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!

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

NFL Week 12 in Review: Playoff Edition

The playoff picture actually got a little murkier this past week with a lot of losses in the contender field. Because of this, I have copied over the tiebreaker rules for wild card teams. Hopefully it makes sense.

Three or More Clubs
(Note: If two clubs remain tied after third or other clubs are eliminated, tie breaker reverts to step 1 of applicable two-club format.)
1. Apply division tie breaker to eliminate all but the highest ranked club in each division prior to proceeding to step 2. The original seeding within a division upon application of the division tie breaker remains the same for all subsequent applications of the procedure that are necessary to identify the two Wild-Card participants.
2. Head-to-head sweep. (Applicable only if one club has defeated each of the others or if one club has lost to each of the others.)
3. Best won-lost-tied percentage in games played within the conference.
4. Best won-lost-tied percentage in common games, minimum of four.
Of course I am more than excited to present the picture as it currently stands below. Basically, this is probably far more interesting than reading my pithy comments about how the week went below. At least it interests me more...

AFC Current Playoff Picture:

Division Leaders:
New England: 6-5 (vs NY Jets)
Cincinnati: 8-3 (at Pittsburgh)
Indianapolis: 11-0 (home field advantage... vs Tennessee)
Denver: 9-2 (first round bye... at Kansas City)

Wild Card:
Pittsburgh: 7-4 (vs Cincinnati)
Jacksonville: 8-3 (at Cleveland)

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

Still Alive:
San Diego: 7-4 (vs Oakland)
Kansas City: 7-4 (vs Denver)

I did take Buffalo out of the picture. They are 4-7, tied with Miami (who I refuse to put in this), and New England has some easy games coming up, including this week's rumble with the Jets. Perhaps I stick them in later, but I'm not buying it now. Anyways, the results of the week only enduced one change. Last week Cincinnati was playing at Pittsburgh, this time it is swapped. You could ask why Pitt got in over San Diego and Kansas City. Well, my friends, this would be why I copied the rules above. In my understanding, in a three way tie you first eliminate one of the divisional teams (San Diego or Kansas City). San Diego beat Kansas City in their first meeting, so the advantage goes to them. Pittsburgh then beat San Diego, so Pitt gets the wild card berth. Speaking of the Steelers, man they need players to stay healthy. Sheesh. The biggest game of the week, of course, is the Cincy-Pitt duel. Winner takes all in the division and clinches a playoff berth. Loser gets to duel with San Diego/Kansas City. Those wild card teams also have to be cautiously optimistic about Byron Leftwich going down for Jacksonville. Still, since the Jags play nothing but fluff (Cleveland? Come on!), I wouldn't get my hopes up that much. The Colts will be 12-0 after this week. The other huge matchup is the Denver-KC brawl. If Denver wins, they pretty much clinch a first round bye. If Kansas City loses, with the type of schedule they have they are done. Seriously, what a murderer's row! Denver, Dallas, NY Giants, San Diego, Cincinnati. The schedulers did not do them any favors. San Diego gets what should be a breather this week to try and continue their four game win streak. Still, both of those teams need to focus on running the table to get in.

NFC Current Playoff Picture:

Division Leaders:
Dallas: 7-4 (at NY Giants)
Chicago: 8-3 (first round bye... vs Green Bay)
Carolina: 8-3 (vs Atlanta)
Seattle: 9-2 (home field advantage... at Philadelphia)

Wild Card:
NY Giants: 7-4 (vs Dallas)
Tampa Bay: 7-4 (at New Orleans)
Note: NY Giants have a better conference record

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

Still Alive:
Atlanta: 7-4 (at Carolina)
Minnesota: 6-5 (at Detroit)

Two changes this week... first, the 5-6 Redskins have been dropped. Those injuries finally caught up to that offense. Second, Carolina nabbed the #3 seed from Dallas, which sets up two inter-divisional wild card matchups, just like last year (Seattle-St Louis, Minnesota-Green Bay). How would you, as a Hawk fan, like to know you would play either NY or Dallas? I wouldn't be excited about either. Regardless, there will be some shake-ups next week. That NY-Dallas game is enormous for both teams, one of whom will have a two game losing streak to deal with. That Atlanta-Carolina game is huge for both teams, but especially for Atlanta. If the Falcons lose, they will not only have five losses, but four conference losses, tied for worst with Minnesota among contenders. Not a good way to get into the playoffs. Tampa Bay has the easiest game of the week, although both Chicago and Minnesota also should coast. Going to Philly for a Monday Night game means a tough matchup for Seattle, even against a beleagured Eagles squad. It sure is nice, however, to write that "home field advantage" up there. Still, if we lose and Chicago wins they will have home field. The schedule favors us (Philly, SF, Tennessee) while Chicago has a tougher road (Green Bay, Pitt, Atlanta). A 12-2 record going into that duel with Indy would sure be nice to think about. Meanwhile, the Vikings continue to creep up on the field and actually have the easiest remaining schedule of anyone (Detroit, St Louis, Pittsburgh, Baltimore, Chicago). They could legitimately go 4-1 and finish at 10-6. I'm not sure, but 11-5 might be needed to join this party.

Let's see what happens!

posted by Gavin @ 2:31 PM  0 comments

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