We have seen 13 weeks of NFL action fly by and now it is time to launch our NFL playoff picture prediction! Before I delve into each playoff team prediction there are a few lessons to be learned from these past few weeks.
First, I believe that the fans are starting to really see what NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has been striving for; an NFL where any team has a legitimate chance to win any game.
Secondly, the Saints, Colts, and Vikings are not the untouchable god-like teams many analysts portray them as. Between these three teams, they have had ten games in which they have won by less than five points (six belonging to the Colts).
Thirdly, my dark horse team to watch out for is the Denver Broncos who play a relatively easy schedule and have a good chance at reclaiming the division lead.
Fourthly, the Dallas Cowboys will continue their tradition of collapsing in December.
Lastly, watch out for the two hottest teams playing their best football at the right time: The Philadelphia Eagles and the Green Bay Packers.
Going into week 14, the teams remaining in playoff contention are split into the two conferences by their standings.
AFC: Current Records Remaining Games
Indianapolis 12-0 DEN, @JAX, NYJ, @BUF
San Diego 9-3 @DAL, CIN, @TEN, WASH
Cincinnati 9-3 @ MIN, @SD, KC, @NYJ
New England 7-5 CAR, @BUF, JAX, @HOU
Denver 8-4 @IND, OAK, @PHI, KC
Jacksonville 7-5 MIA, IND, @NE, @CLE
Baltimore 6-6 DET, CHI, @PIT, @OAK
Miami 6-6 @JAX, @TEN, HOU, PIT
NY Jets 6-6 @TB, ATL, @IND, CIN
Pittsburgh 6-6 @CLE, GB, BAL, @MIA
New Orleans 12-0 @ATL, DAL, TB, @CAR
Minnesota 10-2 CIN, @CAR, @CHI, NYG
Arizona 8-4 @SF, @DET, STL, GB
Dallas 8-4 SD, @NO, @WASH, PHI
Philadelphia 8-4 @NYG, SF, DEN, @DAL
Green Bay 8-4 @CHI, @PIT, SEA, @ ARZ
New York Giants 7-5 PHI, @WASH, CAR, @MIN
Atlanta 6-6 NO, @NYJ, BUF, @TB
San Francisco 5-7 ARZ, @PHI, DET, @STL
Here is how I see the playoff picture panning out:
AFC: Predicted Records Reasons
Indianapolis 14-2 Too many close wins, lose NYJ and in JAX
San Diego 11-5 Hot and cold teams with losses to DAL and TEN
Cincinnati 11-5 Defense helps them win against MIN and KC
New England 10-6 Get road win in Buffalo but still lose in Houston
Denver 11-5 Have easy remaining schedule, can’t beat IND
Jacksonville 10-6 Ends Indy’s bid for 16-0 season
Baltimore 10-6 Go 4-0 but still not good enough for playoffs
NY Jets 10-6 Go 4-0 also but share Ravens futility
Miami 9-7 Can’t beat JAX to make playoffs
Pittsburgh 7-9 Can’t stop their slide and miss playoffs
New Orleans 15-1 Lose CAR with starters sitting for rest
Green Bay 12-4 Hot streak drives them to the division crown
Philadelphia 11-5 Eagles offense gets hot at the right time
Arizona 11-5 Offense not good enough for Packers defense
Minnesota 11-5 Brett Favre chokes in December
New York Giants 10-6 Can’t win big divisional home game against PHI
Dallas 9-7 Dallas chokes as usual, Tony Romo possibly cut
Atlanta 8-8 Without Matt Ryan they stand no chance
San Francisco 7-9 Offense cannot help out defense