One week after the NFL media at large was ready to hand over the Vince Lombardi Trophy to the New England Patriots, a whole lot changed in 24 hours.
While the Texans and Falcons are still atop their respective conferences, movement abounds beneath them.
#1 – Houston Texans (AFC South champion, bye)
#2 – Denver Broncos (AFC West champion, bye)
#3 – New England Patriots (AFC East champion)
#4 – Baltimore Ravens (AFC North champion)
#5 – Indianapolis Colts (Wild Card)
#6 – Cincinnati Bengals (Wild Card)
#1 – Atlanta Falcons (NFC South champion, bye)
#2 – San Francisco 49ers (NFC West champion, bye)
#3 – Green Bay Packers (NFC North champion)
#4 – Washington Redskins (NFC East champion)
#5 – Seattle Seahawks (Wild Card)
#6 – Minnesota Vikings (Wild Card)
PROPOSED, FICTIONAL TV SCHEDULE
SATURDAY, JANUARY 5 @ 4:30PM – #5 Seattle Seahawks at #4 Washington Redskins (NBC)*
SATURDAY, JANUARY 5 @ 8:00PM – #5 Indianapolis Colts at #4 Baltimore Ravens (NBC)
SUNDAY, JANUARY 6 @ 1:00PM – #6 Cincinnati Bengals at #3 New England Patriots (CBS)
SUNDAY, JANUARY 6 @ 4:30PM – #6 Minnesota Vikings at #3 Green Bay Packers (FOX)
*Also known as the “Brad Nessler Game.”
DIVISIONAL PLAYOFF ROUND:
SATURDAY, JANUARY 12 @ 4:30PM – BALT/IND/CIN at #1 Houston (CBS)
SATURDAY, JANUARY 12 @ 8PM – GB/WASH/SEA at #2 San Francisco (FOX)
SUNDAY, JANUARY 13 @ 1PM – WASH/SEA/MIN at #1 Atlanta (FOX)
SUNDAY, JANUARY 13 @ 4:30PM – NE/BALT/IND at #2 Denver (CBS)
While Baltimore is in the midst of a total meltdown, they will still likely claim the AFC North; and as a result, the top five seeds will not likely change.
Week 16’s Cincinnati/Pittsburgh contest will go a long way in deciding the AFC’s final playoff spot.
The big news out of the AFC after Week 15 revolves around Denver and New England. The Patriots’ loss to San Francisco means New England drops to the third seed and out a bye position. Most importantly, should the Broncos and Patriots meet in round two, it will be in Denver and not Foxborough.
The NFC is far less stable. While Atlanta will likely grab a number one seed, the 49ers still have some work to do to wrap up the West. They’ll have to go through Seattle next Sunday night to do it.
The NFC East is the colossal mess at the moment. Washington and Dallas control their own destiny for the division crown and will play in Week 17. Meanwhile, the Giants are ninth in the NFC and in desperate need of some help.
Indeed, we could be staring at a postseason with RG3, Andrew Luck, and Russell Wilson doing their thing.
Categories: nfl playoffs