brackets will be set up come January.