NFL Playoff Schedule: Eagles To Host Packers Sunday At 4:30

The majority of the NFC playoff picture will be decided by the end of the 4pm games today.

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NFL Playoff Schedule: Jets And Colts In Primetime

The NFL has released the full schedule for wildcard weekend. My early impressions actually favor a lot of the road teams. The Saints should beat whoever comes out of the NFC West. The Ravens will feel pretty good heading into Arrowhead and the Colts are a total crapshoot right now.

The Eagles/Packers game is arguably the most intriguing game of the weekend pitting the NFC’s best defense (Packers) against the NFC’s best offense (Eagles). The Eagles will be a little fresher after resting all their starters this weekend, but the Packers will feel like they’re on a roll. Should be a great game.

(5) Saints @ (4) Rams/Seahawks, 4:30 pm (NBC)
(6) Jets @ (3) Colts, 8:00 pm (NBC)

(5) Ravens @ (4) Chiefs, 1:00 pm (CBS)
(6) Packers @ (3) Eagles, 4:30 pm (FOX)


NFL Playoff Picture Updated

With the early games coming to a close there’s a few more things that we can say we know. The Steelers blowout win over the Browns means they’ve locked up the #2 seed in the AFC and will get a bye. The Ravens are locked into the #5 seed while the Jets will be the #6. Who the Jets and Ravens will play however is stlll up in the air thanks to the fact that Kansas City Chiefs were blown out at home by the Oakland Raiders. That means that if the Colts win this afternoon, they will leapfrog KC for the #3 seed and will get the Jets.

In the NFC, the Falcons locked up the #1 overall seed and a first round bye. That means the Bears are locked into the #2 seed regardless of whether they lose to the Packers. Whether that affects how the Bears play or whether they decide to rest some guys is still unknown. That game is very significant for the final wildcard spot in the NFC. If the Packers win they’re in. The Giants need a Packers loss and win at the Redskins to get in. Tampa Bay actually beat the Saints today to keep themselves alive, they now need losses by Green Bay and New York to get themselves in.

Whoever gets in between the Packers, Giants, or Bucs will head to Philadelphia next weekend. New Orleans will go on the road to face the winner of tonight’s matchup between the Seahawks & Rams which will decide the NFC West.

The winner of the Eagles/#6 seed game then goes to Chicago, while the winner of the Saints/NFC West winner goes to Atlanta.


NFL Playoff Picture Week 17

The majority of the NFC playoff picture will be decided by the end of the 4pm games today. After that point, only the winner of the NFC West (who will be the #4 seed) will be left to be decided. Right now the Falcons, Bears, Eagles, & Saints have all clinched but only the Eagles are locked into a particular seed.

The Atlanta Falcons need only a win over the Carolina Panthers to secure a first round bye and home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.

The Bears need a Falcons loss and a win over the Green Bay Packers to get the #1 overall seed. Otherwise, they’ll be no worse than the #2 and will have a bye.

The Packers need a win over Chicago or a Giants loss to secure the final wildcard spot. The Giants need to beat the Redskins and a Packers loss at home to the Bears. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers need to beat the Saints in New Orleans and for both the Giants and Packers to lose. Whoever gets this wildcard spot faces the Eagles next weekend in Philadelphia.

The Saints can still win the NFC South and get a first round bye if they beat the Bucs and the Falcons lose to the Panthers.

The NFC West is a winner take all scenario tonight in Seattle. Whoever wins that game (the Rams or the Seahawks) wins the NFC West and faces the runner up in the NFC South next week.


NFL Playoff Picture: Eagles Loss Could Kill Giants Chances

The Eagles were upset by the Minnesota Vikings in a game that could end up hurting other NFC teams even more than the Eagles. For Philadelphia, it means that they’re locked into the #3 seed regardless of whether they win or lose next week against the Cowboys. The Eagles loss means the Bears clinch a first round bye and whoever ends up winning the NFC South will get the other.

So while the Eagles eliminated themselves from a shot at a first round bye, they could choose to give themselves a bye of sorts by resting some beat up starters next week against the Cowboys. As I said, a win or loss next will will have effect on their playoff seed.

The Eagles loss also means that the Bears could potentially take it a bit easier next week as well. They still have a shot at a #1 seed so it’s not like they have nothing to play for… but they’ll be on the road in Green Bay next week with a bye already locked up. If they get down in that game they may just decide that discretion is the better part of valor and not risk injuries to their important players For the Packers, it’s a win and they’re in game. So if they face a lesser Bears team and win, that means the Giants and Buccaneers would be eliminated.

The Giants would have wanted the Bears still playing for a bye next week.

