NFL Playoff Predictions: Locking in Wild Card Teams from Both Conferences

Richard LangfordCorrespondent IDecember 11, 2011

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - DECEMBER 11:  Shonn Greene #23 of the New York Jets scores a touchdown infront of Reshard Langford #48 of the Kansas City Chiefs at MetLife Stadium on December 11, 2011 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
Chris Trotman/Getty Images

If you don't want to whip out the calculators, charts and graphs to determine playoff scenarios, just read on because here are all the answers you need.


NFC Wild Card Contenders

Atlanta Falcons 8-5

Detroit Lions 8-5

Chicago Bears 7-6

New York Giants 6-6


NFC Wild Card No. 1: Atlanta Falcons

The Falcons have two very winnable games left against the Jaguars and Buccaneers. That will take them to 10 wins and all but guarantee them a wild-card spot. Caleb Hanie is not going to lead the Bears to three straight wins.

This will also be more than enough to get slot them ahead of the Lions, who have a far tougher schedule.

NFC Wild Card No. 2: Detroit Lions

The Lions final three games are at Raiders, vs. Chargers and at Packers. They are going to go 1-2 in this stretch. That will leave them vulnerable to be passed, but that's not going to happen. 

The Bears have two very winnable games left against the Seahawks and Vikings with the Packers sandwiched in between. If the Bears were healthy, a 2-1 finish would be expected. However, they aren't, and they will be lucky to get one win.

Meanwhile, the Giants have two huge games with the Cowboys left and the Redskins and Jets in between the Cowboys games. To force a tie with the they would have to win three of those.

The Giants have lost four straight and they aren't going to stop that skid to win three of their last four.


AFC Wild Card Contenders

Pittsburgh Steelers 10-3

New York Jets 8-5

Tennessee Titans 7-6

Oakland Raiders 7-6

Cincinnati Bengals 7-6


AFC Wild Card No. 1: Pittsburgh Steelers

The only way the Steelers don't get this spot is if they pass the Ravens. In that case, this will go to the Ravens. This spot is that simple.

The next one is not.

AFC Wild Card No. 2: New York Jets 

The Jets finish at Eagles, vs. Giants and at Dolphins. They will win two of those. And no other team will be able to catch them.

The Titans finish at Colts, vs. Jaguars and at Texans. They will win their next two no matter who the QB is, but then lose to a Texans team that destroyed them earlier in the year.

The Bengals finish at Rams, vs. Cardinals and at Ravens. The Bengals will win easy next week and use that to pull out a scrappy win against the Cards, and then lose to the Ravens.

The Raiders finish vs. Lions, at Chiefs and vs. Chargers.

Oakland is falling apart. They will not be able to win three in a row, as they will either lose to the Lions next week or stumble against the resurgent Chargers.