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Old 12-24-2004, 01:37 AM   #1
MaddEnemy
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Default NFL Playoff Projections

Your actual results may vary

December 24th

AFC Field

AFC
No. 1 (Bye)
Pittsburgh Steelers
No. 2 (Bye)
New England Patriots
No. 3 No. 6

No. 4 No. 5


No. 1: Pittsburgh (14-2)
Remaining schedule (projected results): vs. Baltimore (W), at Buffalo (L)
Skinny: The Steelers will wrap up home-field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs this week against the Ravens. Let's hope it does them more good than in 2001, when the Patriots came into Heinz Field and beat them in the AFC title game.

No. 2: New England (14-2)
Remaining schedule: at Jets (W), San Francisco (W).
Skinny: Monday night's meltdown in Miami was so very un-Patriot-like, and it's probably going to cost them the chance to play twice at Gillette Stadium next month.

No. 3: Indianapolis (12-4)
Remaining schedule: vs. San Diego (W), at Denver (L).
The Skinny: The key game for the Colts will be date this week with visiting San Diego. Beating the Chargers will ensure the Colts wrap up the third seed and avoid the fifth-seeded Jets in the first round.

No. 4: San Diego (12-4)
Remaining schedule: at Indianapolis (L), vs. Kansas City (W).
Skinny: The good news? A playoff game in San Diego for the first time since New Year's Eve 1995. The bad news? The Jets are the only visitor to win at Qualcomm Stadium this year, in Week 2.

No. 5: N.Y. Jets (11-5)
Remaining schedule: vs. New England (L), at St. Louis (W).
Skinny: The Jets won't even get a first-round home game out of their finest season since 1998. That's what happens when you're in the same division as New England.

No. 6: Jacksonville (10-6)
Remaining schedule: vs. Houston (W), at Oakland (W).
Skinny: Who knew the Broncos' 7-6 loss at Jacksonville in Week 2 would give the Jaguars the tiebreaker they needed to claim the AFC's final wild-card slot?




NFC Field
NFC
No. 1 (Bye)
Philadelphia Eagles
No. 2 (Bye)
Atlanta Falcons
No. 3 No. 6

No. 4 No. 5


No. 1: Philadelphia (15-1)
Remaining schedule: at St. Louis (W), vs. Cincinnati (W).
Skinny: Even without Terrell Owens, the Eagles remain the class of the NFC. But everyone else got a ray of hope this week.

No. 2: Atlanta (11-5)
Remaining schedule: at New Orleans (L), at Seattle (L).
Skinny: Maybe the weakest No. 2 seed in recent memory. The Falcons don't intimidate anyone but they've gotten just enough to get it done this season.

No. 3: Minnesota (10-6)
Remaining schedule: vs. Green Bay (W), at Washington (W).
Skinny: The Vikings' narrow win at Detroit, combined with the Packers' narrow home loss against Jacksonville, changed the equation in the NFC North. Minnesota will take care of business Friday at home against Green Bay.

No. 4: Seattle (9-7)
Remaining schedule: vs. Arizona (W), vs. Atlanta (W).
Skinny: The Seahawks will win the NFL's worst division in spite of themselves. We still say they should decline the bowl bid.

No. 5: Green Bay (9-7)
Remaining schedule: at Minnesota (L), at Chicago (W).
Skinny: Last year, the Packers clinched a playoff berth when Minnesota lost on the final play of the season at Arizona. This season, they backed in with a home loss to Jacksonville. Vince Lombardi is rolling over in his grave.

No. 6: Carolina (8-8)
Remaining schedule: at Tampa Bay (W), vs. New Orleans (W).
Skinny: Even that heartbreaking loss at Atlanta on Saturday won't kill the resilient Panthers. From 1-7 to the playoffs has never been done, and it's high time.

On the outside looking in (AFC)
Buffalo (10-6)
Remaining schedule: at San Francisco (W), vs. Pittsburgh (W).
Skinny: Oh, if only the Bills were in the NFC. Buffalo will go 4-0 against NFC, but their 6-6 AFC mark will do the Bills no favors in terms of tiebreakers with Denver and Jacksonville.

