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Around the NFL: Playoff Picture

It's time to move on. I just can't stand to continue to whine and complain about the Ravens-Steelers game anymore. They beat us, face it and let's refocus our efforts on this coming Saturday's game against the Dallas Cowboys, once again on national TV. Both teams are still in the playoff hunt, Dallas sitting in the fifth seed in the NFC and Baltimore at the sixth seed in the AFC. This game is huge for both teams and takes on an added emotional angle as it closes out the history of Texas Stadium as the Cowboys prepare to move into their billion dollar digs next season. I hear that they will have $250,000 SIDELINE skyboxes available, only feet from the field! Wonder what it's like to have a pro football player come barreling into your seats, knocking over your champagne and caviar when you're trying to put a move on the closest cheerleader!?

Anyway, let's take a look at the current scenerios if the regular season has ended and the playoffs began today. In the NFC, the Vikings (3rd seed)  would host the Buccaneers (6th seed) and the Cardinals (4th seed) would host the Cowboys (5th seed). I see the Vikings winning and although the Cards have already beaten the Cowboys this season in Arizona, I think the 'boys are the hotter team and predict them winning. That would then send Dallas to the New York Giants (#1 seed) and the Vikings to the Carolina Panthers (#2 seed). I realize that the Panthers play at the Giants this coming weekend in a game that could decide the #1 seed, but we're working on the assumption that the season ended today, so sorry that just doesn't apply. The Giants will beat the Cowboys at home in the rubber game of their season matches, while the Panthers should take care of business at home over the Vikings. That leaves Carolina to revisit the Giants for the NFC Championship. Funny thing is, with this scenerio I see the Giants repeating as NFC Champs. However, even hough I'm not supposed to go here, if the Panthers beat the Giants this weekend and end up with the #1 seed, then the playoff combinations change and while I still see these two teams meeting in the NFC Championship Game, if it is played in Carolina, then I'd take the Panthers at home. If Carolina can beat the Giants in the Meadowlands, then they can also beat them in Carolina. However, as I've said, we're going with the fact that the season ended today, not after this weekend. After this weekend, we can revisit the scenerios, as they will probably change, but for today's post, this is it. So, the New York Giants will once again represent the NFC in Super Bowl 43.

Over in the AFC the first round games have the Ravens (6th seed) at the NY Jets (3rd seed) and the Indianapolis Colts (5th seed) at the Denver Broncos (4th seed). As I've said all along, I still say that both Wild Card entries are better than the division champions they will be facing, so I stick with my prediction that the Ravens beat the Jets and the Colts defeat the Broncos. That would send the Ravens to Tennessee and the Colts to Pittsburgh. It's amazing that both conference's #1 and #2 seeds are playing each other in the #1 seeds home field this weekend, so things can certainly change with this scenerio as well as it can in the NFC. This is especially true with the logjam in the AFC East, as there are currently three teams with the same 9-5 record, as well as the 6th seeded Ravens. However, once again, this is based on the current standings and that is how we'll roll in this post. I see the Indianapolis Colts on a roll and therefore going into Heinz Field and upsetting the Steelers in their own crib. Unfortunately, I do not see the Ravens upsetting the Titans (so sorry, guys). While it's also interesting that the Titans and Colts will meet again this season, this scenerio has the season over so we don't get to see the outcome of that rematch. We'll see them meet in the AFC Championship Game in Tennessee, where the Titans have already beaten the Colts this season. However, the Colts have been as hot as any team in the NFL since earlier this season and they set up the dream game of Manning vs. Manning in Super Bowl 43.

I said it a few weeks ago and I still see it coming to fruition as the season winds down to the Big Game. You heard it here first and I'm repeating it, especially if it looks like our Ravens will have an insurmountable road to the summit.

Super Bowl 43: Indianapolis Colts vs. New York Giants

Let the debate begin!