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NFL morning after: Playoff races reach the home stretch

morganburnett AP

With 15 NFL Sundays down and two to go, the NFL playoff race is in the home stretch. And it basically consists of seven teams competing for three playoff spots.

Nine teams have either clinched a playoff berth or would only miss the playoffs under the most unlikely of scenarios: Denver will win the AFC West. Cincinnati will win the AFC North. New England will win the AFC East. Indianapolis has won the AFC South. Kansas City will win one of the AFC wild cards. Seattle will win the NFC West. Carolina or New Orleans will win the NFC South, and the other one will win an NFC wild card. San Francisco will get the other NFC wild card.

That leaves us with three playoff spots to fill: The NFC East, NFC North and the final AFC wild card.

The NFC East will come down to the Eagles and Cowboys. Philadelphia gave away the division lead on Sunday with a surprising loss at Minnesota, and then the Cowboys handed the lead right back to the Eagles with a meltdown against the Packers. But this division has looked for months like it will come down to the Week 17 Eagles-Cowboys game, and it still looks that way. I think the Eagles will win that game and win the division.

The NFC North is the NFL’s only three-team race, with the Lions, Bears and Packers all alive. Chicago improved to 8-6 and took a half-game lead by beating Cleveland on Sunday, but the Lions can get to 8-6 with a Monday night win over Baltimore, and the Lions own the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Bears. The Packers’ comeback at Dallas kept their playoff hopes alive. If the Lions win out, they win the NFC North. If the Lions slip up and the Packers and Bears both win next week, the NFC North will come down to the Week 17 Packers-Bears game. I expect Detroit to win out and win the division, but this one is very, very close.

And the AFC wild card will come down to Miami and Baltimore. Miami improved to 8-6 and took the lead by beating New England, but Baltimore can also get to 8-6 and even things up with a win in Detroit tonight. (The 7-7 Chargers are still alive, but they’re an extreme long shot.) I expect the Ravens to lose to the Lions tonight while the Dolphins continue to take care of business, and Miami will get the final playoff spot.

So there you have it: Our 12 playoff teams are Denver, Cincinnati, New England, Indianapolis, Kansas City, Miami, Seattle, Carolina, Philadelphia, Detroit, New Orleans and San Francisco. I’m pretty confident in that prediction, but you might want to go ahead and watch the last two weeks of the season, just in case.

Here are my observations from Sunday:

Maybe Washington’s whole team needs to be shut down for the season. Washington is an absolute mess. Kirk Cousins, the starting quarterback now that Robert Griffin III has been shut down for the season, played reasonably well in Sunday’s loss to the Falcons. But Washington has problems everywhere. The special teams are maybe the worst in the history of the NFL, and they lost a costly fumble on a muffed punt on Sunday. The defense can’t stop anyone. Even running back Alfred Morris, one of the few players in Washington who’s having a decent season, lost two fumbles against the Falcons. This team has a long rebuilding effort ahead, and the first-round draft pick (which will most likely be No. 2 overall) won’t be part of that rebuilding effort: That pick went to St. Louis in the trade to acquire Griffin.

Eli Manning is an elite interception thrower. The only major statistical category Manning has ever led the league in is interceptions, and he’s now well on his way to leading the league in that category for the third time. With his pathetic five-interception game on Sunday, Manning has now thrown a whopping 25 interceptions this season. Manning gets cut a lot of slack because he has two Super Bowl rings, but he throws some absolutely dreadful passes. Interceptions have always been a problem for Manning, and the way Manning has played this season is inexcusable.

Have you ever seen a stat line like Matt Asiata’s? No, you haven’t, because it has never happened before: Asiata’s stat line was 30 carries for 51 yards and three touchdowns. No player in NFL history had ever had 30 carries and three touchdowns while averaging less than two yards a carry, until Asiata did it on Sunday against the Eagles.

Rashad Johnson was flagged for playing football. Johnson, the Cardinals’ free safety, put a good, hard, clean, physical football hit on Titans receiver Kenny Britt on Sunday. Johnson put his shoulder into Britt’s chest, exactly the way NFL defensive backs are told to hit receivers. Inexplicably, Johnson was flagged for unnecessary roughness. The NFL simply can’t allow this to happen. It needs to find officials who can tell the difference between a helmet-to-helmet hit and a shoulder-to-chest hit, because it’s not fair to players like Johnson to have great plays taken away by bad flags.

