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 by PARAM
6 months 2 weeks ago
 Total posts:   12315  
 Joined:  Jul 15 2015
Barbados   Just far enough North of Philadelphia
Hall of Fame

Miami or Baltimore? San Francisco or Philly? Kansas City and Jacksonville are in the conversation. So is Detroit and Dallas. Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Indianapolis but don't forget about the Bills. Minnesota, Green Bay, Seattle and the Rams. Atlanta, New Orleans or Tampa? Does Cincinnati or Denver make a charge? Getting there is a fight. Staying there is a cage match.

Here's the schedules for the various spots:

#1 NFC Seed
Philadelphia (10-2) @ Dallas; @ Seattle; v NYG; v Ariz; @ NYG
They beat Dallas, I think they end up with the #1 though Seattle won't be a cakewalk. Normally playing the Giants twice would signal a loss but I don't see it.
San Francisco (9-3) v Seattle; @ Ariz; v Balt; @ Wash; v the Rams
The Seattle and Baltimore games are the tough ones. IMO, if they lose one more it's gonna be tough. If they lose 2 more they're not catching Philly, which is all they have to do with the tiebreaker edge. So much for SF taking it easy in week 18. But I wouldn't want it any other way.
Detroit (9-3) @Chicago; v Denver; @ Minn; @ Dallas; v Minn
They're still in the running. There is a scenario where they could end up tied with Philly and if they do, it could go past common opponents tiebreaker if Philly loses once and Detroit wins out. Their common opponents are Dallas, Minnesota, Tampa, KC and Seattle and if the one Philly loss is to Dallas or Seattle, they're both 5-1 there. Of course it could be a 3 way tie and in that case, I don't know WTF happens.
Dallas (9-3) v Philadelphia; @ Buffalo; @ Miami; v Detroit; @ Washington
They've got a tough road to hoe. But everything is in front of them. The NFC East is a race again but if they can beat Philly, they have a good shot. Those two games following are going to be extremely tough and prime let down games, not to mention Detroit, but they get them at home where they play extremely well. Weather those storms and they have to go to Washington for the finale. But isn't that a game Dallas may already have penciled as a win? If they win those first 4 and lose that, I gotta believe Jerrah fires McCarthy!!!

For the NFC South, who knows which team will emerge with the title. All three are possible.
Atlanta (6-6) v Tampa; @ Carolina; v Indy; @ Chicago; @ N. Orleans
N. Orleans (5-7) v Carolina; v NYG; @ LA RAMS; @ Tampa; v Atlanta
Tampa (5-7) @ Atlanta; @ Green Bay; v Jax; v N.Orleans; @Carolina

That's almost a round robin tournament!! Each with 3 division games left. Tampa has the toughest road outside the division (G.Bay & Jax), Atlanta the easiest (Chicago, Indy). Carolina could have a say if any of the 3 overlook them.

Wild Cards?
Minnesota (6-6)@ Las Vegas; @ Cincinnati; v Detroit; v Green Bay; @ Detroit
Green Bay (6-6) @NYG; v Tampa; @ Carolina; @ Minnesota; v Chicago
LA Rams (6-6) @Balt; v Washington; v N.Orleans; @ NYG; @ San Francisco
Seattle (6-6) @ San Francisco; v Philly; @ Tennessee; v Pittsburgh; @ Arizona

I believe the Vikings have the most formidable schedule, the Rams the second toughest. Seattle needs to do one better than the Rams and the Rams need to do one better than both Minnesota and Green Bay.
11 teams realistically alive. The only teams not "in the hunt" for the playoffs are Carolina, Arizona, Chicago, Washington and the Giants. But each may have a say with an upset of one of the 'contenders'.

#1 AFC Seed:
Miami (9-3) v Tenn; v NYJ; v Dallas; @Baltimore; v Buffalo
The Dolphins have a tough schedule but 4 of the 5 are in South Florida. That one game north is going to be a doozy!
Baltimore (9-3) v LA RAMS; @ Jacksonville; @ San Francisco; v Miami; v Pittsburgh
No cakewalk there. They may face Jax without Lawrence but for those looking at the Pittsburgh game as a win, you've never watched a Pittsburgh/Baltimore game. When it's said, "you can throw out the records" it's true. Those two don't like each other and it's always a battle of two snot-popping defenses.
Kansas City (8-4) v Buffalo; @ N.England; v Las Vegas; v Cincy; @ LA Chargers
Don't look now but the Chiefs have the easiest schedule of the 4. But they're not really the Chiefs of 2022. Mahomes has Kelce and not much else, though the rookie Rice is coming on. Don't give up on them just yet.
Jacksonville (8-4) @ Cleveland; v Baltimore; @ Tampa Bay; v Carolina; @ Tennessee
They missed a golden opportunity last night. I have to believe, even as well as Browning played last night, if Lawrence doesn't go down, Jacksonville pulls it out. How many of those games will be with Beathard under center? It sucks when you lose your starting QB, more so this late in the season. We don't know the prognosis for Lawrence but even if he's hobbled, it won't be good.

AFC South
With the Jags loss last night, this became a race again.
Jacksonville (8-4) @ Cleveland; v Baltimore; @ Tampa Bay; v Carolina; @ Tennessee
Indianapolis (7-5) @ Cincinnati; v Pittsburgh; @ Atlanta; v Las Vegas; v Houston
Houston (7-5) @ NYJets; @ Tennessee; v Cleveland; v Tennessee; @ Indianapolis

Jacksonville swept Indianapolis but split with Houston. Indy beat Houston and they play again in week 18. Again, Lawrence's health will have a huge affect on this race. Houston may have the easiest path with that fact.

Wild Cards?

Pittsburgh (7-5) v N.England; @ Indianapolis; v Cincinnati; @ Seattle; @ Baltimore
Cleveland (7-5) v Jacksonville; v Chicago; @ Houston; v NY Jets; @ Cincinnati
Indianapolis (7-5) @ Cincinnati; v Pittsburgh; @ Atlanta; v Las Vegas; v Houston
Houston (7-5) @ NYJets; @ Tennessee; v Cleveland; v Tennessee; @ Indianapolis
Buffalo (6-6) @ Kansas City; v Dallas; @ LA Chargers; v N.England; @ Miami
Denver (6-6) @ LA Chargers; @ Detroit; v N.England; v LA Chargers; @ Las Vegas
Cincinnati (6-6) v Indianapolis; v Minnesota; @ Pittsburgh; @ Kansas City; v Cleveland
LA Chargers (5-7)v Denver; @ Las Vegas; v Buffalo; @ Denver; v Kansas City
Las Vegas (5-7) v Minnesota; v LA Chargers; @ Kansas City; @ Indianapolis; v Denver


Those last two teams only have an outside chance but they could both start on the right foot beating the Vikings! 8-) :lol2: Kansas City plays those last 3 so they will face 3 desperate teams. But they couldn't have a SB Champion collapse could they? Denver holds the tie breaker over Buffalo. Your guess is a good as mine with that final group.

AFC teams not in the hunt? New England (boy ain't that great?), the Jets and Titans. Like I said, the NFL is going to be an exciting finish, as usual. 24 teams with legit possibilities.

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1 post Jun 25 2024