Here's a lengthy post with only two games left.
- this isn't playoff seeding. I think some "better" teams have tougher games coming up, and will drop a little in the playoff standings as opposed to some of their "lesser" brethren, who will feast upon weak competition to get a spot.
32.) Tennessee - this team's just got nothing positive to mention at all. No fight, no pride, no forward momentum at any individual position. They suck.
31.) New York Jets - only a 3-win team because they played the NFL's most pathetic group of losers. This team also lacks pride, effort, and positives at individual positions.
30.) Jacksonville - they really do TRY, but they just lack talent and Bortles is definitely experiencing growing pains.
29.) Washington - RGIII's time in Washington is probably at an end, Gruden seems like a clown of a coach, and the future seems murky.
28.) Oakland - They only have 2 wins, but they're both QUALITY wins. Khalil Mack may wind up being the best defensive player from this past draft, and if their ownership weren't so inept, this could be a team with some pieces in place to build around.
27.) Tampa Bay - It's obviously not showing in the standings, but this team has become competitive down the stretch. Mike Evans seems like a future stud WR, and they've got some pieces in place.
26.) Chicago - That Cutler contract looks worse almost by the day...
25.) Atlanta - I really thought that with everyone healthy, this would be a team that would experience a major resurgence. I was wrong. Mike Smith is gonna get fired.
24.) New York Giants - They live-and-die by Eli and he's inconsistent. Not sure what the future holds for this team.
23.) Carolina - with Cam Newton, I'd give this team the division. With Derek Anderson, I don't see it happening.
22.) St. Louis - They have a solid coach, who manages to squeeze decent performances from pitiful talent. They need the players now.
21.) Minnesota - The AP situation is a mess, but this team has talent in other positions. They really just need Bridgewater to develop.
20.) Cleveland - It's pretty clear that Hoyer won't be back next year, as he isn't "The Guy". But Johnny Football doesn't look like THE GUY either. He looks awful.
19.) Houston - This might be the league's worst quarterback situation, which makes it remarkable that they made it all the way until this week before their season essentially died. JJ Watt is a monster and he ought to be league MVP.
18.) New Orleans - I still think it's possible that this team can click and come alive down the stretch, but Drew Brees is having a VERY rough year, and if he can't get his head screwed on straight, combined with his age and history of surgery, the Saints may need to start thinking about the future (I don't mean NEXT YEAR...but 2-3 years...)
17.) San Francisco - I hate Harbaugh and am glad they're out of the playoff hunt.
16.) Miami - The loss to Baltimore is what really sunk their season. One loss, that's all it takes sometimes. Switch the outcome of that game, and with games left against Minnesota and the Jets, this team is looking to go 10-6 and be playoff bound. Womp womp.
15.) Philadelphia - They might technically still be alive in the playoff hunt, but the reality of the situation is that they have Mark Sanchez. That's all I have to say about that.
14.) San Diego - Late-season choke artists. From 5-1 with that 1 being against a great Arizona team on the road, to losing just about every important game since then. Rivers has sputtered down the stretch and the injuries piled up at RB too much.
13.) Buffalo - A Super-Bowl-caliber defense and a top-5-pick caliber offense. This team with a QB would be DEADLY, and I say that attempting to be as little of a homer as possible. I truly believe you could plop someone like Ryan Tannehill (just an average QB) into this team and watch in horror as they decimated teams.
12.) Cincinnati - This is the ultimate "beat the bad, lose to the good" team. They not only beat the bad, they CLOBBER them...but then get DEMOLISHED by the good. Who knows what to think with this team? That tie is a wild-card in and of itself though. One more win and this team is in. Problem is, with Dalton playing worse with each game, I don't know if they can GET that one win...you don't get to play against a rookie in his first start every week...
11.) Baltimore - Unlike AP in Minnesota, the Ray Rice scandal was ultimately for the good of this team, I think. It gave them an excuse to move on from an aging, inefficient back to guys who can actually produce.
10.) Kansas City - This team is like the "little team that could"...they aren't affected by what anybody else is doing, they aren't remotely flashy, they just keep their head down and do what they do. They're a stud WR away from being an elite-level team.
9.) Arizona - I'd be all-in on this team with a QB. ALL in. So far in, I'd be coming back out.
8.) Detroit - I'd like to give this team more credit...but they're still the Lions, and they have won convincingly since...I dunno, the season started?