Good thing Darnell Docket stomped on an opponent’s hand with NFL-approved shoes. NFL players are fined every week, but I can’t remember seeing two fines on the same day that looked as ridiculous next to each other as the fines announced on Friday for Cardinals defensive tackle Darnell Dockett and Bears receiver Brandon Marshall. The NFL docked Dockett’s pay $7,875 for stomping on the hand of Rams guard Chris Williams. And the NFL docked Marshall’s pay $15,000 for wearing orange cleats. Is this really what the NFL’s discipline police think? That it’s worse to wear the wrong color shoes than to stomp on an opponent’s hand?

Why hasn’t Matt Cassel been Minnesota’s starter all along? The Vikings have alternated among Cassel, Christian Ponder and Josh Freeman as their starting quarterbacks this season, and the results speak for themselves: Minnesota is 3-2 with Cassel, 1-6-1 with Ponder and 0-1 with Freeman. Considering how bad the rest of the NFC North is, Cassel might have been able to keep the Vikings in the playoff race.

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69 Responses to “NFL morning after: Playoff races reach the home stretch”
  1. hscorpio says: Dec 16, 2013 7:06 AM

    Don’t place too much money on the Lions winning out, MDS. They have plenty of talent to get that done but their history does not suggest they will play smart enough football to actually convert that talent into consistent production on the field.

  2. meatcarroll says: Dec 16, 2013 7:10 AM

    Slept on it and another classic Romochoke is still the funniest thing from yesterday. Like clockwork.

  3. steelersaregodsteam says: Dec 16, 2013 7:16 AM

    Eli is earning every bit of his $107 million contract.

  4. dcapettini says: Dec 16, 2013 7:23 AM

    With the Bengals losing a a division and conference game at Pittsburgh and the Ravens yet to play, your awarding the AFC North to the Bengals seems a bit premature. Why didn’t you do it last week when the Bengals were in a better position than they are now? The fact is, if the Ravens win out, they own the division. Stranger things have happened. Who would have thought that SD would beat Denver at home? New England lost on the road to a team that the Ravens beat at their home field and so if they beat Detroit tonight, they have an excellent chance to take the AFC North.

  5. ravenswhat says: Dec 16, 2013 7:26 AM

    The Ravens will win out and win the AFC North. Just wait and see. Cincy showed they still can’t beat the Steelers or the Ravens in big games.

  6. allhailkingflacco says: Dec 16, 2013 7:27 AM

    @MDS… What you expect and what you get will be completely different I suspect.

    P.S. Thank you Steeler Nation for opening the door to the AFC North title, much appreciated.

  7. chadhenne42 says: Dec 16, 2013 7:28 AM

    Pats lose out. Dolphins win out. Indi loses to KC next week and the Bengals go 1-1 the final 2 weeks.

    Dolphins win the #2 seed in the AFC and get a 1st round bye.

    Book it

  8. letsgolos says: Dec 16, 2013 7:29 AM

    Don’t sleep on the defending champs, MDS. If the Ravens win out, they win the AFC North. The Lions are terribly coached, the Pats look AWFUL, and then there’s the final game in Cincy. With Pitta back, this team has a shot.

  9. kirbylaw says: Dec 16, 2013 7:31 AM

    MDS – Excellent piece of writing, top to bottom.

  10. ravensfan8780 says: Dec 16, 2013 7:37 AM

    I wouldn’t assume Cincy is going to win the AFC North with the loss last night means the Ravens win out and they get the North

  11. ravenspa says: Dec 16, 2013 7:37 AM

    Ummm I may be wrong but don’t the ravens control their own destiny to win the AFCN now?? It might be a rough stretch but if they pull it out tonight I could definitely see them getting the last 2…..

  12. FinFan68 says: Dec 16, 2013 7:42 AM

    There are standard fines and they go up on individual players as they continue to violate. Comparing Docket to Marshall is misleading. Docket’s is worse but it is his first. This was Marshall’s third shoe violation. The fine values were agreed to by the league and the union.

