Predicting the unpredictable: NFL Playoff Projections

Eli ManningI fully believe that I would have a better shot of winning the lotto, reading a woman’s mind and fully comprehending what the Coen brothers were trying to convey in “No Country for Old Men” than predicting what will happen over the final three weeks of the 2008 NFL Season but I’m going to give it a shot anyway. (Seriously, that badass character in “No Country” just walks away at the end and we have no idea what happens to him?)

Here’s what we know: The Titans are the AFC South Champions, the Giants won the NFC East and the Cardinals have already claimed the NFC West.

Now grab your Advil because this is what we don’t know:

Three teams still have a shot to win the NFC South (Buccaneers, Panthers and Falcons), as well as the AFC East (Jets, Dolphins and Patriots). Barring a complete collapse, the Broncos will win the AFC West while Steelers have a slim one-game lead over the Ravens in the AFC North and the Vikings have a one-game lead over the Bears in the NFC North.

These teams are still alive for Wild Card berths in the AFC: Ravens (9-4); Colts (9-4); Jets (8-5); Dolphins (8-5), Patriots (8-5) and Chargers (5-8). (San Diego still has a shot because Denver hasn’t closed out the AFC West, but we can pretty much write the Chargers off at this point.)

These teams are still alive for Wild Card berths in the NFC: Buccaneers (9-3); Panthers (9-3); Falcons (8-5); Cowboys (8-5); Eagles (7-5-1); Bears (7-6); Saints (7-6); Redskins (7-6); Packers (5-8). (As of this writing, the Panthers and Buccaneers still have to play on Monday night, with the winner taking a one-game lead in the NFC South.)

Now that all of that has been sorted out, it’s time for the fun to begin. I will stick my neck out for all fans to chop it off and predict the rest of the NFL season – playoffs included. Get your pen and paper ready to jot down notes. The over/under of times someone calls me a moron in the comment section has officially been set at 47.

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