With three weeks remaining, 2 of the 8 divisions have been decided, and a 3rd is close in the NFL. Let's just break it down:
New England, supposedly, clinched the division when the Giants defeated Miami last night. All that says to me is.....
Miami is in last place, and were officially eliminated from Wild Card consideration. Now six games out of first with three to play, their loss handed the Patriots the title?? As ESPN's Lee Corso might put it, not so fast, my friend. New England clinched a tie for the division on Sunday in beating Houston, but the Jets are three back, and play the Patriots at the Meadowlands on Christmas weekend. What if they beat Dallas on Saturday, then even the score with the Pats?
Well, in truth, some obscure tie-breaker that not even Tom Brady knew about, something called strength of victory, is the reason the Pats were declared division champs. Even if they lose to the Jets in the next to last game of the season, and the Jets win out (they close with Buffalo while the Patriots visit Miami), the Jets can't overtake them. However, losing to the Jets could cost the Patriots their cherished, coveted #1 seed, which they regained on Sunday.
Houston & Indianapolis remain tied atop the division at 6-7, two of five 6-7 teams still alive for playoff berths in a year where sub-.500 teams otherwise would already be eliminated. Both are suffering QB issues. In particular, Indy's Andrew Luck has fallen victim to the DirecTV curse (you know what I mean) that has also claimed Tony Romo and Peyton Manning.
It's down to Cincinnati & Pittsburgh for the division, and the Steelers made their case with a win Sunday over the Bengals.
Denver fell to Oakland on Sunday, delaying the inevitable division title, although with Kansas City rolling along, another loss could cost the Broncos the title.
The way I see it: Kansas City & the Jets will get the Wild Cards.
2 games separate the four teams with three to play. Dallas will play the Jets on Saturday, while the Giants will attempt to derail #1 seed Carolina on Sunday. In fact, the Giants have the toughest draw, as they have Minnesota and Philadelphia the last two weeks. Washington? It would be an embarrassment to the league if they won the division with a sub-.500 record. Then again.......!
Carolina wrapped up the division early. They're young, hungry, and hot. Cam Newton for MVP, anyone? Can't see anyone else coming out of the division, though Tampa Bay could make a late case.
It'll come down to Green Bay & Minnesota. In fact, it seems like Chicago, Minnesota, & Detroit take turns playing second fiddle to the Packers and insurance salesman Aaron Rodgers..
Arizona needs one more win to wrap up the division, coupled likely with a Seattle loss. And who'dathunk the 2-time NFC champs would need to fight for a wild card?
The way I see it: Seattle & Minnesota will be the Wild Cards.
1. New England.
5. Kansas City.
3. Green Bay.
Of course, I could be wrong.