The 2012 Playoff Seedings are as follows:
1- Houston, 11-2 (South Division) clinched berth
2- New England, 10-3 (East Division) clinched division
3- Denver 10-3 (West Division) clinched division
4- Baltimore 9-4 (North Division)
5- Indianapolis: 9-4 (Wild Card #1, South Division)
6- Pittsburgh: 7-6 (Wild Card #2, North Division)
7- Cincinnati: 7-6 (North Division)
The cutoff is clear since the next team is the 6-7 Jets. The Jets-Jets-Jets are going NOWHERE!!!!
1- Atlanta, 11-2 (South Division) clinched division
2- San Francisco, 9-3-1T (West Division)
3- Green Bay, 9-4 (North Division)
4- New York Giants, 8-5
5- Seattle, 8-5 (Wild Card #1, West Division)
6- Chicago, 8-5 (Wild Card #2, North Division)
7- Washington, 7-6 (East Division)
8- Dallas, 7-6 (East Division)
9- Minneosta, 7-6 (North Division)
10- St. Louis, 6-6-1T (West Division)
Warning: There is now buzz about EXPANDING the playoffs. Commissioner Roger Goodell announced that the league is looking into going to a 14 or 16 team field. EGADS, is this the NBA? The current format works beautifully. Who needs teams with losing records becoming playoff teams? Right now in the AFC, two wild cards have marginally winning records at 7-6 and one team outside at 7-6. That's just about right. The balance of power has the NFC on top, thus more teams but again, no team with a losing record is a serious threat to may the post season.
The NFL is the one professional sport that appears to have the right math for its schedule. The 16 game regular season among 32 teams balances beautifully while there is clear logic behind the post season selection proccss. If it ain't broke, don't fix it!!!
This Week's Games:
Cincinnati (-4) @ Philadelphia
The butt-kicking will continue in Philadelphia after a one week reprieve last week. The Bengals will knock their teeth out. The Andy Reid era is over. Fans dream of what comes next.
Denver (-2.5) @ Baltimore
This game will be a key test for Peyton Manning consolidating his reign over the Denver Broncos. Already seeded in the playoffs, a win over the Ravens, one of the nattiest home fields in the NFL would show the same kind of power he showed in his prime with Indianapolis. For the Ravens, this is a MUST win to stay in the hunt for a first round bye needing at least one win to ensure the Northern Division champ. If the Ravens play like they normally play at home, they win. If they look like the confused mess of the last two weeks, Denver will slaughter them. The situation is urgent enough for the Ravens to have ditched offensive coordinator, Cam Cameron, who has been severely criticized by Ravens'fans all season. Jim Caldwell, once Peyton Manning's QB coach and head coach at Indy takes on calling the plays.
New York Giants @ Atlanta (-1.5)
The Falcons will be anxious to get back on the winning track after an embarrassing to Carolina. For Atlanta, this is a move to secure a first round bye and be in firm control of complete home field advantage. Meanwhile, the New York Giants must show dominance with Washington and Dallas a game back hunting for the division lead. Atlanta should win this one unless the Giants step up their game to a new level.
Green Bay (-3) @ Chicago
Green Bay needs this game to nail down the NFC north while Chicago could be fighting for playoff survival. Right now, the Bears don't seem to have enough game in them to handle this chalenge. Give it to Green Bay.
Washington @ Cleveland (no odds posted)
This is a tough game to pick. RG III is injured but practicing. The Redskins are fighting for a playoff spot. Cleveland has been quite impressive recently winning their last three games albeit it against a hobbled Pittsburgh, Oakland, and Kansas City. If RGIII is healthy and in good form, this one goes to the Skins.
Minnesota @ St. Louis (-3)
Both teams are fighting for a playoff berth, but St. Louis has looked stronger recently. One team stays in the playoff hunt. The other is wait for next year.
Jacksonville @ Miami (-7)
Ugh, if you like football in Florida in 2012, avoid the AFC. Miami wins, but who's paying attention?
Tampa Bay @ New Orleans (-3.5)
New Orleans season of misery continues. Gone from the playoff chase, they have one huge chip on their shoulders based on the bounty scandal punishments.
Indianapolis @ Houston (-8.5)
Houston seeks to regain form after a dreadful ass-whoopin' in New England. They should prevail at home while the Colts continue their surprise season probably not surprising enough to stage this upset.
Detroit (-6) @ Arizona
Here's a battle between the underachievers, but egads, after winning their four games including upending New England, they've been playing powder puff football ever since. Detroit, meanwhile, another 4-9 team hs once again secured its place among the mediocre and worse of the game, but they're strong enough to beat Arizona right now.
Carolina @ San Diego (-3)
Look out, here's San Diego's late season surge. Talk about "too little -too late." Okay, they beat Pittsburgh last week and could make it four in a row at the end of the season, they're playing chimps and chumps down the stretch.
Seattle (-5) @ Buffalo (in Toronto)
The NFL in the Skydome (aka Rogers Center) in what could be a permanent arrangement once 94 year old owner, Ralph Wilson, is no longer in the picture. Seattle, a team that's practically in another country, should win this international contest.
Pittsburgh (-2) @ Dallas
What a historic matchup this is, and though Dallas hardly deserves much hype in their present form is fighting for a playoff spot or perhaps even their division. However, the Steelers, suffering a weak season, are starting to regain health and are anxious to solidify their playoff chances. Slight edge to the Steelers.
Kansas City @ Oakland (=3)
Ugh, can they just flip a coin and call it a game. Vegas says Oakland (3 point advantage for the home team). We say KC. It doesn't matter.
San Francisco @ New England (-5.5)
Nationally televised games always get lots of hype and contrived story lines...POSSIBLE SUPERBOWL PREVIEW. Well, maybe... Jim Harbaugh will need one hell of a bag of tricks to bat the New England team that flattened Houston last week.
ESPN MNF (Mostly Nothing Football)
NY Jets @ Tennessee (-1.5)
Okay it's the big market Jets, but what a ho-hum for a Monday Night game. Don't worry, the ESPN producers will come up with tons of contrived dialogue for a game that slightly favors Music City over Big City.