  13. ahs2 says: Dec 16, 2013 7:46 AM

    It’s not his cleats, its his giving the NFL the finger, figuratively of course, as he’s done this a couple of times…that being said, I have a harder time seeing a $7500 fine next to Suh being suspended two games which also cost him nearly $300,000!

  14. rockthered1286 says: Dec 16, 2013 7:47 AM

    @chadhenne42

    Thanks for the good laugh! Your Fins barely beat a Gronk-less Pats team with a struggling offense and a sub-par D… In your own bak yard. Just remember- Baltimore owns the tie breaker so even IF your Fins win out and the Ravens do as well? #2 belongs to Baltimore.

    Cheers!

  15. southpaw2k says: Dec 16, 2013 7:48 AM

    The Lions have the edge in pure talent on the field, but the Ravens have a major edge in leadership and coaching. Tonight’s game is going to be great, and I’m still stuck in a “head vs. heart” argument over who wins. I don’t think any final score would really shock me, but if the Ravens do win tonight, they’ll only be 1 game behind the Bengals with two games to play, including a Week 17 match up in Cincinnati.

    The Ravens might not even need the second Wild Card spot.

  16. steelnucs says: Dec 16, 2013 7:55 AM

    Lions, if you ever are going to win a game, PLEASE make it tonight’s…

  17. it's all bs says: Dec 16, 2013 8:05 AM

    allhailkingflacco says:
    Dec 16, 2013 7:27 AM
    @MDS… What you expect and what you get will be completely different I suspect.

    P.S. Thank you Steeler Nation for opening the door to the AFC North title, much appreciated.
    ______________________________

    ur welcome BUT the Ravens barely beat the 31st ranked defense in their own house last week…..don’t go crowning yourselves just yet!!!

  18. bonniebengal says: Dec 16, 2013 8:06 AM

    The Bengals are at home their last two games and will go 2-0. They are undefeated at home.

  19. kremis says: Dec 16, 2013 8:09 AM

    Uh, don’t forget the Cardinals- If the Saints beat the Panthers and then the Panthers lose on the road to Atlanta (very possible with the pressure of the game, because Cam hasn’t shown he can handle pressure consistantly) The Cardinals only need to win 1 of their last two games, as they beat the Panthers earlier in the year and would win the tiebreaker as both teams would be 10-6

  20. 2ruefan says: Dec 16, 2013 8:10 AM

    meatcarroll says: Dec 16, 2013 7:10 AM

    Slept on it and another classic Romochoke is still the funniest thing from yesterday. Like clockwork.

    ********************************************
    Didn’t need one wink of sleep to determine that the reason the Cowboys lost was an epically bad Defense not a diving interception of a late game pass by Tony Romo…

  21. thehuckster404 says: Dec 16, 2013 8:11 AM

    Refs who throw flags on clean, legal hits need to be subject to the same “after the fact” fines that players receive each week upon league review.

  22. wishingtonredslur says: Dec 16, 2013 8:18 AM

    Would have had 3 Super Bowls if somebody hadn’t gone and shot themselves in the leg.

  23. billh1947 says: Dec 16, 2013 8:23 AM

    Lions will falter down the stretch and the Rodgers lead Packers will beat the Bears for the nfcn.

  24. reed20fence says: Dec 16, 2013 8:25 AM

    The Ravens will win the North. The Bungles are a’bungling and the Ravens are getting healthy at key spots at the right time, just like last year.

  25. purplejesus28 says: Dec 16, 2013 8:42 AM

    Citizen watches, as accurate as an Eli Manning pass… = don’t buy anyone a Citizen watch.

  26. bigbenownsthenfl says: Dec 16, 2013 8:48 AM

    bungles are awful. steelers owned them. and after tonight the ratbird fans will disappear. cant wait to watch megatron throw up 4 tds on that terrible secondary of ravens! bungles will still win the division and ratbirds will be home watching playoffs next to the steelers…the end…hahahahahahaa

  27. bigbenownsthenfl says: Dec 16, 2013 8:49 AM

    bungles are awful. steelers owned them. and after tonight the ratbird fans will disappear. cant wait to watch megatron throw up 4 tds on that terrible secondary of ravens! bungles will still win the division and ratbirds will be home watching playoffs next to the steelers…the end…hahahahahahaa…..

