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Old 12-21-2004, 07:57 AM   #1
Anthony
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Exclamation Time Change Impacts NFC Playoff Picture

This Sunday's Carolina at Tampa Bay game was originally slated to kick off at 1:00 PM EST, but has been pushed back to a 4:15 PM EST kickoff - a move that has massive ramifications so far as the muddled NFC playoff race is concerned.

Another game of interest is the one in which the Falcons, who are already locked into the #2 seed in the conference and thus have absolutely nothing to play for, visit the Saints in a game that starts at 1:00 PM. Should the Saints win - and they actually opened as 2-point favorites to do so - the Giants and Lions are immediately eliminated from playoff contention even if they win their respective games that will be going on at the same time; and most significantly of all, the Buccaneers will be eliminated before their game against Carolina has even started, or perhaps a few minutes after it has gotten under way.

The point is, if the Bucs are out of it, Jon Gruden might make a number of lineup changes - most notably at quarterback where he may go with Chris Simms instead of Brian Griese - and this could make it a lot easier for the Panthers to win; and if New Orleans and Carolina both win, every team that is 5-9 going into this week is mathematically eliminated from the wild card race (because both the Saints and Panthers would then be 7-8 and they play each other at Carolina on January 2), although the Cardinals could still actually win the NFC West if they win both of their remaining games and both the Seahawks and Rams lose out.

So this time change doesn't seem fair.

Last edited by Anthony; 12-21-2004 at 08:19 AM.
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