Denver (10-6)
Remaining schedule: at Tennessee (W), vs. Indianapolis (W).
Skinny: That Week 2 game-deciding Quentin Griffith fumble at Jacksonville will be the difference between Denver going to the playoffs or going skiing.

Baltimore (9-7)
Remaining schedule: at Pittsburgh (L), vs. Miami (W).
Skinny: That Week 13 loss at home to Cincinnati was the death blow to the Ravens' playoff aspirations.

On the outside looking in (NFC)
New Orleans (7-9)
Remaining Schedule: vs. Atlanta (W), at Carolina (L).
Skinny: The Saints briefly mounted one of the more unlikely playoff drives, but in the end they'll miss out ... and so will head coach Jim Haslett.

Detroit (6-10):
Remaining schedule: vs. Chicago (W), at Tennessee (L).
Skinny: The Lions wouldn't be on life support if it weren't for that bungled extra-point snap Sunday against Minnesota. In the NFL, as in life, little things mean a lot.

Arizona (6-10)
Remaining Schedule: at Seattle (L), vs. Tampa Bay (W)
Skinny: The Cardinals can only look back and wonder what might have been if Josh McCown had not been yanked from the lineup for three weeks after a 4-5 start.

N.Y. Giants (6-10)
Remaining schedule: at Cincinnati (L), vs. Dallas (W).
Skinny: You can't lose five consecutive home games -- to Detroit, Chicago, Atlanta, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh -- and still harbor legitimate postseason hopes. The 5-2 start was the mirage.

St. Louis (6-10)
Remaining schedule: vs. Philadelphia (L), vs. Atlanta (L).
Skinny: It gets uglier by the week, Rams fans. After that embarrassment of quarterback riches earlier this decade, the cupboard has gotten quite bare, hasn't it?

Dallas (6-10)
Remaining schedule: vs. Washington (W), at Giants (L).
Skinny: Dallas will end up 2-4 in the NFC East, and that's too tall of a hurdle to overcome.

Tampa Bay (5-11)
Remaining schedule: vs. Carolina (L), at Arizona (L).
Skinny: Cheer up, Tampa Bay, it could be worse. You could be Oakland, which didn't even win that Super Bowl 23 months ago.

Chicago (5-11)
Remaining schedule: at Detroit (L), vs. Green Bay (L).
Skinny: All season long, the Bears have lost games we thought they'd win, and won games we thought they'd lose. With a little bit of quarterbacking, who knows where they might have wound up?

Washington (5-11)
Remaining Schedule: at Dallas (L), vs. Minnesota (L).
Skinny: That the Redskins even have a playoff scenario to consider entering Week 16 is remarkable enough. But there will be no Joe Gibbs magic in 2004.
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Old 12-24-2004, 02:11 AM   #2
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How the hell do you say we don't intimidate anyone? Were the only friggin team that can and we will beat Philly. And Just enough? Were 11-3. We could have lost more games in their and still have #2 seed locked up. I'm sorry guys but Philly isn't god's gift to the NFL. And theve lost three straight NFC championchips
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Old 12-24-2004, 03:22 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally posted by Kornbix
How the hell do you say we don't intimidate anyone? Were the only friggin team that can and we will beat Philly. And Just enough? Were 11-3. We could have lost more games in their and still have #2 seed locked up. I'm sorry guys but Philly isn't god's gift to the NFL. And theve lost three straight NFC championchips

Don't even necessarily agree that the Falcons are the only team that can beat the Eagles - and they may not even have to because if the Panthers get the 6th seed and win their wild card game they may very well beat the Eagles, with Ricky Manning Jr. getting to torment Stinkston once again. But if Green Bay beats Minnesota, the Packers clinch not only the NFC North title but the #3 seed as well; in that case, Carolina's season ends on the frozen tundra of Lambeau Field, unless the Panthers get the #5 seed, which is still quite possible.

But come March the Eagles are going to sign another wide receiver, and when they do they will have a very realistic shot at 16-0 next year with another easy schedule.