  28. bigbenownsthenfl says: Dec 16, 2013 8:49 AM

    bungles are awful. steelers owned them. and after tonight the ratbird fans will disappear. cant wait to watch megatron throw up 4 tds on that terrible secondary of ravens! bungles will still win the division and ratbirds will be home watching playoffs next to the steelers…the end…hahahahahahaa…

  29. dualprime says: Dec 16, 2013 9:00 AM

    Dear Pats Fans,

    Lots of teams are playing good ball while missing key players. So, we can’t use missing players as an excuse for losing while we claim greatness when we win. Welcome to the real NFL!

    Go Ravens!

  30. shatho1 says: Dec 16, 2013 9:14 AM

    doesn’t matter if the eagles beat the bears Dallas will win the next two games and win the NFC East!!!

  31. jpk6044 says: Dec 16, 2013 9:18 AM

    Who is the most overrated quarterback of all time: Eli Manning or Brett Farve? Discuss…

  32. rdefranc27 says: Dec 16, 2013 9:27 AM

    In Eli’s defense no one was open on any of those ints. What’s he supposed to do? Hold the ball and get lit up? At least he’s trying to make a play. That whole team looks completely disinterested.

  33. azcards says: Dec 16, 2013 9:35 AM

    Kremis, nicely done. The cardinals always get overlooked don’t they. You are right. It is not done for the cards yet but the rest of the league has already counted them out. The nfl is also doing its best job trying to keep them out of the playoffs. Of the panthers beat the saints this week though, it’s all but over for the cards. Next year they will be tough to beat.

  34. golforepar says: Dec 16, 2013 9:44 AM

    jpk6044 says: Dec 16, 2013 9:18 AM

    Who is the most overrated quarterback of all time: Eli Manning or Brett Farve? Discuss…

    Favre over rated? Not a chance, look at his stats. Get a clue Son!

  35. jbaxt says: Dec 16, 2013 9:50 AM

    The donkeys “should” win the AFC west. If they play like they did last week they “will” be 11-5.

  36. weepingjebus says: Dec 16, 2013 9:51 AM

    “The only major statistical category Manning has ever led the league in is interceptions, and he’s now well on his way to leading the league in that category for the third time.”

    “Well, it’s still a statistic, right?” — Eli Manning’s agent, mopping his forehead with a towel

  37. marcuswelby70 says: Dec 16, 2013 9:57 AM

    chadhenne42 says:
    Dec 16, 2013 7:28 AM
    Pats lose out. Dolphins win out. Indi loses to KC next week and the Bengals go 1-1 the final 2 weeks.

    Dolphins win the #2 seed in the AFC and get a 1st round bye.

    Book it

    ———————————————–

    Say what???

  38. efoor says: Dec 16, 2013 10:10 AM

    Re Redskins: “The special teams are maybe the worst in the history of the NFL, and they lost a costly fumble on a muffed punt on Sunday.”

    How about a post about how the Falcons ran into Santana Moss, disrupting his fair catch, and how the refs cannot look at that in replay? The Falcons clearly interfered with Moss before he could catch it and was a blown non-call.

  39. efoor says: Dec 16, 2013 10:12 AM

    *Not disagreeing with how the skins special teams are the worst in history.

  40. finsuppatsdown says: Dec 16, 2013 10:14 AM

    @rockthered1286

    Actually, the Dolphins control their own destiny with the Bengals loss last night. If the Dolphins win out and the Ravens lose a game the fins get the wild card and the Ravens are out. If both the Dolphins and Ravens win out, the Ravens win the North and Dolphins and the Bengals would have the same record. Miami beat the Bengals so the Dolphins would get the wild card.

    Win and we are in. Go Dolphins.

  41. eaglesfanalways says: Dec 16, 2013 10:23 AM

    There was SO MUCH in the Eagle’s game to get frustrated about – it may be the poster child for why college coaches have trouble in the NFL, but I have to say something about the no-class move of Leslie Frazier to go in for the touchdown with the Eagles out of time outs and there less than 70 seconds left in the game…they could have kneeled.

