Tuesday, December 08, 2009
It's about that time, time to dissect who has what hope remaining in the NFL playoff race. Time to go through where everyone sits now, what their chances are and what their remaining schedule is and how much of a deterrent it will come to be.
1. Indianapolis Colts, 12-0: Win two of next 4 and they have homefield throughout the playoffs. Their remaining games are all conference games so if they did finish in a tie with the Chargers at 13-3 I'm pretty sure they would win the tie-breaker which would be common games.
2. San Diego Chargers, 9-3: The Chargers have a difficult game coming up at Dallas but so too do the Broncos. Their week 15 matchup vs. Cincy could be their final obstacle towards clinching a playoff bye. H2H Wins: MIA
3. Cincinnati Bengals, 9-3: The Bengals hold a 3+ game lead over both the Steelers and Ravens having swept both. With the Chiefs on the schedule this is as good as clinched. They now can concentrate on the battle in SD next week for first round bye contention. H2H Wins: PIT, BAL
4. New England Patriots, 7-5: The Patriots may appear in free fall but they still have an edge on the Dolphins. If they win out they obviously win the division. If they lose this weekend and win out they still win the division. If their loss comes against the Bills than they better hope the Dolphins lose. If they lose against the Jags or the Texans and the Dolphins win out than it becomes a battle for the Strength of Victory Tie-Breaker which I dare you to try and figure out right now.H2H Wins: BAL
5. Denver Broncos, 8-4: The Broncos are looking in very good shape to make the playoffs. They do have two tough games ahead (@IND, @PHI) but even if they lose both those games and win the other two than a 10-6 record with an 8-4 conference record is likely good enough to get in. They just need to hope that they aren't tied for the 6th spot with either Baltimore or Pittsburgh. H2H Wins: NE, CIN
6. Jacksonville Jaguars, 7-5: The Jags have a head start on the last spot but their next three games are Miami, Indy and @New England. H2H Wins: NYJ
7. Baltimore Ravens, 6-6: After the big loss last night the Ravens have just one option, win out and hope the Jags or Broncos falter. Their schedule is the easiest of the bunch, they just need to win at Heinz field and they should get to 10-6. H2H Wins: DEN
8. Miami Dolphins, 6-6: Welcome back to the fold. The Dolphins essentially control their own destiny. They play both the Jaguars and Steelers. They hold the edge over the Jets. The only team that they could finish tied 10-6 with and not have a H2H win would be the Ravens. That tie-bnreaker would come down to Strength of Victory which would be tight but likely would lean towards the Dolphins because they won't have two wins over the Browns. H2H Wins: NYJ
9. New York Jets, 6-6: There is mild hope in New York. 1 game out of the Wild Card and Division. Problem is they will lose essentially every tie they are in because their conference record is only 5-5 and they haven't beaten any teams they may tie with. The Jaguar collapse looms huge. H2H Wins: Nobody
10. Pittsburgh Steelers, 6-6: The Steelers are in a world of pain and hurt right now. They have 5 conference losses. They are reeling. they are currently the 10th placed team in the AFC and they have three difficult games to come GB, Baltimore and at Miami. They need to win out and they need help. H2H Wins: SD, DEN
Here's a Helmet Schedule of the remaining games for AFC Teams in Contention