The Eagles won’t be happy after a poor showing, but having the opportunity to give beat up guys like Michael Vick and Asante Samuel a week off is a big deal. The Eagles will be playing their 3rd game in 12 days when the playoffs begin.


NFL Playoff Picture: Falcons Falter Puts NFC's #1 Seed In Doubt

The Falcons were handed their third loss of the season and their first at home as they fell to the New Orleans Saints 17-14 in Atlanta. Their loss opens up the door for the Bears, Eagles & the Saints to possibly grab the top seed in the NFC. Should the Falcons lose next week, all three of those of those teams will hold a tiebreaker which would put them ahead of Atlanta. The Falcons could potentially fall as far as the #5 seed.

However, the Falcons host the Panthers next week. Carolina has the worst record in the NFL… so unless Atlanta forfeits, their #1 seed is probably safe. The biggest takeaway from the game is the chinks that are now appearing the Falcons armor. By the time the season ends, Atlanta will likely be 4-3 against playoff teams. They will have also lost to arguably the top two other threats in the NFC (New Orleans & Philadelphia). After scoring just one offensive TD tonight, the Falcons suddenly don’t look so invincible at home. Also, Falcons fans can’t have enjoyed hearing all those stupid “Who Dat?” chants from the many Saints fans in attendance.

The Saints clinched at least a wildcard tonight and while they’ve still got a shot at the NFC South, the likelihood is that they’ll be the #5 seed and will face the winner of next week’s Seahawks vs Rams game. That means either the Eagles or Bears will face whichever of the Packers, Giants & Buccaneers get the final wildcard spot.


NFL Playoff Picture: Eagles, Chiefs And Jets Clinch

There are precious few playoff spots remaining after week 16 of the NFL season, but there’s lots of seeding still to be done. The Kansas City Chiefs clinched the AFC West with their win over Tennessee, the Jets clinched a wildcard despite losing and the Eagles won the NFC East without even playing.

The top spot in the NFC is Atlanta’s to lose. The Falcons need only one win tomorrow against the Saints or the following week at home against the Panthers. Unless the entire Falcons team eats bad shellfish or tests positive for PEDs and are forced to forfeit, there’s pretty much no way they’ll lose the Panther game. However, since the Eagles hold a head to head tiebreaker over them they haven’t mathematically clinched yet.

The #2 seed is up for grabs, but the Bears control their own destiny. If they beat the Packers next week in Green Bay, they’ve got the #2 seed and a bye. They could lose and still get the #2 seed should the Eagles lose either of their next two.

The Saints appear to have the #5 seed all locked up, and by virtue of their blowout of the New York Giants the Packers are now in control of the final wildcard spot. A Giants loss or a Packer win over Chicago means they’re in. The Buccaneers are also still in the hunt, but they need to beat the Saints and have both the Packers and Giants lose. The big loser in the NFC this weekend has to be the Giants, who came in controlling their destiny and now do not.

In the NFC Worst, it’s a winner take all game next week at Qwest field when the Seahawks host the Rams. The winner gets the #4 seed and the Saints in the first round of the playoffs.

Over in the AFC, the Patriots clinched the #1 seed and homefield advantage throughout the AFC playoffs. The Colts took a big step toward winning the AFC South thanks to their win over the Raiders and the Jaguars loss to the Redskins. The Chiefs won the AFC West after they beat the Titans and the Chargers spit the bit in Cincy. The Chargers will miss the playoffs despite ranked in the top 5 in both offense and defense for virtually the entire season. The Jets secured the final wildcard spot despite their loss in Chicago. The Jaguars could catch the Colts and win the AFC South with a win at the Texans and a Colts loss to the Titans.


NFL Playoff Picture: Eagles Win Sends Shockwaves Through NFC

The NFL Playoff scenarios are becoming much clearer for the top teams in each conference, but the wildcard spots are still pretty much up for grabs in the NFC. The Steelers and Falcons were the only teams to clinch this weekend. The Eagles virtually locked up the NFC East, which the Bears can also do with a win tonight.

Let’s start with the NFC where the Falcons, Bears, & Eagles are the top three seeds. The Bears hold a head to head tiebreaker over the Eagles, so Philly would need to finish a game ahead of the Bears to secure a #2 seed. The leader of the NFC worst is the Rams by default. Every team in the division lost weekend and they assured themselves of not having a single team with a winning record. With two weeks to go, it seems very likely that the winner of this division will be at best 7-9. The Rams and Seahawks play each other in the final week of the season, which will likely decide the #4 seed in the NFC.