  42. truths4all says: Dec 16, 2013 10:24 AM

    Before the Honey Badger got injured and lost for the remainder of the season, the Cards had a decent chance to sneak up on the other teams. But now it is clear the Cards defense really miss him and they played way out of sync. Throw in the obvious fact the NFL does not want the Cards in the playoffs as evidenced by the consistent one-sided bad calls on the Cards and the consistent non-calls on the Cards opponents, they will not make the playoffs. When Fitzgerald is held the entire game with no calls and then gets a helmet to helmet hit while defenseless with no call, it cannot be any clearer that the NFL has told its refs to keep their flags in their pockets on violations against the Cardinals and to throw their flags on the Cards for every possible and imagined infraction.

    Welcome to the NFL’s version of NBA officiating – remember how Jordan got that needed two shot phantom foul with the nearest opponent over 6 feet away? That nonsense has arrived (with the gambling interests) in the NFL.

  43. jpk6044 says: Dec 16, 2013 10:37 AM

    Dec 16, 2013 9:44 AM
    jpk6044 says: Dec 16, 2013 9:18 AM

    Who is the most overrated quarterback of all time: Eli Manning or Brett Farve? Discuss…

    Favre over rated? Not a chance, look at his stats. Get a clue Son!

    ——————————————

    Looked at his stats and they clearly indicate that he is the NFL’s all-time learder in INTs – not the kind of stat that merits the amount of praise heaped on Mr. Farve (not to mention all of those blown playoff games).

  44. johnelwayishorsefaced says: Dec 16, 2013 10:41 AM

    Cousins clearly played better than “reasonably well” yesterday. Not sure what you guys have against him but you obviously don’t want to give him credit where it’s due. If his offensive line didn’t look like a Pop Warner team’s Washington would have won the game and then we’d probably be reading here about what a great game he had. FYI he threw for 381 yards and Griffin’s career record is 329.

  45. chadhenne42 says: Dec 16, 2013 10:44 AM

    Actually rockthered is correct. I forgot to add that Megatron needs to moss the crap out of elam and stiff arm him out of bounds and score a couple times. Need the ravens to blow it tonight.

  46. chadhenne42 says: Dec 16, 2013 10:45 AM

    For the #2 seed that is

  47. dolfan13 says: Dec 16, 2013 10:47 AM

    finsuppatsdown says: Dec 16, 2013 10:14 AM

    @rockthered1286

    Actually, the Dolphins control their own destiny with the Bengals loss last night. If the Dolphins win out and the Ravens lose a game the fins get the wild card and the Ravens are out. If both the Dolphins and Ravens win out, the Ravens win the North and Dolphins and the Bengals would have the same record. Miami beat the Bengals so the Dolphins would get the wild card.

    Win and we are in. Go Dolphins.
    ————————————————————-

    How very astute of you. I hadn’t even thought of this scenario. Thank you very much for bringing it out for public notice.

    I was already on cloud nine today after yesterday’s win. Now I’m hovering even a little higher. Sweet!

  48. favrewillplay4ever says: Dec 16, 2013 10:49 AM

    It’s all about the money and the precedent. Nfl makes no advertising $$$ with Marshall freely advertising different brands.

  49. beardinals says: Dec 16, 2013 10:59 AM

    GODell clearly hates the Cardinals, as he has obviously told the refs to consistently make calls against them to keep them out of the playoffs.

  50. furious76 says: Dec 16, 2013 11:05 AM

    If the Lions got a coach that can actually lead the team, they would be a deadly opponent. When your coach/leader acts without integrity the men behind them don’t play with conviction day in and day out.

    They may be a good fit for Cowher or Shannahan next year, but I doubt the Lions ownership will make the move so soon. They like to suffer for a while with a broken leadership model before making the change.

  51. tedmurph says: Dec 16, 2013 11:09 AM

    @finsuppatsdown: Needing the Ravens to lose is not controlling your own destiny.

