Now that we've made it past week 6 I think it's time to take a serious look at our playoff chances...
If the playoffs started today we'd be sitting on the couch all of next month. And that's something that isn't good to see folks. I don't know about you but I don't like our chances against the almighty Ravens and Pats coming to town in a few weeks. We still have to get all 3 phases of the game together. And we really should fire BA because he's a moron who can't call two halves of a game together to save his life. I bet he can't make a decent drink. There's no way in hell he could get the measurements right. Just get rid of his sorry ass. Our D still looks too old in places and guys like Timmons and Hood still aren't playing good enough.
But lets get to looking at the current situation...
At the moment we have our division leaders:
Cheaters @ 5-1
San Diego @ 4-1
Baltimore @ 4-2
Tennessee @ 3-2
Wild Card 1: Cincinatti @ 4-2 (based on 4-1 conference record and tiebreaker with Bills)
Wild Card 2: Bills @ 4-2
First off this would totally be ridiculous if this happened. After all, you'd have a 3 win team in the playoffs while a 4 win team was sitting right there in both wild card slots. Jive Turkey I say.
Fortunately we still have 2 games against Cincinnati, so if it got ugly we could certainly take two from them and knock them off the chart. The Bills are another story. They're playing quite well and just barely lost to cincy, but they'd have an advantage in strength of victory over us due to the quality of wins. Cincy and Pats are 9 games, our teams have just combined for a crisp 7 wins total (thats bad). The Bills if they continue their play could be a tough push for the WC.
On the good side Buffalo has a tough road to hoe with 2 games against the Jets, one more against the Pats. Plus a game against the Titans and road trips to Dallas and San Diego. Tough schedule. Ours is much lighter.
I believe the Bills falter, and we'll overtake Cincy. So I count both of these WC teams OUT.
That leaves the Raiders, Texans, and Jets as threats. The Texans are a real threat with the tiebreaker. Ideally they could go on to win the division but really if Hasslebeck stays healthy there's no guarantees. If they win the division their tiebreaker over us won't matter and we'd jump the Titans due to our win over them.
I think this will happen. I really don't see the Titans pulling a full season out of their asses. The Texans are better and can do it. I think the Texans are like the Steelers and the Titans are the Bengals. Its a perfect parallel.
So the Raiders and Jets are our chief competitors. The good thing is we already have a one game lead on the Jets. The Raiders have a medium strength schedule. 10 wins is not out of the realm of possibility here, in fact I'd say its likely. Figure a loss to SD once, maybe twice, a guaranteed loss to GB, good shot at losing to Detroit, and you got a 10-6 record there. Even if Detroit fades, or SD doesn't win twice, they'll let down a game on the road somewhere.
I don't think the Jets are for real, but even if they are they gotta face the pats and GO to Philly and Buffalo. The Giants and San Diego could give them fits with their run attacks. I can't see the Jets getting 10 wins this year, just doesn't seem likely. They'll be lucky to be 9-7.
Getting more to our situation, we have a fairly soft schedule save for NE and Baltimore, but both games are at home. I figure us to win one, not sure which yet, could be both though. From there as long as we don't have any let down games we'll probably make the playoffs as the 5-6 seed. To win the Division, we have a big problem. We have to beat Baltimore when they visit or they'll just dominate us in the tiebreaker column. Plus we'd be down 2 games assuming the season continues as so. Theres no way they collapse in a 3 game skid down the stretch.
Even if we DO beat them, winning out may not be enough. If we end up tied, we could have a problem.
If we win, and both teams win out, we'd tie the conference and division records. So next, the common games tiebreaker would come into effect, and we're tied there with our loss to Houston and theirs to Tennessee. Now I dont think both teams go 14-2, so the question is where does a loss come from? An in the conference loss would drop the tied team into second place. If both lose in conference, we go to Strength of Victory so that probably would be very close, and we could benefit from the Pats game if we win that. If we don't it'll be a tight tiebreaker because our schedules are very similar. They'd probably win it though because some of the top teams haven't been so good (Colts, Kansas City) whereas Baltimore beat the Jets and plays San Diego instead of the Pats.
So basically you have to beat baltimore and win out to have a slim chance at the division, assuming Baltimore also wins out. Point is until Baltimore goes a game below us, we don't control our own destiny. Tiebreaker scenarios are ugly.
Fortunately the win count we'd need to take division would guarantee the 5th seed.
So here are my final predictions for 2011:
1. New England: 14-2 Can't stop this offense and i only feel they'll lose a key game against an AFC opponent.
2. Baltimore: 13-3 Will lose to a certain division rival but plow forward to take the Division T shirt and hat.
3. San Diego: 12-4 Will lose their first playoff game as usual
4. Houston Texans: 10-6 Manage to win a division for the first time in their lives. But they lose right away.
5. Steelers: 13-3 Jobbed from the 3 seed due to retarded rules, but they get their act together against an easy sched, ignited by a key win or two in the middle.
6. Oakland Raiders 10-6 Make the playoffs and win a game on top of it.
A rematch against the Texans proves rape filled and spankful
Steelers travel to, where else, Baltimore. Where we win, duh and or hello.
The Raiders continue their run and stuff the Pats on their turf.
And the Steelers revive a classic rivalry and advance to the Super Bowl against the Packers of Green Bay. Where they exact revenge.
It will be known as the Revenge Bowl. Beating 4 teams that have beaten you in some serious way either in this season or in history, it'll be an epic game worthy of the best hate guide I have to offer.
So yeah guys don't worry, we'll make the playoffs. Probably not with cool T-shirts and hats that say division champs. But those ones that say AFC champs. I bet baltimore's shirts are all worn out and faded and have holes in them and stuff.
By the way for the people that will inevitably poast or comment that it's far too early to think about the playoffs: Congratulations you've been trolled. This has been a Mechem Poast. it's my actual prediction, and a real serious investigation about something that I know will be about as valid as a check written by a hobo in 6 weeks.
But I hope you enjoyed.