During Monday Night's game between Miami and New York, I looked to my right where my cousin was seated and said "I think the Dolphins will win this." My thinking was the sloppy field and water saturated footballs would stall the Jets offense. I figured Miami would do well with a good defense and a decent rush offense. I just didn't realize the quarterback play was so awful. Take out Ronnie Brown and you have a lemonade stand -- at best.
As the game wore on, the best Monday Night Football broadcast booth of all-time slightly touched on the AFC Playoff Picture. If the Jets won Monday Night, they'd have to win next week and the second AFC Wild Card is theirs. Who do they play? They showed the Jets opponent next week -- freaking Oakland. It was at that point I said to myself, "our season is over" if the Jets win tonight.
Of course, that would suggest the Bengals would win next week and make one last hurray before packing it in this season. And the way they've self-destructed this season (especially against good teams), I don't have that feeling they can pull it off.
Back to the playoffs. The NFC East is the only division that hasn't been claimed. The Eagles beat the Cowboys Sunday -- and even though they have the same record, the Eagles are #1 in the East because they swept Dallas. The second wild card spot is sad. That will be won by a team with an 8-8 record. Chicago and New Orleans have claimed the first round byes and only the NFC East could change hands.
The seeding for the AFC is up in the air. There's a chance if the Chargers lose and Baltimore wins, the Ravens would be the #1 seed. But all the divisions in the AFC are claimed. Denver and the Jets are in the captain's chair for their post season plans.
Anyway, let's breakdown the final playoff scenarios heading into the final week, per team on what they can do -- or already have done.
San Diego - West Division and a first-round bye
Indianapolis - South Division
Baltimore - North Division
New England - East Division
SAN DIEGO CHARGERS
The Chargers can clinch homefield advantage with:
2. Baltimore loss
The Ravens can clinch homefield advantage with:
1. Baltimore win and San Diego loss
The Ravens can clinch a first-round bye with:
2. Indianapolis loss
The Colts can clinch a first round bye with:
1. Win and Ravens loss
Broncos can clinch a playoff berth with:
2. Chiefs loss
NEW YORK JETS
The Jets can clinch a playoff berth with:
2. Bengals and Jaguars loss.
3. Bengals loss/tie and a Titans win.
4. Broncos and Jaguars loss.
Cincinnati can clinch a playoff berth with:
1. Win and a Jets loss.
2. Win and a Broncos and Chiefs loss.
Tennessee can clinch a playoff berth with:
1. Win plus Bengals loss/tie and Broncos loss and Chiefs win
Jacksonville can clinch a playoff berth with:
1. Win with a Jets loss and Bengals loss/tie and Titans loss/tie.
KANSAS CITY CHIEFS
The Chiefs can clinch a playoff berth with:
1. Win plus a Bengals loss/tie and a Broncos loss and a Titans loss/tie.
Chicago - North Division and homefield advantage
New Orleans - South Division
Seattle - West Division
Dallas - Playoff berth
New Orleans can clinch a first-round bye with:
2. Cowboys loss
3. Cowboys and Saints tie.
Dallas can clinch the division with:
1. Win and an Eagles loss or tie
2. Tie and an Eagles loss
Philadelphia can clinch the division with:
2. Cowboys loss
3. Cowboys and Eagles tie
NEW YORK GIANTS
New York can clinch a playoff berth with:
1. Win plus Giants clinch strength of victory tie-breaker over the Packers
2. Win and a Green Bay loss/tie
3. Tie and Packers loss/tie and Rams loss/tie and Falcons loss/tie and Panthers loss/tie
4. Packers loss and Rams loss and Falcons loss and Panthers loss
GREEN BAY PACKERS
Green Bay can clinch a playoff berth with:
1. Win and Giants win and Packers clinches strength of victory tie-breaker over the Giants
2. Win and Giants loss/tie and Rams loss/tie
3. Win and Giants loss/tie and Panthers win
4. Win and Giants loss/tie and Falcons win
5. Win and Giants and Rams loss and Falcons and Panthers loss/tie
Carolina can clinch a playoff berth with
1. Win and Packers and Giants loss/tie.
2. Tie and Giants, Packers loss and Rams and Falcons loss/tie
Atlanta can clinch a playoff berth with:
1. Win and Panthers, Packers and Giants loss/tie.
2. Atlanta tie and Panthers, Packers, Giants and Rams loss.
ST. LOUIS RAMS
St. Louis can clinch a playoff berth with:
1. Win and Giants, Panthers and Falcons loss/tie
2. Tie and Giants, Panthers, Falcons and Packers loss.