Wednesday, December 22, 2010

2010 NFL Week 15 Ratings, Projected Records, and Playoff Predictions and Scenarios

The week 15 ratings and rankings are now available so go to the web-site to take a look.

It is no surprise that New England is far and away #1 but interestingly Green Bay moves up to #2 with the close loss on the road.  This at the expense of Pittsburgh who drops 2 spots with their loss at home.

But what is more interesting this time of year is the season ending projections and who should make the playoffs.

In the AFC some of it is clear with the Patriots, and Kansas City set to win their divisions and the Jets to get a wildcard.  The other three spots aren't so clear.

My computer projets Baltimore and Pittsburgh to both win out and tie at 12-4 in which case Pittsburgh gets the division (division record) and Baltimore would get the second wildcard.

That then leaves the AFC South where my computer also projects a tie at 9-7 and with both teams presently having the same division record, the tie-breaker would be conference record where Jacksonville gets the nod.  However, the Colts have an extra conference game to play so they could make that tie-breaker moot if they win out or each team splits and Jacksonville loses to Houston.  Should that happen, Indianapolis would get the nod based on a better record among common opponents.

In the NFC some things are also clear with Atlanta, Philadelphia, and Chicago projected to win divisions and the Saints the first wildcard.

The other wildcard will likely come down to Green Bay and the Giants making this weekends game huge. My computer projects both teams to be at 10-6 meaning Green Bay wins that game and thus they'd get the spot.  But Green Bay has the much harder road so the Giants have a good shot even if they lose.  Tampa Bay has a shot at making it interesting but would have to win at New Orleans to do so.

The final spot in the NFC West is interesting as this weekends games for Seattle and St. Louis are almost meaningless.  Regardless of what they do, the winner of their final game at Seattle will likely decide who wins the division.  If they enter that game tied, the winner moves ahead.  If Seattle is one game ahead but loses, St. Louis wins the tie-breaker having beat them twice.  If St. Louis is one game ahead but loses, Seattle wins the tie-breaker on division record.

Unless!  If both Seattle and St. Louis lose this weekend and San Francisco wins their finale against Arizona, the 49ers could win the division if Seattle beats the Rams (division record) or if St. Louis wins (head to head).  Given that Seattle has to go on the road to a good Tampa Bay team, the 49ers almost controls their own destiny.  They just have to go on the road to St. Louis this weekend where they'll likely lose.

So that's the break down, what do you think?