The playoff picture in the NFL has always been a wild one. With sudden upsets and rising/falling teams, no one seems to be able to zero in on who will and won't make the playoffs. With the Steelers falling rapidly in the AFC and having lots of injury troubles, the door is opening for the Jags and Texans to speed up ahead of them in the Wild Card picture. In the NFC, the race in the East looks like it will be down to the wire, but will there be a wild—card team coming out of that division? Here are my predictions for the NFL after 11 weeks of play.
1. Minnesota Vikings: Current record 9-1, Predicted record 14—2*
2. Green Bay Packers: 6—4, 9—7
3. Chicago Bears: 4—6, 7—9
4. Detroit Lions: 2—8, 4—12
1. New Orleans Saints: 10—0, 15—1*
2. Atlanta Falcons: 5—5, 10—6*
3. Carolina Panthers: 4—6, 8—8
4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 1—9, 2—14
1. Arizona Cardinals: 7—3, 11—5*
2. Seattle Seahawks: 3—7, 6—10
3. San Francisco 49ers: 4—6, 6—10
4. St. Louis Rams: 1—9, 1—15
1. New York Giants: 6—4, 11—5*
2. Philidelphia Eagles: 6—4, 10—6*
3. Dallas Cowboys: 7—3, 9—7
4. Washington Redskins: 3—7, 5—11
1. Cincinnatti Bengals: 7—3, 11—5*
2. Pittsburgh Steelers: 6—4, 9—7
3. Baltimore Ravens: 5—5, 8—8
4. Cleveland Browns: 1—9, 3—13
1. Indianapolis Colts: 10—0, 15—1*
2. Jacksonville Jaguars: 6—4, 10—6*
3. Houston Texans: 6—4, 8—8
4. Tennessee Titans: 3—7, 6—10
1. San Diego Chargers: 7—3, 10—6*
2. Denver Broncos: 6—4, 10—6*
3. Oakland Raiders: 3—7, 4—12
4. Kansas City Chiefs: 3—7, 3—13
1. New England Patriots: 7—3, 11—5*
2. Miami Dolphins: 5—5, 9—7
3. New York Jets: 4—6, 7—9
4. Buffalo Bills: 3—7, 5—11
NFC: 3. New York Giants over 6. Atlanta Falcons—A rematch of week 11's OT showdown has the same outcome, and the G—men survive to play another round.
NFC: 5. Philadelphia Eagles over 4. Arizona Cardinals—The Eagles complete the wild card NFC EAST shut—out, getting some payback against the defending NFC Champs.
AFC: 3. Cincinnati Bengals over 6. Denver Broncos—The Broncos get it back together enough to make it to the playoffs, but they can't regroup enough to take down the mighty stripes.
AFC: 5. Jacksonville Jaguars over 4. San Diego Chargers—After stealing away the Steelers' playoff spot, MoJo and the Jags shock LT and the Chargers, jump—starting a Cinderella playoff run.
NFC: 1. New Orleans Saints over 5. Philadelphia Eagles—The mighty Saints won't be taken down in their first playoff game since '06, especially not against a much less explosive Eagles offense.
NFC: 2. Minnesota Vikings over 3. New York Giants—Favre and the high-powered Viking offense take control of the weakening Giant D in the process of rolling over their first opponent with ease.
AFC: 5. Jacksonville Jaguars over 1. Indianapolis Colts—In a death match between two heated AFC SOUTH rivals, the Jags defense takes Clark, Wayne, and Addai out of the equation, leaving MoJo and Sims—Walker to put the game away, which they do in a shocking upset.
AFC: 3. Cincinnatti Bengals over 2. New England Patriots—The Bengals, although tripped up a few times in the regular season, have enough star—power to outshine the Pats in a game that Ochocinco is sure to be fined in.
Conference Championship Round
NFC: 1. New Orleans Saints over 2. Minnesota Vikings—Sure, Favre wants another title bad, but will—power has been proved to be not enough against the Saints in '09, and the Vikes just don't have enough to eek past Brees and the Saints.
AFC: 5. Jacksonville Jaguars over 3. Cincinnati Bengals—Coming out of nowhere, the Jags demolish the Bengals after two huge upsets, in a game that will be remembered by Jacksonville Fans for ages and ages to come.
Super Bowl XLIV
1. New Orleans Saints over 5. Jacksonville Jaguars —Brees is named MVP of a back—and—forth battle to the death that will leave murmurs of "That Close!" coming from the mouths of Jags fans and players.