Projected playoff teams in Bold
New England– They are in the driver seat for sure they play Philly this week and it should be a tough game, despite their record the Eagles have talent and their backs are to the wall. The Pats don’t play a winning team the rest of the way and should have no problem clinching a 1st round bye and home field in the AFC( If? see below). Prediction 13-3
Houston– I thought they would be a lock for the other AFC bye but Shaubs Injury kills that theory. They only play 2 tough games the rest of the way a home game against the Falcons and on the road in Cincy, they have a 2 game lead over the Titans and should have no problem taking the division, but if they slip up in either of the tough games it could make the season finale at home to the Titans very interesting. Shaub getting hurt sucks but they are a running team that plays good D and should be fine a bye is still possible with the Ravens and Steelers inconsistencies. Prediction 11-5
Baltimore– They are in 1st place based on their 2 wins over the Steelers, but they have been very shaky. Road losses toSeattle,Tennessee, andJacksonville are tough to swallow when you try and think of this team as a contender. They had to have a huge come back to beat a lowly Arizona team but went out and handled the Bengals thanks to a questionable call on a apparent Gresham TD catch. This team must get a bye if they want to go deep into the playoffs, they could play with the Packers and Saints if they can get there. Prediction 12-4
Oakland- The Raiders are leading the division by 1 game and Carson Palmer keeps getting more comfortable. McFadden will be back but Bush has been terrific in his absence. The next 4 weeks are crucial for the Raiders playoff hopes, home for bears, then road games against hotMiami team and the Packers before coming home to playDetroit. If they don’t go at least 2-2 they will probably be out of the race. Prediction 10-6
Pittsburgh– The Steelers are 7-3 and have played well lately and should continue to do so.they have an easy schedule and there tough games left are home against cicny and on the road in SanFran, If the Steelers run the table and B-more falters then the Steelers will have home field because they have a tie breaker over the Pats by virtue of beating them straight up. Prediction 13-3
Cincinnati- The Bengals really needed this game againstBaltimore, they have to go toPittsburghand get Houston and Baltimore at home still and will have to win at least 2 of those games to get in loose all 3 and the Jets will overtake them.Daltonhas been good and this is a young team, I personally think they have overachieved and no matter what happens the rest of the way their fans should be happy and excited for the future. Prediction 9-7
NY Jets– The jets had a horrible loss atDenver, they should be upset with the NFL for scheduling having to play a Sunday night game then go toDenver 3 days later for a game that’s rough. NY has a very manageable schedule and could easily be 10-6 and get in as a 6 seed.
Denver- at 5-5 the Broncos are a game back of a playoff spot, but I don’t think they can win enough games to get in they would have to go 5-1 in next 6 weeks and they have to play Chicago, New England, Buffalo and San Diego. Tebow can win some games but not all of them Prediction 7-9
Buffalo also is 5-5 but are falling fast they were blown out 3 weeks in a row, they still have a chance but they need to beat the Jets this week that’s followed by 3 home games against Titans, Dolphins and Broncos if they can figure it out they could conceivably win all these games, but that’s a big IF. Prediction 7-9
Tennessee-well the Titans are 5-5 and alive as well and they might be the dark horse in all this. They have been so inconsistent but they can win and make thing difficult onHouston, but CJ needs to get better and fast, schedule is rotating home and away games the rest of the way,Tampa, Bills, Saints, Indy andJacksonville. If they can win 4 of these games it will be a big game againstHoustonto end the year and decide their fate. Prediction 8-8
Green Bay-The Packers have been nothing short of fantastic and Aaron Rodgers is heading towards his 1st MVP award and the sad part is they will have to win out to get home field, think about that for a minute, The Packers might have to go undefeated to get home field thru out, they might be able to lose 1 game that is if the 49ers lose to Pittsburgh but with the 49ers schedule they will probably go 14-2 at worst. The Packers Defense while maligned leads the NFL in Picks and they make plays, the offense well unless you havnt paid attention this year you know the deal. Going undefeated will be tough pack don’t play a team under .500 the rest of the way starting with the 1st of 2 with Lions on Thursday. Prediction 15-1
San Fransisco– The 49ers have been great and you have to give credit to head coach Harbaugh, he has righted the ship and has their D playing phenomenal. Willis and navaro bowman have been fantastic and the team is feeding off the way the D gets after it, Their division sucks and thats putting it lightly and they get to play every one again they play 2 tough games against B-more and Pittsburgh but other than that they should win every game look for Kendall Hunter to get more carries to keep gore fresh for playoffs. Prediction 14-2
New Orleans– The Saints are still one of the best teams in the NFL the loss to St.Louis was bad, real bad but they will be ok. The offense is great and the D does enough to give them breathing room.Atlanta andTampa’s struggles should allow them to stroll into the playoffs, the real question is can they win out and push the 9ers or Pack for a bye.
Giants- Ok so here is where it gets difficult to predict, They are 6-4 and getNew Orleansand the Packers in their next 2 games another collapse could be on the horizon after starting 6-2. Look the Giants are not a bad team and they put themselves in position to get to January but they need to get it done against better teams, after those 2 its @ dallas home for the Skins then @ jets and home for Cowboys again, They can lose the next 2 only if they can beat the Cowboys in their 2 matchups. The week 1 losses toWashingtonand at home toSeattlecould be the downfall not the tough stretch late. Prediction 9-7
Cowboys– At 6-4 the Cowboys are tied for division lead with Giants but they are actually in control, they should handle Miami and Arizona in the next 2 weeks and will have a chance to go up 3 games with 3 to play when Giants visit December 11th, Demarcus Ware is on pace to break the single season sack record and Demarco Murray has sparked the offense. Prediction 10-6
Detroit-The darlings of the NFL just struggled to put awayCarolinabut was able to end their 3 game losing streak. Losing Best has hurt a ton their running game has been weak at best no pun intended. The D has not played well of late and susceptible to the big play and that could be big Thursday, the Lions will have a chance to show they are for real if they can hand the pack a loss, if they get blown out they will continue to go backwards they have the Packers twice and games against N.O and San Diego and Oakland so nothing will be given 2 them. Prediction 9-7
Bears-Losing Cutler hurts but if the Bears can get buy Oakland this week they have and easy stretch, KC & Seattle at home sandwiched around a road game in Denver, before going to Green Bay and Minnesota to finish the year as long is Hanie is serviceable then the bears should not be worse than 11-5.
Falcons– at 6-4 the falcons are in good shape to get to 10 wins as well they but they will have to win road games at Houston and Carolina, this looks a lot easier with no Matt Shaub they get Jacksonville Minnesota and Tampa at home as well plus 1 game with the Saints if they can win that game they could finish with 11 wins at least and maybe a division title, they could Run the table but that’s unlikely. Prediction 10-6
Eagles- at 4-6 its simple they have to win out to get in 9-7 wont cut it unless both the Giants and Cowboys falter, that could happen and the Eagles would have the tiebreaker cause they have beaten them both already and would have to again to get to 9-7, it starts this week with New England but with the way they have thrown away games this year I don’t see it, this year could be just what they need a very humbling experience. Prediction 8-8