In the meantime, I'm forced to admit that this is an absolute scream!

Last edited by Anthony; 12-24-2004 at 10:01 AM.
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Old 12-24-2004, 09:54 AM   #4
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Have the Falcons still been outscored overall? Let's see...I guess not.

Sorry, Kornbix, but the Falcons gaudy record is mainly a result of the awfulness of the NFC this year. Do you think they'd be a playoff team if they were in the AFC? If so, why have they been outscored (at least until they took on the Raiders two weeks ago) by a mostly NFC schedule?
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Old 12-24-2004, 08:37 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by Anthony
Don't even necessarily agree that the Falcons are the only team that can beat the Eagles - and they may not even have to because if the Panthers get the 6th seed and win their wild card game they may very well beat the Eagles, with Ricky Manning Jr. getting to torment Stinkston once again. But if Green Bay beats Minnesota, the Packers clinch not only the NFC North title but the #3 seed as well; in that case, Carolina's season ends on the frozen tundra of Lambeau Field, unless the Panthers get the #5 seed, which is still quite possible.

But come March the Eagles are going to sign another wide receiver, and when they do they will have a very realistic shot at 16-0 next year with another easy schedule.

In the meantime, I'm forced to admit that this is an absolute scream!
Don't quite agree with your post Anthony, but that video, was funny as hell! Holy moly that was funny
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Old 12-24-2004, 08:56 PM   #6
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I know you are a Falcon fan but I just don't see how you think they will go and win the Super Bowl.

They might, just might go but the Falcons seem to just get by.

ATLANTA 34
CAROLINA 31 (OT)
Need to be better than this to beat the AFC.

ATLANTA 35
OAKLAND 10
A game they should have won and did.... as my index finger goes in circles like "they won, whippy dooo".

Atlanta 0
TAMPA BAY 27
This is just SAD, hell it is worse than sad. They should all be taken out back and shot.

ATLANTA 24
NEW ORLEANS 21
3 points Vs the Saints? For the love of God are you kidding me?

The Saints who throw games away?

ATLANTA 14
NEW YORK GIANTS 10
Didn't score in the second half and Manning started his first NFL game. I shake my head.

The Falcons would be a piss poor team in the AFC!
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Old 12-25-2004, 02:56 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by MaddEnemy
I know you are a Falcon fan but I just don't see how you think they will go and win the Super Bowl.

They might, just might go but the Falcons seem to just get by.

ATLANTA 34
CAROLINA 31 (OT)
Need to be better than this to beat the AFC.

ATLANTA 35
OAKLAND 10
A game they should have won and did.... as my index finger goes in circles like "they won, whippy dooo".

Atlanta 0
TAMPA BAY 27
This is just SAD, hell it is worse than sad. They should all be taken out back and shot.

ATLANTA 24
NEW ORLEANS 21
3 points Vs the Saints? For the love of God are you kidding me?

The Saints who throw games away?

ATLANTA 14
NEW YORK GIANTS 10
Didn't score in the second half and Manning started his first NFL game. I shake my head.

The Falcons would be a piss poor team in the AFC!
Our games against AFC oppenets:
San Diego WON 21-20 A close game against an opponet who is also 11-3. We also came back to win this one.
Kansas City Lost 56-10 This was an embarrassment but to out credit it was in KC, we didn't have a big run stooper in Coleman and Cory Hall our safety was out.
Denver WON 41-28 A big win coming off the KC team against a worthy oppent in Denver and the game was in Denver.
Oakland WON 35-10 We did what were supposed to do. The Raiders aren't a bad team. they have had some quality wins.

3-1 against the AFC. I think we would match up well against the AFC. We probably wouldn't go 11-3, but we would defintley be a playoff team.
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Old 12-25-2004, 05:49 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by Kornbix
Our games against AFC oppenets:
San Diego WON 21-20 A close game against an opponet who is also 11-3. We also came back to win this one.
Kansas City Lost 56-10 This was an embarrassment but to out credit it was in KC, we didn't have a big run stooper in Coleman and Cory Hall our safety was out.
Denver WON 41-28 A big win coming off the KC team against a worthy oppent in Denver and the game was in Denver.
Oakland WON 35-10 We did what were supposed to do. The Raiders aren't a bad team. they have had some quality wins.

