• 2015 Playoff Picture


    By: Amy

    We have 11 weeks in the books, and every team has had it's bye. So, we have six weeks to go. Six weeks to set the playoff field. Where do we stand now?

    AFC:

    East:

    Patriots: The Pats control the division. 10-0, best point differential in the league. Currently the #1 scoring defense in the NFL (This might change depending on the MNF game). Last night's win knocks Miami and the Bills out from winning the division. The Pats are the AFC's number one seed (obviously)

    Bills: The Bills are playing good, not great. They have been killed with penalties this season and I expect that to continue. But, I also expect them to be in the mix the rest of the way. Shady is looking better, Taylor has played well. The defense, however, has not impressed me. I expected that defense to be very scary. It's turned out to be good.

    As the AFC 6 seed, the Bills would go to Denver in the Wild Card round.

    Jets: The more things change, the more they stay the same. A solid defense, a good defensive coach, an average QB. Same formula, same result. While the Jets are in the mix, I am growing more skeptical by the week.

    Dolphins: Done. That's what happens when you play a Dlineman quarterback money. To be fair, the Dolphins can still make the playoffs. However, I do not see that as very likely.

    North:

    Cincy: The Bengals last two games have made this an interesting race. I still think they win it. I think they are a very talented, very balanced, team. But, there will be doubts until they start to win prime time and post season games. However, they are in control of where they end up. I do not expect them to lose the 2 seed.

    Cincy is currently the AFC 2 seed.

    Steelers: In many ways, they are one of the most impressive teams of the season. The way they have managed injuries is impressive. If they can keep Ben healthy they are dangerous. At the same time, Ben's gone down twice this season. If he goes down again, they could miss the playoffs.

    They are currently the AFC 5 seed and would go to Indy in the Wild Card round. As the AFC South will show, I expect the Steelers to beat whoever wins the South in the Wild Card round.

    Ravens: Done. I am both happy and sad about this. I happen to like rooting for the Ravens, but I hate seeing them in the playoffs.

    Browns: Done.

    South:

    The Meh Division. They beat the NFC East for this title.

    Colts: This team could easily be 0-10. Easily. Indy shows just how poor of a GM Ryan Grigson is. For three seasons he has ignored his lines. Now, he has Luck hurt, and still has not addressed the fact you can run the ball down their throat. I expect Houston to win the division.

    The Colts are currently the AFC 4 seed. They would host the Steelers and after Pittsburgh won, they could hang a pretty '2015 NFL Participant' banner in Indy.

    Texans: Houston is starting to look better. Hopkins is great, and the defense is coming to life. I do not think they are a deep playoff threat, but I do think they steal the division, then lose to the Steelers.

    Jaguars: Jacksonville is not a playoff threat this season. But they have made progress this season and could, possibly, be a factor next season.

    Titans: Done. Mariota is for real, but they are done. The Titans are one of many teams that could make a leap next season.

    West:

    Broncos: Denver is not a good team, but I do not think they are a great team. I think they can make a deep run, but only if they get good matchups. I do not have faith that they can win a shootout. I do not think they can win the 42-38 style game. And to get to the Superbowl, they have to do just that. You can't expect them to beat two of the Steelers, Bengals, and Pats with 17-15 scores.

    Denver is the current AFC 3 seed and would host the Bills in the Wild Card round.

    Chiefs: KC is making a nice run. They have dug themselves a hole, however, that I do not think they can dig out of. They are three games back with six to go. Denver should win at least 3 the rest of the way, so KC has to win at least 4 to get the division. They should focus on trying to catch the Wild Card teams.

    Raiders: Oakland started out well and have gone into freefall. Like the Jags, they have made progress, but they are not likely to make the playoffs this season.

    Chargers: Done.

    NFC:

    East: The NFC East is one of the divisions that is very much up for grabs. Even the 3-7 Cowboys are just two games out of first place. If Romo and Dez had not been hurt, it is very reasonable to assume that Dallas would have run away with the division. But they did, and so, it's going to end up being a race to the end.

    Giants: The Giants are leading by a single game at 5-5. However, they are a very up and down team. I do not think the Giants have an identity yet, and I also think that the injury to Victor Cruz and that they have yet to really work Shane Vereen into the offense have hurt them. Still, if they win out, they win the division.

    They are currently the NFC 4 seed and would host Minnesota in the Wildcard round.

    Redskins: Washington is in second place in the division as they have the tie breaker over Philly. Washington is a very different team depending on where they play. They are 4-1 at home and 0-5 on the road. This puts them at a disadvantage. If they go 0-8 on the road, they're done. However, they have four division games left, while the Cowboys, Eagles, and Giants each have two. Washington's schedule is going to let them have a major impact the rest of the way. What they do in those 4 games will decide the division.

    Eagles: Philly has given away too many games. They've lost multiple games that they should have won. This has put them in a very bad position, and I do not think they will make a run. I do think they will bounce back next year.

    Cowboys: Dallas is two games back and I think the hole is too deep for them. After the Panthers on Thanksgiving, they have the Packers, 2 with Washington, the Jets and Bills. 4 playoff possible teams and 2 division games in that last six. Arguably, six games against playoff possible teams. I don't think they can win enough of those games to get into the playoffs. Again, I expect them to be in the hunt next season. That said, if they do win enough to get into the playoffs, they will be a very very dangerous team.

