Ok... so I was just playing around with ESPN's NFL Playoff Machine, to see who we might play in different W-L scenarios.
NOTE: There is a bug in the Playoff Machine when you start with "Win %" as the default W-L criteria. For some reason, it's counting wins as ties for some match-ups; even though the W-L picker is not set to a tie. Start with a blank slate and pick the winners yourself to get an accurate prediction.
Our most likely seeding is 5th; but it is possible to end up 1st.
To end up first we need to win our three remaining games (including one over Atlanta), AND have Atlanta lose one of their other remaining games (Seattle or Carolina).
Carolina is in the crapper (Yes, Stu; you were right.); so we can't count on them. Therefore, we should be rooting hard for:
- Seattle to beat Atlanta this weekend.
If we end up with the 5th seed, we travel to the 4th seed to play in the Wild-card round.
The most likely 4th seed opponents are: St. Louis, San Francisco, & Seattle... of those three, I'd most want to play St. Louis again, and San Francisco scares me the most.
So... If we want to play St. Louis and avoid San Francisco and Seattle, we should be rooting for:
- San Diego over San Fran this week.
- St. Louis over Kansas City this week.
If those two things happen, and I think they will, then all we have to do is root for:
- St. Louis over Seattle in Week 17. (The head-to-head is the key.)
If they don't happen, there are still many scenarios where we get to play St. Louis... I'm just giving you who to root for this week - if you want to play the Rams again.
Here's my "most likely" NFC playoff seeding prediction:
#1. Atlanta Falcons :-(
#3. Chicago Bears
#4. St. Louis Rams
In this scenario, the Saints travel to the Rams and the Giants travel to the Bears in the Wild-card round.
Feel free to post your analysis and seeding predictions below.
Also, the 2, 3, and 6 seeds are really up in the air. Who would you rather play in the Divisional Round? (see poll)