Guys and gals,

The NFL playoff picture went from a mess to just merely partly cloudy after another day of wild football and now pretty much every team with playoff aspirations knows what they must do in Week 17 to get in.

In the NFC, almost everything is set.

The Giants are the 1-seed after giving the Panthers a dose of their own medicine by running up and down their defense to an overtime win.

With that loss, a lot of things are unclear beyond that.

The Panthers hold the inside track to be the No. 2 seed and it will be either them or the Falcons who will hold that slot.

With a win in Week 17 OR a Falcons loss, the Panthers will be the No. 2 seed.

Whoever out of those two teams that is NOT the NFC South Champion will be the No. 5 seed and will be the highest seeded wildcard team.

The No. 3 seed will likely be the winner of the NFC North, which Minnesota has a one-game lead over Chicago in. For the Bears to have a chance, they must win tonight, next Sunday and hope for a Vikings loss next weekend against the Giants, which is unlikely considering the Giants will be resting their starters.

If the NFC North Champion is indeed the 3-seed, then the Arizona Cardinals will be the No. 4 seed. The Cardinals have clinched their division title and have imploded since and will in this man’s eyes be an easy one-and-done come postseason.

The race for the 6th spot is a lot more difficult.

The Cowboys have the easiest path. If they beat the Eagles Sunday, they’re in. If they don’t and Tampa wins, Tampa is in. If Dallas and Tampa lose, but Chicago wins, they get the final spot. And if all three of those teams lose, Philadelphia gets in.

But for now, it’s:

1. Giants

2. Panthers

3. Vikings

4. Cardinals

5. Falcons

6. Cowboys

TEAMS IN THE HUNT:

Tampa, Chicago and Philly

The AFC is so much simpler.

The Titans are the No. 1 seed after beating the Steelers in a winner-take-all game.

With their loss, the Steelers are the 2-seed.

The 4-seed will be the winner of Sunday’s game between the Chargers and the Broncos, who will play a winner-take-all game for the AFC West title with the loser of that game being eliminated.

The 5-seed is the Colts who will be the highest Wildcard.

The 3 and 6 seeds (who will coincidentally play one another in round 1) is where it becomes a mess.

The 3 seed will be the winner of the AFC East.

Three teams are still alive for that honor with Miami and New England holding 10-5 records and the Jets having a 9-6 mark. If the Dolphins win, they own the Division title. But if both the Dolphins and Pats lose, the Jets would win the division.

For the final wildcard spot, the Ravens control their own fate and would be in the playoffs with a win. If they do not win, then the highest placed non-division winner in the AFC East would be the 6-seed.

Confusing enough?

🙂

It’s really not as bad as it looks. Just go to one of the pros if you have more questions. They can probably explain it better than I can. 🙂

______________________________

The LSU men’s basketball team took a little hit in the armor yesterday afternoon when they were defeated by Texas A&M in the Toyota Center.

The troubling thing is not that LSU lost. Neither you nor I expected the undefeated season. But it’s that they lost to a team who just outworked them. Texas A&M was more aggressive and took the ball right at LSU and got into the paint and drew free throws, while LSU was busy shooting contested jumpers.

With all those things being said, the Tigers still only lost by 11 in a virtual road game, so all is not lost.

I think everyone knew this season would be a work in progress and as you all know, it matters not how good you are not — but rather it’s how good you are 10 weeks from now that is most important, so let’s judge Trent Johnson’s first season by how the team is playing then and not now.

_______________________________

The Peach Bowl (sorry, I’m old school) is about a week and a half away and LSU seems to be in pretty good health.

A lot has been made about the NFL Draft around the country and who will or won’t be going pro and a few LSU players filed papers with the NFL Advisory Committee last week.

Let me clear up a few things that are misunderstood a lot by fans.

Hundreds upon  hundreds of players do this each year and then return to school.

This is just a common-place procedure that is done to prevent kids from leaving early and damaging their careers.

If the NBA had a similar process, maybe less kids who leave after their freshmen year of college would be life-long bench warmers.

So with that being said, here are the odds I think the three LSU paper champions will leave.

Brandon LaFell – LaFell has the most difficult decision of all the three LSU players with decisions to make. On one hand, LaFell conquered his only weakness — his hands — and emerged as LSU’s best receiver in a draft class that is very thin at receiver. On the other hand, how much better could LaFell’s numbers be with a more steady QB behind center?

CHANCES HE STAYS: 50%

Charles Scott – Scott had a very fine beginning to his season and had some people saying the magic “H” word through 3-4 games. But let’s be real: Keiland Williams was LSU’s best halfback in the second half of 2008. Scott has to prove he can do it with the bulls-eye on him and prove he can do it for an entire season.

CHANCES HE STAYS: 85%

Ciron Black – Black has the skill set to make a roster now, no doubt. But he also has plenty of things he could be better at — like technique and footwork on his run-blocking. Where would you rather work on those minor things? In college where you can do so and still dominate? Or in the NFL, where you can do so, while getting pushed around? Black will most likely make the “smart” decision.

CHANCES HE STAYS: 75%

______________________________

That’s all for me. Enjoy your week!

Advertisements