Tuesday, December 04, 2007
We are now 3/4 through the NFL season and typically there would be some exciting races in the NFL down the stretch run. But not in 2007, instead almost all of the division winners in Pro Football are locked in. And that's pretty boring. Here's a quick rundown of the divisions and how locked up they are.
AFC East: The Pats already won the division. You don't get much more locked up than that.
NFC North: The Packers have a 4 game lead over both the Lions and Vikings. They swept the Vikings so they are out. If the Lions run the table and the Packers lose all of their games than the Lions would win the division as they would have split and the Lions would hold a better division record.
NFC East: The Cowboys hold a 3 game lead over the Giants in the division and swept the Giants this season, thus the Giants only win the division if they win their remaining 4 games, including a matchup with the Pats, and the Cowboys lose their final 4 games.
NFC South: Tampa Bay holds a 3 game lead over both the Panthers and the Saints and the Bucs have a 4-0 division record. In order for either the Panthers or the Saints to win the division, they would need to win out and have the Bucs lose their final 4 games.
AFC South: The Colts hold a 2+ game lead over the Jaguars after their win this past Sunday. The Colts are 4-0 in the division including a sweep over the Jaguars. The Colts magic number is 2 and with games against the Raiders and Texans it's almost unfathomable for the Colts to drop 3 games the remainder of the season.
AFC North: Pittsburgh holds a 2+ game lead over the Cleveland Browns. The Steelers are currently 5-0 in the division including a sweep of the Browns and thus the Steelers magic number for the AFC North is 2. With the Rams and Ravens on the schedule for the Steelers and the Browns being the Browns its difficult to imagine the Steelers losing out on the division.
NFC West: The Seahawks currently hold a 2+ game lead over the Arizona Cardinals while the other misfits have been eliminated. If the Seahawks defeat the Cardinals at home this weekend they clinch the division if the Cardinals win they cut the gap to 1 but still have a massive uphill climb. In just about any situation a tie between the two teams will go to the Seahawks as they would end up tied in head to head, division record, but the Seahawks currently have a 7-2 conference record to the 3-5 conference record of the Cardinals. Thus if Seattle was to win a game it would be in the benifit of the Cardinals if that win came against the Ravens. Either way the Seahawks simply need to win 2 of their games the remainder of the season of which two come against the Panthers and Atlanta. Meanwhile the Cards still have a game at New Orleans which could be tricky.
AFC West: Finally the only division where no team has been completely eliminated, well atleast for this week. Any loss by the Chiefs or win by the Chargers knocks out Herm's boys. The Raiders are in slightly better standing then the Chiefs as they beat the Chargers already and if they finished tied would overcome the Chargers, so they're magic number for elimination is 2. Denver sits two back of the Chargers and could win a tie breaker with them if they defeat them in San Diego. The Broncos have two favorable games, the Chiefs at home and at Houston and will need to win both of those games. The Chargers meanwhile have games at Tennessee, should be tough, the dissolving Detroit Lions at home and the Raiders in Oakland. The Broncos are the NFL's best opportunity at a Division race and it could essentially be ended this weekend.