The wildcard contenders in the NFC pretty much all lost. The Saints, Giants, Packers & Buccaneers could have all asserted themselves and didn’t this weekend. The Saints are still in line for the #5 seed at 10-4 and the Giants lead the rest of the pack at 9-5. The Buccaneers blew a game at home to the Lions for their 6th loss and the Packers lost a road game to the Patriots.

The Packers are actually in pretty good position. They’ll get Aaron Rodgers back next week and they host the Giants in Green Bay. If they win that game they pull ahead of the Giants by virtue of the head to head tiebreaker.

In the AFC, the Patriots and Steelers have clinched and the Colts overtook the Jaguars to take the lead in the AFC South. The Chiefs won on the road in St. Louis to keep pace atop the NFC West.

The Ravens got a big win over the Saints this weekend to pull even with the Steelers, who lost to the Jets. They remain behind the Steelers due to tiebreakers, but could still end up taking the AFC North and possibly get a first round bye. The aforementioned Jets stopped their freefall in a big way with a road win in Pittsburgh, which really solidified their shot at a wildcard. The other AFC wildcard seems destined to be the runner up in the AFC North.

If the Colts win out, they win the AFC South. Ditto for the Kansas City Chiefs and the AFC West. The Jaguars and Chargers need those teams to drop a game to have a shot.


NFL Playoff Picture: Packers Loss Changes NFC Landscape

We’re just about through Week 14 of the NFL season and the playoff picture still isn’t looking any clearer. In fact, after this weekend it seems like even more teams are alive than last weekend. That said, we did get our first clinching team this weekend when the Patriots blew out the Bears in Chicago. Interestingly enough, 11 wins is enough to clinch in the AFC but not the NFC. Atlanta got to 11 wins and still did not mathematically clinch this weekend.

We’ve also still got the Giants and Ravens playing in separate games tonight which will certainly affect the playoff picture overall but won’t change the “If the season ended today” scenario.

In the AFC it’s the Patriots, Steelers, Chiefs and Jaguars in that order.

The AFC wildcards right now are the Ravens and Jets. The Chargers, Colts and Dolphins are still in the hunt. For the Chargers and Colts, their best shot at the postseason will probably be by winning their divisions, which are still in play. The Colts play the division leading Jags next week with a chance to pull even.

In the NFC the Falcons, Bears, Eagles and the 6-7 Rams are your top seeds.

The wild cards right now are the 10-3 Saints and the Giants. Yes, it’s very possible that the Saints the could win 12 or 13 games and get a wild card while the Rams finish below .500 and get a home game.

The Packers fell out of the playoffs with their loss to the Detroit on Sunday and if Aaron Rodgers can’t play next week they could find themselves in real trouble. They’re just a game behind the Bears in the NFC North but play at New England, home to the Giants and then the Bears to close out the season. It’s a brutal final three games. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers kept themselves in the race with a win at Washington thanks to a botched extra point. Were the Giants to lose tonight, the Bucs would pull dead even with them in the wild card race. They’d have the same overall record, division record and conference record.

The Seahawks are tied with the Rams stop the NFC west at 6-7 and the 49ers are only a game back at 5-8. Neither team has a shot at wild card, but they could get themselves into the postseason by winning the awful NFC West.


NFL Playoff Picture: Falcons And Eagles In Line For NFC's Top Seeds?

With the Patriots' thrashing of the Jets, Week 13 of the NFL season is done and we've got a full view of the NFL playoff picture heading into Week 14.

Just like I did after Week 12, I  ran the Yahoo! NFL playoff scenario generator through the end of the season based on current winning percentages and this is what it came up with. In the AFC, there were some big changes. The Patriots & Steelers took the top seeds. Last week, the simulator gave the Jets and Ravens the top seeds. The No. 6 seed Ravens would go on the road to face the No. 3 Chiefs. The Jets would then face the Jaguars in the other wild card game. No Colts this week.

In the NFC nothing really changed with the Falcons and Eagles taking the No. 1 and No. 2 seeds. The No. 6 seed Giants would travel to Chicago to take on the No. 3 seed Bears (who have the toughest remaining schedule in the league). Finally, the No. 5 seed Saints get the gift of heading to St Louis to take on the 8-8 Rams.

Here's a division-by-division look at the playoff scenarios.

NFC East - Two teams alive

The Eagles and Giants sit atop the NFC East at 8-4. Right now, the Eagles hold the head-to-head tiebreaker. However, these two will play two weeks from now in New York New Jersey in a game that will likely decide the NFC East. Both teams have tricky away games next week. The Giants head to Minnesota to take on the resurgent Vikings while the Eagles fly to Dallas to face a similarly resurgent Cowboys team.