3-1 against the AFC. I think we would match up well against the AFC. We probably wouldn't go 11-3, but we would defintley be a playoff team.
Friendly bet,

If the Falcons make it I will bet you whatever AFC team they play, the Falcons will loose
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Old 12-25-2004, 10:21 PM   #9
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You might want to amend your predictions now that the Vikings choked once again against the Packers (what was that, FSUVikings? ).
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Old 12-26-2004, 12:28 AM   #10
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Your actual results may vary
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Old 12-28-2004, 07:59 PM   #11
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Default Playoff spots may not be set yet, but we already know the real favorites

AFC
1. New England (13-2) -- Postseason experience can be overrated (see Eagles in NFC title games). But as long as you don't overly rely on it, it's a great thing to have in your hip pocket come the pressure-cooker that is January in the NFL. Simply put, nobody in recent years has been better at delivering the goods in the playoffs than the Bill Belichick-led Patriots. They're on a six-game winning streak in the postseason, capturing Super Bowls in 2001 and 2003.

Other than its two neutral-site Super Bowl appearances, only one of New England's six recent playoff wins have come on the road. Want to hazard a guess as to where that occurred? Yep, Pittsburgh's Heinz Field, in the 2001 AFC Championship Game. Will that matter if it comes down to a rematch in Pittsburgh in this year's title game? I guarantee you it'll be on the minds of the more veteran Steelers players and coaches, even if Pittsburgh did dominate the Patriots 34-20 at Heinz Field in Week 8.

From the looks of how they dismantled the Jets on Sunday, the Patriots used that upset loss at Miami last week as the perfect wake-up call. Didn't you just know Belichick would find the silver lining in that costly defeat? New England's players are fiercely proud of the success they've had in three of the past four seasons, and for my money, there's nobody more dangerous in the playoff field. The Patriots have been there, done that. And that does count for something at this time of year.

2. Pittsburgh (14-1) -- For as much mojo as the Steelers have had all season, they have a lot of healing to do on the injury front if they're going to be at full strength for the postseason, True, they have time to get healthy. They won't play a meaningful game for almost three weeks -- in the Jan. 15-16 divisional round.

But the list of banged-up Steelers now includes quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (bruised ribs/sternum), linebacker Clark Haggans (groin), running back Duce Staley (hamstring), linebacker Kendrell Bell (groin), cornerback Chad Scott (hamstring) and cornerback Deshea Townsend (broken hand). And receiver Plaxico Burress just returned Sunday from missing four games with a hamstring pull.

One other set of numbers would also trouble me if I were a Pittsburgh partisan: Head coach Bill Cowher's postseason record. Despite having won eight division titles in his 13 years on the job, Cowher's teams have made it to just one Super Bowl, with a glaring 1-3 record at home in the AFC title game. Advantage Patriots.

3. Indianapolis (12-3) -- The Colts did themselves a real favor by locking up the No. 3 seed with that comeback victory against San Diego on Sunday. Because now their likely first-round opponent at home will be No. 6 seed Denver, the team they destroyed in last year's opening round at the RCA Dome. If the Chargers had held on to claim the No. 3 seed, the No. 4 Colts probably would have drawn the tougher, more physical fifth-seeded Jets in the first round, who they do not match up all that well with. Remember that 41-0 throttling that Herman Edwards' team put on the visiting Colts in the playoffs two years ago?

Indianapolis' playoff chances revolve around the same old topic: Do the Colts have enough offensive firepower to overcome their defensive deficiencies? When Indy's offense clicks like it did in overcoming a 31-16 fourth-quarter deficit on Sunday against the Chargers, you convince yourself that the answer is yes. But then you consider those 31 points that the Colts gave up to San Diego and all the familiar questions arise. Could Indy survive giving up 31 at either New England or Pittsburgh? Not likely.

