Monday, December 04, 2006

Playoffs?!? Playoffs!?! Week 14 (Life Support Edition)

Here's Israel's latest (anything to distract you from possibly the most boring win in Steelers' history):
OK, here is the playoff analysis for Week 14, assuming that the Steelers win out.

I have dropped Miami from the analysis, as they have now lost seven games and the Steelers hold the head-to-head tiebreaker.

I am resisting the temptation to add Tenessee to the list of legitimate competitors, because they are 5-7 and must play Hou, Jax, Buf and NE. They might even win the first three, but not all four, while NE is playing for seeding. However, if they do win out, they would have to go to the strength of schedule tiebreaker with the Steelers and would likely win it, having played Ind twice, NE and the NFC East.

Jacksonville is 7-5 but will likely lose three of four to Ind, Ten, NE and KC, bringing them to 8-8. They hold the head-to-head against the Steelers.

KC is 7-5 and even if they beat Jacksonville in Week 17, they have Baltimore and SD coming up. We win the tiebreaker if they go 9-7.

I think we want Denver (7-5) to take the first wild card. After playing SD, they have Arizona, Cin, and SF. If they win just two of the four, they beat the Steelers on the tiebreaker. But if Cutler gets his act together, they can be #5 seed, taking out Cincinnati along the way.

Speaking of which, Cincinnati is 7-5 and will beat Oakland, before losing to IND and the Steelers. If they beat Denver and go 9-7, they will take the tiebreaker, so we'd like to see them at 8-8, which is a bit harder (from our standpoint) now that they have beaten Baltimore.

But let's say all that falls into place, we still have the Jets, who are 7-5, wth Buffalo, Min, Miami and Oakland coming up. If they lose two and Minnesota is one of them, they will beat the Steelers on tiebreaker, based on conference record. If they lose two of their three conference games, it's a more complex tiebreaker, which I haven't looked at. They could lose to Buffalo, Minnesota and Miami, but that would probably require an injury to Pennington - not an outrageous possibility.

So my feeling is, the wild cards will be Denver and the Jets, but on the slim hope we are rooting in Week 14 for Baltimore, Indianapolis, Buffalo - and for what it's worth, Oakland. Denver vs SD probably doesn't matter, unless of course Cutler and the Broncos are considering a string of losses.

Oh yes - beat the Browns. The Steelers have never gone to the Super Bowl without beating the Browns twice.