7.) Pittsburgh - This is a team that you just kinda have to hate. I mean, even when you think they're down and out, they somehow rip off a bunch of wins and find themselves in the mix of things. This might honestly be the greatest franchise in the history of the NFL. They're never bad for long, they've got a crap-ton of Super Bowls, and they've got stability out the ying-yang. I hate them for that.
6.) Indianapolis - I just can't buy into a team that has NO running game WHATSOEVER. The rushing attack is certainly no longer of extreme importance in the league, but occasionally, you need to be able to generate long, clock-killing drives and just run out a game. That will bite them in the ass in the playoffs. Still...they have one of the top 3 QBs in the LEAGUE right now.
5.) Denver - I think Peyton Manning is done, honestly. If the NFL were more like the NHL, he'd be like the stud center who essentially sits out the first half of the season, helps his team make the playoffs, and then plays his heart out in the post-season. Unfortunately, you can't sit out any games in the NFL and I think he can only physically handle like 12-14 games per year.
4.) Dallas - This team is beyond talented on offense. All they'll need to make a very serious run at the Super Bowl is a string of solid defensive performances.
3.) Seattle - Yes, they're beatable...they're not the JUGGERNAUT they were last year, but don't let that lull you into thinking they are anything other than an elite NFL squad.
2. ) New England - I hate having these guys this high but...ugh. They just win. That's all they do. It's all they've done for YEARS.
1.) Green Bay - don't let a drubbing by the Bills fool you, this is the NFL's team to beat. The defense is playing better than it has in YEARS, the rushing attack is solid, and Aaron Rodgers isn't going to have his worst game as a pro every single week...and apparently, even when he DOES have his worst game EVER he still has a chance to win. Rodgers is the best QB in the league and if not for JJ Watt, he'd have my running-away vote for MVP.
- my predictions for the teams that WILL make it:
1 - New England - seems obvious. Also, feels like the most likely candidate to rep the AFC in the Super Bowl. AGAIN
2 - Denver - by virtue of already being 11-3 they get the 2 seed. But this is starting to look and feel to me like a team that loses their first playoff game to someone who comes into the playoffs on a hot streak
3 - Indianapolis - they're the best team in a bad division but that boosts their record and they'll even have an outside shot at a first round bye.
4 - Baltimore - they've got too easy an upcoming schedule. I don't think they lose another game.
5 - Pittsburgh - I could see them losing this week and beating Cincinnati next week.
6 - Kansas City - I could see them winning out.
Part of me wants to put Cincinnati in there, over KC, because that tie basically means they are one win away no matter what. Problem is, with Dalton, I dunno if they can get that one. I'd also LOVE to be able to put my Bills in there, but they need help to get in. Buffalo will go 10-6 and miss it. That's my prediction.
1 - Seattle - I think they'll win out and wind up with tiebreakers.
2 - Green Bay - I think they'll also win out. But lose the conference record tiebreaker to seattle
3 - Dallas - I think they'll also win out. But lose conf. record tiebreakers.
4 - New Orleans - Like I said, I still think it can come together for them. Probably not enough to beat Green Bay or Seattle, but enough to actually win a playoff game.
5 - Arizona - They could wind up a 12-4 wild card team.
6 - Detroit - an 11-5 6-seed.
Philadelphia's the odd-man-out. They'll finish 10-6.
Pitt def Bal
KC def Ind
Pitt def Den
NE def KC
NE def Pitt
Dal def Det
NO def Ari
GB def Dal
Sea def NO
GB def Sea
Green Bay beats New England
I think the NFC has the better teams, but as is usually the case when that's true, the conference with the weaker teams has a MUCH murkier playoff situation.
Baltimore, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, Kansas City, San Diego and Buffalo are all legitimately alive fighting for two spots.
I mean, even Buffalo, the longest shot, doesn't need anything SUPER crazy to get in...they need KC and San Diego to lose one more game and then either Baltimore, Cincy, or Pittsburgh to lose out...assuming of course the Bills win out. That's nothing that COULDN'T happen, considering KC plays Pitt this week, San Diego plays San Fran, KC and San Diego play each other at the end of the year, Cincinnati plays Denver and Pitt...I mean, it's on the table for the Bills to get in, which means there are LEGITIMATELY 6 teams in play for a pair of wild card spots. Craziness.