The 2009 NFL Season is close to heading into Week 14. There are only four games left for each team, save tomorrow night's Baltimore at Green Bay game. So, with that in mind, here are my projections for each realistic playoff contender:
The last two losses on the road against the Saints and Dolphins, coupled with Tom Brady's rumored arm trouble, will be the beginning of the end for the 2009 Patriots. They will end up 9-7 after losses at Buffalo and against Jacksonville.
Miami will win three out of their last four to be 9-7 as well, but a loss this week at Jacksonville will turn out to be their playoff death knell.
So our suprising winner of the 2009 East race: The J-E-T-S Jets! Jets! Jets! They should win their next two games at Tampa and against the wounded Falcons. That leaves two games at Indy and at home against Cincy.
By that time, Indy will have nothing to play for after losing to Denver and then going to Jacksonville the following week and wrapping up home field.
The Jets will pull it out, and then they will beat the Bengals at home in a game that they will want more because their playoff life will be at stake.
That will give them a 10-6 record and the fourth seed in the playoffs.
The Bengals will win two out of their remaining four (at SD, vs. KC) and be the division champs and the No. 3 seed with an 11-5 record. The Steelers and Ravens, 2008 AFC championship game participants, will stay in the Wildcard race until the final week or two, but will miss the playoffs with 9-7 records.
After losing to Denver, Indy will wrap up the AFC home field advantage against Jacksonville on Thursday night in Week 15 and end up 14-2. The 7-5 Jags will win three of their four remaining games and end up as a wildcard with the fifth seed at 10-6.
Denver will only lose at Philly the rest of the way, win the West, and get the No. 2 seed with an 11-5 record (based on head-to-head against Cincy because of the Holy Stokley play).
I know that San Diego has looked pretty good of late, but they are going to end the season as slowly as they started it, with losses at Dallas, at Tennessee, and against the Bengals. They still will make the playoffs, but with a 10-6 record and a sixth seed.
The Eagles will win three of their remaining four games and take the East with an 11-5 record and get the fourth seed.
Dallas will end up 10-6 and get the sixth seed, and the Giants will finish the year at 8-8 after losing to Philly, at Washington, and at Minnesota.
The Redskins have the Giants and Cowboys at home and are going to play spoiler for Philly.
The Vikings will win out and end up 14-2.
The Packers will win two of their remaining four games, end up 10-6, and get the fifth seed ahead of Dallas since they beat them head-to-head earlier this year.
After Sunday's miracle, it is destined to happen. The Saints are going 16-0! Their last four games are at Atlanta against a banged-up team, at home against Dallas and Tampa Bay, and on the road against Carolina.
The Falcons, who are barely breathing, will end up 8-8 and out of the running this year.
The Cardinals will wrap up the division next Monday night in San Fran, and then they will run the table, finish 12-4, and get the third seed.
AFC: (4) Jets over (5) Jaguars, (3) Bengals over (6) Chargers
NFC: (4) Philly over (5) Green Bay, (3) Arizona over (6) Dallas
AFC: (1) Colts over (4) Jets, (3) Bengals over (2) Broncos
NFC: (1) Saints over (4) Eagles, (2) Vikings over (3) Cardinals
AFC: Colts over Bengals
NFC: Saints over Vikings
Saints over Colts: The 2009 Saints will be the first undefeated team since the 1972 Dolphins. Move over Mercury, you have neighbors in Perfectville.
SB MVP: Drew Brees