4. San Diego (11-4) -- Having their eight-game winning streak snapped is one thing. But seeing it end thanks to a fourth-quarter defensive meltdown at Indianapolis has to be more than a bit troubling to the Chargers. Now they need a pretty good defensive showing Sunday against the high-powered and red-hot Chiefs in order to re-establish some momentum going into the playoffs.

No matter how impressive San Diego has been, with Drew Brees' heroics, and a defense that largely has made the plays when it had to, it's difficult to view the Chargers as anything but the conference's fourth-best team. And while we're underlining Cowher's poor playoff track record in Pittsburgh, it wouldn't be fair to overlook Chargers head coach Marty Schottenheimer's history of underachievement in January. Would it, Chiefs fans?

You have to like San Diego's odds of beating the visiting Jets in the first round -- even though New York is the only roadie to win at Qualcomm Stadium this season -- but then things will get very difficult if the road leads to either New England or Pittsburgh in the divisional round.

5. Denver (9-6) -- First off, we're projecting a Broncos win at home this week against the Colts, who by all rights should be resting plenty of regulars given that Indy is locked into the No. 3 seed. That will give Denver the No. 6 seed and the AFC's final playoff berth (sadly, denying a Buffalo team that's playing as well anyone in the league). But we're awarding the Broncos the fifth seed, based strictly on them being a much bigger offensive threat in the postseason than the Jets, whom we expect to earn the No. 5 slot with a win at St. Louis this week.

Just when you start to give up on Denver and quarterback Jake Plummer, the Broncos do something to restore a semblance of confidence in them. Like that impressive 37-16 win at the banged-up Titans on Saturday night. For the second year in a row, the Broncos are going to have just enough to get there, and not nearly enough to make an impact once they do.

6. New York Jets (10-5) -- Sorry, Jets fans, but your 10-win season (and it should be an 11-5 finish and a No. 5 seed after a trip to stumbling St. Louis) is mostly a byproduct of a softer-than-soft schedule. New York has beaten the teams it was supposed to beat, but its only two wins against clubs with winning records at the time were in Week 2 at San Diego and Week 15 at home against the so-so Seahawks.

No matter what Chad Pennington thinks, the Jets haven't been able to stack up with the big boys in the AFC, and come playoff time, that's a deadly Achilles' heel to have. Because other than this year's NFC field, the playoff field generally features winning teams. After watching the Jets fail to handle the Steelers or Patriots in the regular season, what's to convince us the outcome will be different in the playoffs?

NFC
1. Philadelphia (13-1) -- The Terrell Owens injury sent the city of Brotherly Love into a state of fear and loathing. But at last report, the sky hasn't fallen in southeastern Pennsylvania just yet. You just knew Andy Reid's guys were making it look too easy for most of this season, so obviously the football gods decided to even up the odds a bit and sideline Philly's No. 1 playmaker. Tough break, but hey, it's a tough game.

The Owens injury negates the Eagles' biggest improvement this season -- the addition of an honest-to-goodness vertical passing game. But as I've already pointed out once in the past week, Philly has won all 11 of its NFC games so far this season by an average of almost 17 points per game. Owens was good, but he wasn't worth 17 points a game. The Eagles still have enough to get the job done, if they don't falter under their overwhelming favorite's role.

2. Carolina (7-8) -- Yeah, we realize how bizarre it looks to have a team with a sub-.500 record in the No. 2 slot. But what could be more bizarre than life in the NFC this season, where a team that starts the season 1-7 with a plague of injuries winds up probably playing for a playoff berth in Week 17 at home? With six wins in their last seven games, and the kind of team-first, all-for-one mentality that usually only shows up in New England and Hollywood movie scripts, the Panthers are playing as well as anyone in the conference.

The scenario will be simple for the Panthers if the Jets can beat the Rams in St. Louis on Sunday: A Carolina victory over visiting New Orleans and John Fox's team is back in the Super Bowl tournament -- the most improbable return from the dead since the Red Sox-Yankees ALCS. The Saints (7-8) would go, however, if the Jets win and then Carolina falls prey to a New Orleans upset.

