Crushed Optimists

We are twin brothers who grew up in Central Washington. This blog is devoted to the life of Seattle sports fans, as well as various other topics that we will espouse for your enjoyment. We could be called another OFFICIAL SEATTLE SEAHAWKS site, but we'll take our uneducated crack at the Mariners, Sonics, and Huskies as well. A Seattle Sports Blog? Must be the land... of crushed optimism!

Monday, November 21, 2005

NFL Week 11 in Review: Playoff Edition

Now that we're 10 games into the season and the Hawks are doing well, it's time to start looking more closely at the playoff picture. Only six games remain for positioning and most races are still wide open. Let's take a look at it all.

AFC Current Playoff Picture:

Division Leaders:
New England: 6-4 (at Kansas City)
Pittsburgh: 7-3 (at Indianapolis)
Indianapolis: 10-0 (home field advantage... vs Pittsburgh)
Denver: 8-2 (first round bye... at Dallas)

Wild Card:
Cincinatti: 7-3 (vs Baltimore)
Jacksonville: 7-3 (at Arizona)
Note: Jacksonville has the better conference record, so they are the current higher seed

First Round Games:
Cincinatti at Pittsburgh, winner at Denver
Jacksonville at New England, winner at Indianapolis

Still Alive:
Buffalo: 4-6 record, still just two games back of New England (vs Carolina)
San Diego: 6-4 (at Washington)
Kansas City: 6-4 (vs New England)

Take a look at the above. The playoff picture is really almost final except for a few stragglers. Barring a huge collapse, Indy already has home field advantage wrapped up with a three game lead. There are a few huge games this coming week, of course with the headliner being the Pitt-Indy affair. If Pitt loses, Cincinatti will more than likely claim the top spot in the AFC North by virtue of their home game against Baltimore. The other huge game that I'll spot below as well is the Denver-Dallas Thanksgiving game. Denver has a tentative one game lead for that first round bye and still have plenty of road games against divisional opponents. They need to win this one. The "Still Alive" category is rife with difficult games. Buffalo takes on Carolina in a must-win affair. I'll take them off this list if they lose. San Diego and Kansas City as well will be taken off the list if they lose, because a 6-5 team in the AFC West will not make the playoffs, especially when you're trying to catch Cincy and Jacksonville. Speaking of the Jags, they will again have an easy opponent in Arizona, although the Cards showed some life. Basically, the six playoff teams could be decided in the next two weeks.

NFC Current Playoff Picture:

Division Leaders:
Dallas: 7-3 (vs Denver)
Chicago: 7-3 (first round bye... at Tampa Bay)
Carolina: 7-3 (at Buffalo)
Seattle: 8-2 (home field advantage... vs NY Giants)

Wild Card:
NY Giants: 7-3 (at Seattle)
Tampa Bay: 7-3 (vs Chicago)
Note: NY Giants have a better conference record

First Round Games:
Tampa Bay at Dallas, winner at Chicago
NY Giants at Carolina, winner at Seattle

Still Alive:
Atlanta: 6-4 (at Detroit)
Washington: 5-5 (vs San Diego)
Minnesota (seriously!): 5-5 (vs Cleveland)

The NFC picture might be even clearer than the AFC when it comes to the top seven. Washington has a really difficult game against San Diego. The winner is still in the race. The loser is out. Atlanta, suffering through a rough two game losing skid, still has two games against Carolina on the schedule, which makes their Thanksgiving day affair at Detroit huge. I look for them to win and remain on the list. Every team has a difficult game, with two absolutely huge NFC games. Seattle-NY and Tampa Bay-Chicago are both must-see affairs. I look forward to seeing how everything turns out after that. Wierdly enough, Minnesota probably is more in the race now than Washington. Brad Johnson might be turning their fortunes around, and they have the easiest game of all the contenders next week!

Basically, in looking at these results so far the playoffs are shaping up to be gigantic affairs. I can't believe the types of first round games we are looking at so far. Quite a departure from the mediocrity of the past couple of years. We'll continue to take these snapshots each week for the rest of the season.

Also, if my seeding is off, sue me. I'm pretty sure I'm right.

posted by Gavin @ 9:07 PM  0 comments

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