Sizing Up the AFC Playoff Picture

Greg G.Correspondent IDecember 4, 2008

No. 1 Titans (14-2)


Easy wins over Cleveland and Houston, a gritty win over Pittsburgh and a loss to surging Indy in Week 17.



No. 2 Ravens (12-4)


Somehow this team goes 4-0 down the stretch with huge wins over Dallas, Washington, Jacksonville and Pittsburgh. I don’t know how I don’t know why but I can’t change my NFC predictions now. Screw the Cowboys and the Steelers. Go Ravens!


These guys affect the entire NFL Playoff picture with games against the above mentioned teams and tie breakers over the Jets. They are your Dark Horse and the team that will make or break my entire Playoff predictions.


They could easily lose three or four of those games which would change the entire seeding in both the NFC and AFC Playoffs. The Baltimore Ravens are the most influential team in the NFL over the next four weeks. If they lose just one of those four games they may not even make the playoffs as they would lose tie breakers to the Patriots should they win out.


My head hurts thinking about this.



No. 3 Jets (11-5)


Favre leads the Jets to wins over the Niners, Buffalo and a hard fought victory over Miami. But a trap game boner loss in Seattle costs them the No. 2 seed (if everything pans out the way I have it).


If they finish 4-0 they could end up as your No. 2 seed depending on the outcome of the Baltimore—Pittsburgh game. Jesus.



No. 4 Broncos (9-7)


Unless San Diego wins out and Denver loses every game they get into the playoffs by default of a horrid division. They’ll probably win a Wild Card game too somehow.



No.  5 Colts (12-4)


Manning puts it together and they win their last 4 games against the Bengals, Lions, Jaguars, and a huge win against Tennessee in Week 17.



No. 6 Steelers (11-5)


2-2 with a possible third win over Baltimore giving them the AFC North and the No. 2 seed. A win in Tennessee and they could finish as your No. 1 seed at 13-3 if the Colts manage to beat the Titans as well. What a swing that would be—from 6 to 1.


The Steelers could feasibly go 1-3 the final four weeks and finish 10-6 but they’re Conference record all but guarantees them the No. 6 seed. 0-4 would knock them out but a boner loss to Cleveland at home is highly unlikely—but would be karmic justice for their 2005 fluke run.



Outside Shot


Patriots (10-6)


How this team got such a weak schedule is beyond me.


Final four games vs. Seattle, Oakland, Arizona and Buffalo. I think Cassel blows one of those games (Buffalo or Seattle) and they finish 10-6, a game short. Win out and they finish 11-5 but don’t have the Conference Record to beat out the Steelers or Colts (assuming Indy can beat the Bengals or Jaguars).


Once again, they could win out and my Dark Horse Ravens could go 0-4 instead of 4-0 and change the whole damn thing



Miami (9-7


Tough game this week in Toronto that I think they lose and ultimately costs them a playoff spot. They’ll get two easy wins vs. KC and SF and a huge Week 17 match up against the Jets that if they win could put them at 10-6 with a punchers chance of landing that No. 6 seed should Baltimore, Indy, or the Patriots blow it.