    @dualprime: Lots of teams have injuries, but not like the Pats. Mayo(All-Pro), Gronk(All-Pro), Wilfork(All-Pro), Vollmer(All-Pro), not to mention Hernandez(Pro Bowl) and Tommie Kelly). Only GBay’s injuries(ARodgers) compare.
    And, they’re still in the mix.

  52. axespray says: Dec 16, 2013 11:10 AM

    “Considering how bad the rest of the NFC North is.”
    ————————————
    In fairness, The Packers and Bears have both been wiped out with injuries this year.

    About a month w/o each of their starting QBs and the lions can’t even run away with it?

  53. fireeyes111 says: Dec 16, 2013 11:11 AM

    The NFL simply can’t allow this to happen. It needs to find officials who can tell the difference between a helmet-to-helmet hit and a shoulder-to-chest hit, because it’s not fair to players like Johnson to have great plays taken away by bad flags.
    _______________________________

    Here’s a better idea: just make contact-to-the-helmet penalty calls reviewable. If a coach successfully challenges, pick up the flag, play goes on as usual.

  54. scmems07 says: Dec 16, 2013 11:16 AM

    if miami gets in, watch out. they already have shown they can beat cin, ind and NE and were a fg away from ot with bal. they are peaking at the right time, similar to bal last year and the giants a few years ago. not saying they can win it all, but hey, if they get in anything can happen. the d is playing well and tannehill ballin right now. it’s going to be fun to see what happens.

  55. kissbillsrings says: Dec 16, 2013 11:39 AM

    As a Pats fan Id rather face Miami any day of the week then the Ravens….they just seem to be the patriots cryptonite…

    I sure hope the Lions beat the Ravens tonight. but the Lions like to self destruct almost as much as the Cowgirls do….

  56. majormeatcurtains says: Dec 16, 2013 11:48 AM

    chadhenne42 says: Dec 16, 2013 7:28 AM

    Pats lose out. Dolphins win out. Indi loses to KC next week and the Bengals go 1-1 the final 2 weeks.

    Dolphins win the #2 seed in the AFC and get a 1st round bye.

    Book it
    ————————————————————–
    Book it? That went out with “True Dat” friggin tard.

  57. billytodd2013blbaad says: Dec 16, 2013 11:51 AM

    The Bungles are the Bungles and the Ravens..well let’s just say that Flacco isn’t Montana or Young and anyone with any clue know’s last season’s post season run was a fluke so regardless who wins the AFC North neither are going any where.

    As for the NFC North, Dallas needs to put an all points bulletin out for their Defense because it’s gone missing and someone should ask Jerry how replacing Ryan with Kiffen as the dc is working out for him.

  58. fishtank86 says: Dec 16, 2013 12:03 PM

    If Miami wins their next 6 (stranger things have happened). It would be one of the greatest comeback seasons ever, in the face of adversity. Joe Philbin would be revered as a top tier coach and talk of Tannehill in the elite discussion would instantly begin. It can’t be denied that Miami is built for greatness and can’t be ignored that this isn’t “just the same ole dolphins team” of the wannstedt/Johnson/sparano/Saban decline.

  59. deweyaxewound says: Dec 16, 2013 12:03 PM

    tedmurph says:

    @dualprime: Lots of teams have injuries, but not like the Pats. Mayo(All-Pro), Gronk(All-Pro), Wilfork(All-Pro), Vollmer(All-Pro), not to mention Hernandez(Pro Bowl) and Tommie Kelly). Only GBay’s injuries(ARodgers) compare.
    And, they’re still in the mix.
    _______________________________

    You can’t talk about the impact of injuries to teams this year without talking about the Bears and their defense.
    NO team has been hit harder by injuries than the Chicago Bears – defense, in particular — which lost 6 (SIX!) of its starters on that side of the ball alone.
    No wonder it went from a top 5 defense to dead last (against the run, anyway).

    Bears basically lost the entire spine of their defense, starting up front, with Pro Bowl DT Henry Melton, DT Nate Collins, with games missed by DT Stephen Paea and others.

    They also lost two of their 3 starting LBs (including defensive signal callers) with
    Lance Briggs (Pro Bowler) and DJ Williams, and starting nickel back Kelvin Hayden, as well as Pro Bowl CB and perennial take away artist Charles Tillman.

