It is the holiday season, but on my mind as much as Christmas is the now fast approaching NFL Playoffs! Two weeks of NFL regular season to go, and then, the field is officially cut from 32 teams down to 12, to continue the path for one team to hoist the Lombardi Trophy as Super Bowl XLIX (49) Champions.
With that in mind, our annual NFL Playoffs Pool is now open! Some of the teams and seeds will change between now and Wild-Card Weekend, but I will update the pool after Week 16 and Week 17, and you can edit your picks any time, as much as you like, between now and the start of the pool. There is a cap on number of entries, so if you are keen to join, don’t delay.
The pool is run the same as prior years. “Simply” (ha ha) fill out the entire NFL Playoffs bracket from Wild-Card Weekend through the Super Bowl. Pick the winner of every game, plus the number of points each of your winning picks will win their game by. Don’t forget to fill in the margin of victory! You earn points for correct winners and how close your margin of victory predictions are.
As for the current seeds (I realize we will see this about a hundred times during the football broadcasts this weekend), they are:
#1 New England Patriots (11-3)
#2 Denver Broncos (11-3)
#3 Indianapolis Colts (10-4)
#4 Cincinnati Bengals (9-4-1)
#5 Pittsburgh Steelers (9-5)
#6 Baltimore Ravens (9-5)
#1 Arizona Cardinals (11-3)
#2 Detroit Lions (10-4)
#3 Dallas Cowboys (10-4)
#4 New Orleans Saints (6-8)
#5 Seattle Seahawks (10-4)
#6 Green Bay Packers (10-4)
As I’m sure you know, #1 and #2 teams get a first round bye in the playoffs. #3 hosts #6 while #4 hosts #5 for Wild-Card Weekend.
In the AFC there are six teams still mathematically in the hunt. The Kansas City Chiefs (8-6) are the closest in contention and play the Pittsburgh Steelers this weekend which will have huge ramifications in the tussle for a wild-card berth for each of them.
The San Diego Chargers (8-6) are a game back with remaining games against the San Francisco 49ers and then Chiefs in Week 17.
The Buffalo Bills (8-6) are also in the hunt and face the lightest Week 15 opponent, Oakland Raiders, but then travel to play New England in Week 17. Thats not a good scenario.
The NFC is clearer cut for the most part. Only one team, the Philadelphia Eagles (9-5) are in the hunt discounting the three-team race for the NFC South crown. Eagles face division rival Washington Redskins and New York Giants to close out the season.
Back to the NFC South, the Saints currently hold top spot but Carolina Panthers (5-8-1) and Atlanta Falcons (5-9) are right on their heels. The Saints play the Falcons this week as one of the more pivotal games on the Week 16 schedule.
Okay, there you have a short overview of the current playoff picture. Join the playoffs pool, and I’ll be back next week with an update heading into Week 17. Then its the playoffs!