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SanAntonioSteelerFan
01-02-2010, 07:22 PM
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http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/03/sport ... s.html?hpw (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/03/sports/football/03playoffs.html?hpw)


The New York Times
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January 3, 2010
What Will It Take to Make A.F.C. Playoffs? Start With a Calculator
By JUDY BATTISTA

There is such a divide between the best and the worst in the National Football Conference that every playoff spot is clinched going into the final weekend and teams are playing only for seeding. In the American Football Conference, seven teams are alive for the two wild-card spots. If you can figure out these possibilities without help, youíre better than us and youíre probably a mathematician. Here is what it takes for each team and how Sunday might unfold. Take a few aspirin before you dive in.

A.F.C.

The Colts and the Chargers have already claimed home-field advantage and a first-round bye. You donít have to like the Coltsí strategy down the stretch, but we wonít know how it works out for two weeks. For the Chargers, will the bye week cool off the hottest team entering the playoffs?

Patriots at Texans, 1 p.m.

The Patriots are the likely No. 3 seed, even if they end up with the same record as the Bengals. Will Bill Belichick rest his starters? He didnít in 2007, but thereís no perfect season on the line now. Given how poorly the Texans held a lead against the Dolphins last week, Gary Kubiak should hope Belichick morphs into Jim Caldwell.

The Texans get a wild-card berth with:

1. A win + Jets loss or tie + Baltimore loss or tie

2. A win + Jets loss or tie + Denver loss or tie

3. A win + Baltimore loss or tie + Denver loss or tie

Steelers at Dolphins, 1 p.M.

Pittsburgh has to beat Miami and hope for some unlikely help. Possibility No. 2 looks like the best bet.

The Steelers get a wild-card berth with:

1. A win + Houston loss or tie + Jets loss or tie

2. A win + Houston loss or tie + Baltimore loss or tie

3. A win + Jets loss or tie + Baltimore loss or tie + Denver loss or tie

The Dolphins have one shot in. Good luck with that.

1. A win + Jets loss + Baltimore loss + Houston loss + Jacksonville loss or tie

Jaguars at Browns, 1 p.m.

Do the Jaguars, after an awful loss to the Patriots last week, even think they deserve a trip to the playoffs? They wonít need to worry because these requirements are virtually impossible. Even a Jaguars victory over the revived Browns isnít assured.

The Jaguars get a wild-card berth with:

1. A win + Pittsburgh loss + Baltimore loss + Denver loss + Houston loss

2. A win + Pittsburgh loss + Baltimore loss + Denver loss + Jets loss

3. A win + Pittsburgh loss + Baltimore loss + Houston loss + Jets loss

4. A win + Pittsburgh loss + Denver loss + Houston loss + Jets loss

5. A win + Jets loss + Denver loss + Houston loss + Baltimore loss

Ravens at Raiders, 4:15 p.m.

Beat Oakland on the road and Baltimore is in. It would be a dicier proposition if Bruce Gradkowski were healthy for the Raiders.

Chiefs at Broncos, 4:15 p.m.

Lots of possibilities give the Broncos hope, but they will know by game time whether they have a chance to make the playoffs even if they donít beat the Chiefs.

The Broncos get a wild-card berth with:

1. A win + Jets loss or tie + Baltimore loss or tie

2. A win + Jets loss or tie + Pittsburgh loss or tie

3. A win + Jets loss or tie + Houston win

4. A win + Baltimore loss or tie + Pittsburgh loss or tie

5. A win + Baltimore loss or tie + Houston win

6. Pittsburgh loss + Baltimore loss + Houston loss + Jacksonville loss or tie

7. Pittsburgh loss + Baltimore loss + Houston loss + Jets loss

8. Pittsburgh loss + Baltimore loss + Jacksonville loss or tie + Jets loss

9. Pittsburgh loss + Houston loss + Jacksonville loss or tie + Jets loss

10. Jets loss + Baltimore loss + Houston loss + Jacksonville loss or tie

Bengals at Jets, 8:30 p.M.

The Jets have the easiest way in of all wild-card contenders: beat a Bengals team with little at stake. Two gifts in a row? The Jets will take them. The Bengals are probably the fourth seed, but could take the third seed with a victory and a Patriots loss earlier in the day. The biggest question facing them is how long to play their starters, especially because the teams could play again in the wild-card round.

N.F.C.

The Saints may be fading, but the Vikingsí implosion means they have home-field advantage and a bye week to cure their ills. But the rest of the seeds are up for grabs.

Giants at Vikings, 1 p.m.

If you have a 40-year-old quarterback, wouldnít you like a bye week? The loss to the Bears on Monday night imperiled that. The key question for the Vikings: how much pride will the Giants be playing for?

The Vikings get the No. 2 seed and a first-round bye with:

1. A win + Philadelphia loss or tie

2. A tie + Philadelphia loss

Packers at Cardinals, 4:15 p.m.

With the Vikings reeling and the Eagles on the road, a first-round bye for the Cardinals is not out of the question, but it may hinge on who rests more of their starters: the Cardinals or the Packers? Green Bay will be the fifth or sixth seed.

The Cardinals get the No. 2 seed and a first-round bye with:

1. A win + Minnesota loss + Philadelphia loss

Eagles at Cowboys, 4:15 p.m.

Itís pretty straightforward for the Eagles: beat the Cowboys and win the N.F.C. East, getting a first-round bye. Philadelphia could also get the No. 2 seed if it ties Dallas or the Vikings lose or tie. If the Cowboys want to put the December doldrums to rest for good, they can beat the Eagles in the finale, and win the division. Then if the Vikings lose and the Cardinals lose or tie, the Cowboys get the first-round bye, too.
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papillon
01-03-2010, 10:09 AM
Does anyone know who's in if the following happens:

Steelers lose - 8-8
Miami wins - 8-8
Texans lose - 8-8
Jets lose - 8-8
Ravens lose - 8-8
Denver loses - 8-8
Jax wins - 8-8

:stirpot :P

Pappy

fordfixer
01-03-2010, 10:17 AM
Does anyone know who's in if the following happens:

Steelers lose - 8-8
Miami wins - 8-8
Texans lose - 8-8
Jets lose - 8-8
Ravens lose - 8-8
Denver loses - 8-8
Jax wins - 8-8

:stirpot :P

Pappy
I don't know who's in but I'm pretty sure it's not the Steelers :(