    North:

    The NFC North is a two team race. Currently, they have two playoff spots.

    Packers: Green Bay played great against the Vikings yesterday. They are still neck and neck with the Vikings. Both are 7-3. They have identical home and road records. However, Green Bay has three division games left and the Vikings have just two. One of those games for both teams is the week 17 head to head game in Green Bay. While I am concerned that Aaron Rodgers has not played very well over the last month, I think the Packers will hold on and edge the Vikings for the division.

    The Pack is currently the NFC 3 seed and would host Atlanta in the Wild Card round.

    Vikings: I pretty much covered the Vikings just above. They have to play good, and give themselves a chance to take the Division week 17.

    The Vikings are currently the NFC 5 seed and would go to Met Life and play the Giants in the Wildcard round.

    Bears: The Bears are effectively done. While at 4-6 they are not mathematically eliminated, they are 0-3 in the Division and 1-5 in the NFC. They'd lose out on most tie breakers, and that's why I think they are done.

    Lions: While the Lions are pretty much done, they could sneak into the six seed if they run the table. They actually have better tiebreakers than the Bears, even if not by much.


    South:

    The NFC South is interesting once you get to second place. The second team in the NFC South will likely be a Wild Card team.

    Panthers: Carolina is having a very very impressive season. While Cam's numbers are not great, he finds ways to win and that defense is fun to watch. Carolina is also in great position to lock the division up soon. They have a 4 game lead on Atlanta with 6 to go. How soon can they wrap it up? December 6! If the Panthers beat the Cowboys then the Saints, and Atlanta loses one of their next two, the Panthers lock it up. Even if the Falcons win both the next two and they lose to Carolina on the 13th, the Panthers have the division assuming they win the next two. It would require the Panthers to lose two of the next three games to not have the Division won by the 13th.

    Carolina is currently the NFC 1 seed and would have a first round bye.

    Falcons: Atlanta collapsing. They showed it again yesterday when they gave the game away to the Colts. They are 0-2 in the division with 4 games against the AFC South in the last six, including two with Carolina. I do not think they make the playoffs.

    Atlanta is currently the NFC six seed and would go to Lambeau in the Wild Card round.

    Buccaneers: Tampa is playing well! They are at 5-5 and are very much in the Wild Card hunt. They probably cannot win the division. (To do it, they'd need to 6-0, have the Panthers go 0-6, and have the Falcons go 2-4. It's not realistically possible). I would not be shocked to see them steal the 6 seed from the Falcons.

    New Orleans: The Saints are in a bad place. One more Panther win would ensure they cannot win the Division. They are 1-4 on the road, and 3-5 in the NFC. Even if they finished 9-7, tiebreakers would make it hard for them to sneak in. The lack of defenses and the loss of Graham have defined the Saints season.

    West:

    The NFC West is Arizona's division.

    Cardinals: Arizona is in command out west. They are 8-2, with 4-1 records at home and on the road. They have a +120 point differential, and only the Pats at +134 are better. Carson Palmer is playing lights out, they have a great defense and a balanced offense. However, there is a slight chance they could still lose the division. Still, I expect them to maintain the lead and stay in the 2 seed.

    Arizona is currently the NFC 2 seed and would have a first round bye.

    Seahawks: Seattle is having a very strange season. Even with that, they are 5-5, and they are in the hunt. The chances to win the west are slim, but they don't need to win the west. They need to knock one of the 5 or 6 seeds out of the picture. If Seattle runs the table, or even go 5-1, I think they get into the playoffs. Once in, who knows what might happen? They are still one of the best teams in the NFC.

    Rams: St. Louis is 3-0 against the division and 1-6 against everyone else. I think Jeff Fisher gets 6 to 7 wins, like most years. I think with a better coach the Rams would be a much better team.

    On a side note, even though this has nothing to do with the playoffs, there is something I need to say. I think that the Rams were morally wrong to sign Wes Welker, giving his history of concussions. However, they made it worse. They have him returning punts!!! How can you do that? How can you put someone who has had something like 5 concussions over his last two seasons out punt returning? This decision making in St. Louis, when it comes to player safety, makes me shake my head. If reports are true that they let the QB, Yates I think, keep playing after being concussed, and they knew he was, then I think a high round draft pick should be lost.

    49ers: Harbs should be MVP. His firing, and the exodus of players that followed, killed this team. They went from a realistic Super Bowl participant to the NFC 16 seed in one year. (And, they are the worst team in the NFC. The Lions beat them on Conference WIns). I feel bad for 49ers fans, they fell so fast.

    Comments 1 Comment
    1. iwatt's Avatar
      Fischer must have compromIsing pictures of some owners. And the press loves him. Or that going 7-9 with non flag ship franchises is something to aspire to.

      Regarding health of players, I agreevwith the Welker thing. Punt returning with an old c oncussed player is criminal. And dumb. Even in cold pragmatic terms, he is a liability because we have learned that previously concussed players are more likely to be re-concussed. He'll get hurt, and we will get the speech that Wes really wanted to play. Like we ddn't know the 5'10 undrafted slot receiver that made his name going through the middle against The hard hitting Ravens and Jets is going to hide health concerns.