I know this much: A Panthers at Eagles NFC title game rematch is a game we'd love to see. If tough and tenacious Carolina is the team blocking its path, Philadelphia would really have to earn that long-awaited Super Bowl berth.

3. Green Bay (9-6) -- The Packers are the Broncos of the NFC. Talented enough to beat anyone, inconsistent enough to lose to anyone. You have to admit, even the Brett Favre-Jake Plummer comparison holds up rather nicely. Both are masters of the comeback and the key interception. They keep both teams in every game.

Why Green Bay over the more highly regarded Falcons? Just a hunch. And their advantage in postseason experience induces me to give the Packers the slight edge. But in truth, Green Bay has become as perplexing as almost any other NFC team this season. The Packers lose four home games and still win the division for a third consecutive year? Go figure.

4. Atlanta (11-4) -- I know they rested Michael Vick in the loss at New Orleans, and it was probably for all the right reasons. But the Falcons just look to me like a team that has been on cruise control for a little too long, and won't have that edge it needs to make a deep postseason run. Then again, with a bye and a first-round home game, one win and Atlanta's in the NFC title game, so maybe we're over-thinking things.

It's just that the Falcons really didn't seem like they deserved to win last week at home against Carolina, and then lost to the Saints. If they rest folks again in what for them is a meaningless affair at Seattle this week, the Falcons will have gone four weeks between big games. The lack of competition in the NFC South this season could actually come back to haunt Atlanta.

5. Minnesota (8-7) -- Speaking of enigmas, we give you those always entertaining Vikings. Time was, Minnesota didn't lose a key late-season game at the Metrodome until January, but by then it had always at least made the playoffs. The Vikings can back into a wild-card berth with a Rams loss on Sunday, but the only thing that seems to be lingering is the sting of that fourth-quarter meltdown against visiting Green Bay on Christmas Eve. And you can't blame this one on Nathan Poole, hornheads.

When you think about it, Seattle has to be wondering how it ends up seeded behind the Vikings in our little version of the NFL playoffs. Little more than two weeks ago, the Seahawks went into the Metrodome and upset Minnesota 27-23, thanks to that ill-fated Randy Moss interception on a receiver-option play. Truth is, like Scott Linehan's play-calling that day, we really can't explain it either.

6. Seattle (8-7) -- If the Seahawks can knock off the coasting Falcons at home on Sunday, they'll end up as the NFC West champs at 9-7, just one of many teams to claim a division title with that mediocre record. But that won't really tell the whole story, will it? Because we'll all know just how close the NFC West came to being the first division ever won by a losing team. You have to admit, Seattle, St. Louis or Arizona at 7-9 would have been a hoot.

Though the division crown would earn them the No. 4 seed, in our world, the Seahawks would be sixth-seeded and headed back to No. 3 Green Bay for a first-round playoff game. That's OK by us, because those two teams played a doozy last January, with the Packers winning in overtime on an Al Harris interception return of an errant Matt Hasselbeck pass. We could do worse.
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Old 12-29-2004, 01:31 AM   #12
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How do you put the Panthers AND Packers ahead of us? We beat the Panther 2 times bud and I'm sorry we ain't gonna lose to no sorry ass Packers D.
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Old 12-29-2004, 03:27 AM   #13
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The Panthers better hope that Minnesota loses at Washington this Sunday (and the Redskins figure to be without several starters including Clinton Portis), because otherwise even if they do get in they would be the sixth seed, and that means "lights out" on the frozen tundra of Lambeau Field.
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Old 12-29-2004, 03:49 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by Kornbix
How the hell do you say we don't intimidate anyone? Were the only friggin team that can and we will beat Philly.
Do you seriously believe that? Do you really think that Atlanta is going to go to Philly and deny them a Super Bowl trip yet again? Promise me you'll fess up to your mistake when this is proven wrong...
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Old 12-29-2004, 01:01 PM   #15
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Atlanta is not as good as some think.

When Atlanta gets beat I hope thoes people will come back here and admit they didn't know what they were talking about. Atlanta will not win the Super Bowl if they even get there.

Last edited by MaddEnemy; 12-29-2004 at 01:20 PM.
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