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The AFC Playoff Picture: Week 11-12

The first came two weeks ago, and now it’s time for another look at how the AFC playoff scenarios might play out. Part of the analysis here is based on the rankings I provided in that post, so keep that in mind.

Starting with the Ravens: their loss to the Giants doesn’t change much. It’s tempting to make the “they can’t beat a good team” argument, but I’m not sure I’d buy it. There really aren’t any “bad” teams in the NFL. Even the Bengals and the Lions are capable of beating anyone, it’s just harder for them. There are no gimmes, as the Eagles can attest. The Ravens are 6-4 and that’s a fine place to be.

Locks
As before, the only team we know for sure will be there is the Titans. 10-0 is impressive, indeed, and so the only drama remaining is which team(s) will beat them in the regular season. Don’t be surprised if it’s the Jets this weekend, or perhaps Pittsburgh or Indianapolis down the road a bit. Maybe all three.

Probables
The Steelers still head this group, sitting as they do at 7-3 and boasting the league’s best defense across the board (best against the pass, the run, and yards). The Broncos still belong here, as well, with their stranglehold on the AFC West. Their defense remains suspect, but their offense leads the conference.

The Jets have stepped up to this rarified air by virtue of their victory over the Patriots. You might have missed it, but they’ve got the seventh best defense and fifth best offense in the conference. And some fella named Favre, who maybe has been here once or twice before.

Bubble
I’m moving the Ravens down to “bubble” status, mostly because the Colts have finally found their rhythm. Both teams figure to be fighting for the wild card, although the Ravens still have an outside shot at winning the division.

The Patriots remain here, joined all of a sudden by the Dolphins. The Bills still cling to hope, but both the Chargers and Jaguars have lost ground and don’t currently deserve consideration.

My prediction two weeks ago: Titans, Steelers, Broncos, Ravens, Jets, Colts
My prediction now: exactly the same.

9 comments to The AFC Playoff Picture: Week 11-12

  • Big Ben's Motorcycle

    no arguments.

    in all honesty if the ravens make it in as a wildcard as do the colts that is freaking fine by me.

    i’d rather play the steelers, titans, jets, ANYONE on the road than indy at any location.

  • random dude

    Yeah, mine two weeks ago was Titans, Steelers, Chargers, Patriots, Jets, Ravens.

    I was completely wrong on the Chargers. Ooops.
    I thought the Patriots would sweep their divisional games. Nope.

    Now I agree with yours. And I’d also rather play any other team over the Colts.

  • Greg

    I easily see the Ravens missing it. Not that I’m hoping for that, but I can see it happening.

    Broncos, Steelers, Jets, Pats, Colts, Titans. And if not the Pats or Jets, then the Ravens. It’s very important for the Ravens that the Jets and Patriots lose this weekend, since they are the real wildcard threats.

  • Marc Unger

    I think any hopes of the Ravens making the playoffs were dashed last week against the Giants. They didn’t just lose, they lost bad. It’s easy to say that Aaron Ross’ interception was the only reason the Ravens lost by twenty but it’s not. Ravens lost by twenty because, when all is said and done, the Giants are twenty points better. A combination of injuries, age and lack of offensive firepower make it pretty impossible for the Ravens to remain competitive down the stretch. I don’t think there’s a team in the NFC East they can beat. This weekend, given the inept performance last week against Cincy, I expect the Eagles to rebound and find a way to beat the Ravens on the road. This is still a very talented team with realistic playoff aspirations. Sorry guys.

  • dan the man

    7-4 looks like a playoff team. 6-5 looks like they are out of the playoffs. This Eagles game is Huuuuuge.

  • random dude

    I still stick to my post about the Ravens before last game.

    I said @Cin W (7 wins) 2 out of 3 from vs. Jax, vs. Pit, vs. Was (9 wins), and 1 out of 3 from @NYG, vs. Phi @ Dal.

    Clearly the 1 out of 3 is now 1 out of 2. And I think that Philly at home is much more winnable than at Dallas. So I guess this weekend is huge. But I think we get 10 wins, and I think we make the playoffs.

  • Big Ben's Motorcycle

    isn’t marc unger a giants fan?

    anyway, i think the best assessment of the orioles is that this weekend’s game could tell all. if the ravens win and look good in the process then all is fine for a week. they could potentially squeak into the playoffs.

    but as this week has progressed i’ve realized that they’ve still completely exceeded my expectations – with a qb that i thought might/should start in ’09 if not 10.

    fuck it.

  • Big Ben's Motorcycle

    oh for christ’s sake i said ORIOLES. that’s what i get for posting on those damned threads.

  • Spock Jenkins

    Leon Washington #1 in the league in all purpose yardage.

    And you knoooooooow thaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat.