In what looks to be a crazy ride to the playoffs, the scenario as we stand right now appears to be that whoever doesn’t win the NFC West is going to have a better record than any of the other division winners. The Niners, currently the 5th seed, and Seattle the 1 seed create a scenario where the 2nd best team in the league is the 5th seed and therefore must play an extra playoff game, as they’d be the top wildcard. Fair or not, that is the system as it stands. It may not come to pass, but it’s something to think about as the NFL debates changing the playoff structure (2 more WC teams) yet again.
Beyond the top 5 teams (Sea, NO, GB, (urk) Dal, and WC #1 SF), there is a mad scramble for the last playoff spot. Carolina has pushed their way into that spot with a 4 game winning streak. There are 6 teams with a fair to poor shot at getting that last spot. Their viability as a real contender comes into sharp focus with their trip across the country to the slimy confines of Candlestick Park next weekend. They also have NE, NO, and the surprising Jets. If they make the playoffs, they’d have earned it.
St. Louis (3-6)
Carol owns the tiebreaker with Deetroit with their win over them, but other scenarios will work themselves out as the season goes on. Detroit looks good what with their overpowering defense, and Matt Stafford playing strong. They have a huge division game with Chicago next weekend. Chicago may be hurting without Jay Cutler, but Matt Forte scored an ungodly 6 TDs yesterday but still lost to the ‘Skins. And they still have 2 games with GB, DAL, and Balt on their schedule. AZ? They are Jeckyll and Hyde-ing their way through the season. They’ve beaten Detroit, but no one else of note. They still have 3 division games, and look to fade. Philly? Another team wallowing in mediocrity. Although Nick Foles looks to have the starting QB job as of now after he dismantled the Raiders yesterday. He needs to come on strong to overcome GB, Detroit, Chicago and Dallas.
Washington and St.Louis? They would need divine intervention to get in. Although it worked for Minnesota last year. SO all these vyers for that last spot have to go through one another to get there. It looks to be a bloodbath, and it looks to be a hell of a lot of fun . . .