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SBN Playoff Preview!

Well, we did it again, the SBN football contingency has been having a little debate, discussion, or whatever you want to call it, about the status of the playoffs, now just about four weeks away. I must admit to surprise at the civility.

Anyway, the reason we're posting these notes from SBN's own version of the square table - oh, if only we could get Burt Reynolds - is to bring the discussion to the people that really matter, the members of the SBN community. I'll kick it off by presenting an initial round of opinions from the SBN bloggers in the interest of getting a good discussion going. Also, we'll leave this post somewhat open-ended so that the discussion can continue; be sure to check back for updates.

So, with all the anticipation of a Vikings player cruise, let's jump right in!

If you look at the standings, one thing you'll notice is the relatively secure position of the division leaders across the AFC and the mighty NFC as well. Kirkendall from Cincy Jungle points out:

It looks like the division leaders will take their respective titles. If you look at the standings, each division leader is up by at least two games.

I didn't happen to see one opinion that differed from that, and barring collapse, things should shake out that way. But in case there was a collapse - perhaps from a key injury - who could it be? If Drew Brees got hurt, I'd have to think that the Saints would be sunk, and it might allow Atlanta, providing they ever got their, um, stuff, together. Cincinnati's hot right now, and Baltimore gets my pick for the most likely to falter down the stretch...granted it's a miniscule chance.

The Wild Card spots are where things get interesting. In the AFC, the Jets are getting votes for a Wild Card spot. Note, that's not a misprint, the Jets. I should note that nobody foresaw the Wild Card team doing much with the opportunity. Dave from the Falcoholic explains the fate of two AFC WCs:

I think the Jags will hang in there to make the
playoffs and then promptly get bounced in the first
round. Same story with the Jets, really.

River City Rage from SBN's Jaguars site, Big Cat Country, lets a little cynicism shine through, based on the Jags erratic results this season.

Let's be frank about the Jags...they are the "floater" of the league.  The rise to good teams and sink to bad ones.  They have four games left (Indy, New England, Titans and Chiefs) and will somehow beat Indy and the Pats but drop the ball with the Titans and back out of the playoff race...

C'est la vie

Jimmy from Music City Miracles, SBN's Titans site, has the Jets and the Donkeys (Broncos) as the AFC WCs. Rookie QB be damned!

Gonzo from the Daily Norsemen likes the Chiefs and the Jets.

In the NFC, the Wild Card doesn't draw quite as much consensus. Anyone out there still like the Rams for one of those spots? Yeah, it's a tough position to maintain.

The Eagles do seem to get the most votes though.

Here's how the Falcoholic see it:

The Eagles
will get rolling and slide in by benefit of a really
weak NFC and may surprise someone in the first round.
The Falcons will stumble in and get pasted in the
first round by any team they go up against.

Another SBNer has the Eagles and the Giants, yep, the Giants.

Redskins blogger Will from Hogs Heaven, portends an NFC Wild Card battle partly based on his own team's shortcomings...oh ye of little faith!

I like that in the NFC, the East is currently in control of both the wild cards. As the Giants and Eagles both face the Redskins at FedEx field, they clearly will both finish with at least 7 losses. The Eagles have 3 road games on their schedule, including the Giants at the Meadowlands. I view that as the determining game for at least one of the playoffs spots, likely going to the Giants because of the home field thing. Jeff Garcia could surprise.

The other spot goes to Atlanta because they have a winnable road game against Tampa and they already have the tie breaker over Carolina (where they won on the road).

The Falcons get another vote from Cincy Jungle's editor, too.

In terms of the championship...let's save that until tomorrow. Jump in below.