Sunday, November 30, 2008

Updated NFC playoff picture

So after today's results, this is how the NFC playoff picture would look if the season ended today instead of 4 weeks from now:

1. NY Giants (11-1, homefield advantage throughout playoffs)
2. Tampa Bay (9-3, wins tiebreaker with Carolina due to head-to-head victory)
3. Minnesota (7-5, has better conference record than Arizona)
4. Arizona (7-5, plays Minnesota Dec.14 in game that may determine some seeding)
5. Carolina (9-3, would have no home playoff games in this scenario)
6. Atlanta (8-4, edges Dallas -- also 8-4 -- with better NFC winning pct. at moment for the second wild-card spot -- .625 to .600)

First-round matchups: Carolina at Arizona (the Panthers edged the Cardinals at home this season); Atlanta at Minnesota. The Giants and Tampa Bay would have a first-round bye.

This makes me realize even more how important the Monday night, Dec.8 game in Charlotte is for Tampa Bay and Carolina. If the Panthers win on MNF, they suddenly vault into that No.2 spot -- at least temporarily.

If they lose to Tampa again, though, that's basically like being 2 games down with 3 to play -- Tampa Bay's going to win the NFC South at that point barring a total collapse, and Carolina will be mostly playing for a wild card.


Daniel said...

Wouldn't that scenario make the NFC South look like the strongest division in the NFL? While the media continues to proclaim the NFC east as the mightiest, the South has a superb blend of show-casing talent that trickles down even to the worst team (N.O. currently).

John said...

The NFC South is clearly the strongest division, especially when playing at home, they are a combined 22-2 when playing at home.

Isn't it so nice not having to have that old "why can't we win at home?" discussion this season?

John said...

Speaking of the home records, with the NFC South being a combined 22-2 at home this season. Note that of the four teams, only Carolina has two home games remaining out of the final three games.

IF, all NFC South teams win their remaining home games, Carolina could lose their road game against the Giants and would still win the division.

Why? Because Carolina has one more home game than Tampa and Atlanta and because both Tampa has two road games against the NFC South, at Carolina, and at Atlanta.

Purely speculative, but fun!

Rob Mc said...

It's still too early to talk about playoff scenarios. With four games to go, there are too many things that can happen.

One thing for sure - win against TB Monday and Panthers control their own destiny.

SmartestBloggerEver said...

John there are not 3 games left, but four and if you are talking about the final 3, Carolina plays Denver at home and the the Giants and Saints on the road. So that is only one game at home and not two.

Emmanuel said...

Who do you think Keyshawn will pick in the Pregame show:Carolina or Tampa? Played for both, had issues with bet is Carolina.

Daniel said...

Does anyone actually care what Keyshawn Johnson thinks? That guy is a joke.

Craig said...

keyshaun picked Carolina last nite on MNF!!!