    Oh, and there’s that whole “lost our starting QB” thing.

    No excuses here – just sayin’ – if you want to be fair: Melton, Briggs, and Tillman mean(t) as much to the Bears defense as Rodgers means to GB’s offense.

  60. audient says: Dec 16, 2013 12:19 PM

    I don’t know what happened to the Bengals yesterday to allow themselves to be handled by the Steelers like that. But the Ravens have an opening, as even PFT has pointed out in another article.

  61. tedmurph says: Dec 16, 2013 12:27 PM

    Forgot about the Bears, definitely been hit hard, although Cutler may be addition by subtraction. Still, the Pats losses are an all star team. And I didn’t even bring up losing Welker and the fact that Talib is playing on one leg and Gregory with a broken thumb.

    As far as Rogers goes, no team can survive losing an elite QB(which isn’t Cutler). If Manning, Brees, Brady were out those teams would be toast too. Also GB leads the league with players on IR with 15.

  62. opneon says: Dec 16, 2013 12:40 PM

    I’m a Ravens fan – but I’m not stupid enough to be predicting anything. It’s the NFL and anything can happen.

    I thank the Steelers for giving us an opening, but fear mostly that THEY will somehow sneak in that crack (as Big Ben loves to do).

    But recently the Ravens seem to be the team of destiny…so Go Ravens!
    In Oz We Trust!

  63. alcore1 says: Dec 16, 2013 1:19 PM

    The Panthers will win the Super Bowl!!

  64. southpaw2k says: Dec 16, 2013 2:46 PM

    billytodd2013blbaad says:
    Dec 16, 2013 11:51 AM
    The Bungles are the Bungles and the Ravens..well let’s just say that Flacco isn’t Montana or Young and anyone with any clue know’s last season’s post season run was a fluke so regardless who wins the AFC North neither are going any where.

    ————————————————–

    Man, you are so right about Flacco. I mean it’s not like the Ravens had made the playoffs the previous four years with Flacco under center, much less won any playoff games during that ti – oh, wait.

  65. finsuppatsdown says: Dec 16, 2013 3:19 PM

    @Dolfan13
    Thanks for the compliment. Being an obsessed Dolphins fan has its perks once in a blue moon. Lol.

    @tedmurph
    After the Bengals loss, the Dolphins don’t need a Ravens loss to get the wild card. The Bengals and Ravens play each other the last week of the season. If the Dolphins win out, and the Ravens win out, both the Dolphins and the Bengals will be 10 and 6 (assuming the Bengals win next week). The Dolphins beat the Bengals earlier this year and have the tie breaker for the last wild card spot. In this scenario Baltimore would win. The north. Since the Ravens and Bengals play each other both teams can not win out. As such the Dolphins control their own destiny. Get it?

  66. Henshaw says: Dec 16, 2013 3:26 PM

    “because Cam hasn’t shown he can handle pressure consistantly”

    ________________

    He hasn’t? Or maybe consistantly is different than consistently.

  67. thelastbesthope says: Dec 16, 2013 7:53 PM

    “I thank the Steelers for giving us an opening, but fear mostly that THEY will somehow sneak in that crack (as Big Ben loves to do).”

    ok….that got a thumbs up.

  68. beavwarius says: Dec 16, 2013 8:15 PM

    first you state “you expect the lions to win out”. then you state that if only the vikings had played cassel all year long they would be in the playoff race. which is it? or is the poor play of packers without rodgers. or is it the good play of Josh McCown. your writing is all over the place .

  69. critter69 says: Dec 17, 2013 2:48 AM

    Anything is possible, even the (seemingly) impossible is sometimes possible.

    When I was in college, a high school basketball game was played in the Bay area of California. Team A went up by 20, and had the ball. A guaranteed win, correct? (Remember, in the early 1970s, there was no 3-point shot in high school b-ball.)

    A couple of missed baskets, a couple of stolen in-bounds passes, a few other steals, several fouls on shots (and free throws made), etc., and Team B won the game.

    Anything is possible, even the (seemingly) impossible is sometimes possible. I’m not saying it will happen every time, but when even the possibility of what’s possible is directly thrown out as impossible, fate has a tendency to bite a person in the posterior.

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