NFC North - Two teams alive

The Bears lead the division by a game over the Packers after both teams got expected wins. Now starts crunch time for Chicago as it finishes the year with the Patriots, Vikings away, Jets and the Packers away. If the Bears get through that, this division will likely be decided by the Week 17 matchup between these two teams.

NFC South - Three teams alive

This division has the Falcons, Saints and Buccaneers in that order. The Falcons basically eliminated the Bucs from division contention this weekend with their win in Tampa. The Saints have a shot at pulling even with Atlanta when they play in three weeks. For Tampa, they're now out of the wild card and lose tiebreakers to basically all of the teams above them. It need helps to get a wild card.

NFC West - Three teams alive

The NFC West now has two teams at .500! The consensus worst division in football finally has some separation with the St. Louis Rams and Seattle Seahawks at 6-6. The Rams hold the head-to-head tiebreaker for now, but the two will play at Seattle in the final week of the year. It’s going to be a tough road for the young Rams however, as they have games against the Saints on the road and the likely playoff bound Chiefs. Plus of course, that last game is in Seattle. That said, the Seahawks don’t have it any easier with games against Atlanta and at Tampa.

AFC East - Two teams alive

The Patriots got an emphatic blowout win over the Jets and took control of this division. They have to be the favorites to win it now, but the Jets are still in line for a wild card.

AFC North - Two teams alive

The Steelers went to Baltimore and knocked off the Ravens, which means Pittsburgh is in charge of the North right now. The Ravens are in good shape for the other wild card.

AFC South - Two teams alive

The Colts are in a freefall after their 3rd straight loss and 4th in five games. This may very well be the first time the Colts don't make the playoffs in a quite a while. They're a game behind the Jaguars in a division that will only send one team to the playoffs. The two teams will play in two weeks in Indianapolis,

AFC West - One team alive

We've finally got a team with a multiple-game division lead. The Chiefs have opened up a two-game lead in the West after the Oakland Raiders halted the Chargers' resurgence with a big 28-13 win on the road. The Chargers had won four straight to pull themselves back into contention after an awful start... but the loss to Oakland puts them at 6-6, a full two games behind KC with just four games to play. Not only would San Diego have to beat the Chiefs next week, they'd more or less have to run the table and hope the Chiefs lose three of their last four. With home games against Tennessee and Oakland left on its schedule, KC doesn't look like likely to do that.


NFL Playoff Picture: Not Much Changes For NFC After Week 13

Week 13 of the NFL season is over the NFC and all the contenders basically held serve. The only real loser this week was Tampa… Luckily, there are some big games between NFC contenders in the coming weeks which will cause some separation at the top.

The Philadelphia Eagles started the week with Thursday night victory of the Texans. The New York Giants kept pace in the NFC East with an expected win over the Washington Redskins. The Eagles and Giants are even at 8-4, with the Eagles holding the tiebreaker for beating the Giants head to head. They will meet in New York in two weeks. In the meantime, the Giants have a tough game in Green Bay next week while the Eagles head to Dallas.

The NFC South got a little clearer as the Atlanta Falcons effectively eliminated the Tampa Bay Buccaneers from division contention. At 7-4 the Bucs are behind three other teams for two wildcard spots. Their loss today just may have put them out of the playoffs altogether. The Saints stayed alive in the South with a last minute victory at the Bengals. The defending champs are now just a game back of the Falcons, with the two teams scheduled to play week 16 in Atlanta. The Falcons by the way, now have the easiest schedule in football to end the year.

The NFC West now has two teams at .500! The consensus worst division in football finally has some separation with the St. Louis Rams and Seattle Seahawks at 6-6. The Rams hold the head to head tiebreaker for now, but the two will play at Seattle in the final week of the year. It’s going to be a tough road for the young Rams however, as they have games against the Saints on the road and the likely playoff bound Chiefs. Plus of course, that last game is in Seattle. That said, the Seahawks don’t have it any easier with games against Atlanta and at Tampa.

The NFC North is still a two team race between the 9-3 Bears and the 8-4 Packers. The Bears have the toughest final games of any team in the NFL hosting New England, traveling to Minnesota, hosting the Jets and then heading to Green Bay in week 17. Getting the Jets and Pats home is helpful for Chicago, but there’s not an easy game in that stretch. The Packers have only a marginally easier schedule as they go to Detroit, then face the Patriots on the road, come for the Giants and finish the year at home against the Bears. That week 17 game could very well be for the division. The Bears have already beaten the Packers this season, so that’s a huge must win for the Pack.

As for the wildcard race, the Saints are in the drivers season at 9-4. The Packers are Giants are tied at 8-4 and since the two will play next week, the other tiebreakers don’t really matter. Tampa is just behind them at 7-5.

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