Saturday, January 02, 2010

NFL PLAYOFF MADNESS

The AFC is still a jumbled mess running into Week 17. Six teams are still in the hunt, making this one of the most challenging and complex playoff scenarios ever.

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BALTIMORE

WIN: If the Ravens win against the Oakland Raiders (who seem to be playing the spoiler role pretty decently), the Ravens are in, regardless of other results.

TIE: If they tie, and the Jets lose, a Bronco loss or tie AND a Texan loss or tie would get them in. If they tie, and the Jets tie or win, they can still make it if the Steelers, Broncos AND Texans tie or lose.

LOSS: If the Ravens lose, they are out, regardless of other results.

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NEW YORK

WIN: If they defeat the Cincinnati Bengals, The Jets are in, regardless of other results.

TIE: If they tie, and any three of the Steelers, Broncos, Texans, and Ravens lose or tie, the Jets are in. Any two of those teams win, the Jets are history.

LOSS:If the Jets lose, they are out, regardless of other results.

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(Now it gets complicated.)
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DENVER

WIN: If the Broncos win against the Kansas City Chiefs, they also need one of the following things to happen first: the Jets losing or tying, or the Ravens losing or tying. If both lose, the Broncos are in outright. If one of those teams wins, the Broncos can still make it if the Texans win or the the Steelers lose or tie.

TIE: If they tie and the Ravens lose, they need a Jets loss, a Texans loss or tie AND a Steelers loss or tie. If they tie and the Ravens win, they need a Jets loss, a Steelers loss or tie, and ironically enough they need the Texans to tie; a Texan win knocks them out in favor of the Texans, a Texans loss knocks them out in favor of the Steelers.

LOSS: Should the Broncos LOSE to the Chiefs, they can STILL make the playoffs. A Steelers loss, and a loss by three of four teams (Ravens, Jets, Texans, and Jaguars) will get the Broncos in. If the Broncos lose and the Steelers win or tie with the Dolphins, the Broncos need the Jets, Ravens and Texans to lose and the Jaguars to lose or tie.

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PITTSBURGH

WIN: If they win against the Dolphins, they still need the following: a Texans loss or tie coupled with a loss or tie by either the Jets or Ravens, OR a Jets, Ravens, AND Broncos loss or tie.

TIE: If they tie, then the Steelers need three of the following teams to lose: Ravens, Broncos, Jets and Texans, with some exceptions. If the Texans, Jets OR Ravens win, only a Broncos win would push the Steelers out, a Broncos tie would let the Steelers creep in. If the Broncos win, any other tie or win would knock out the Steelers.

LOSS: If the Steelers lose, they are out, regardless of other results.

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MIAMI

WIN: They must beat the Steelers, and then the Dolphins still need losses by the Jets, Texans, AND Ravens, and a Jaguars loss or tie. Any other result will not get them in.

TIE: If the Dolphins tie, they are out, regardless of other results.

LOSS: If the Dolphins lose, they are out, regardless of other results.

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HOUSTON

WIN: With a win against the New England Patriots, the Texans need two losses or ties by the Ravens, Jets, or Broncos in any combination.

TIE: If the Texans tie, and the Ravens OR Jets win, they need losses by the Broncos and Jets OR Ravens and a loss or tie from the Steelers. If the Texans tie, and the Ravens AND Jets lose, a Denver loss or a Steelers loss or tie finds them in the playoffs.

LOSS: If the Texans lose, they are out, regardless of other results.

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JACKSONVILLE

WIN: Even with a probable victory over the Cleveland Browns, the Jaguars need FOUR losses from the following five teams: the Broncos, Ravens, Steelers, Jets and Texans. If two of those teams so much as tie, the Jaguars are done.

TIE: If the Jaguars tie, they are out, regardless of other results.

LOSS: If the Jaguars lose, they are out, regardless of other results.

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That being said, the Bengals and Patriots are still vying for 3rd & 4th seeds, which could mean home field if both teams make it to the AFC Championship. I'm hoping that they'll both be playing their starters for most of the contest.

My picks:
Jacksonville over Cleveland
Denver over KC
Baltimore over Oakland
Pittsburgh over Miami
Cincinnati over New York
New England over Houston

Final AFC Seeding:
1.) Indianapolis Colts
2.) San Diego Chargers
3.) New England Patriots
4.) Cincinnati Bengals
5.) Baltimore Ravens
6.) Pittsburgh Steelers
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