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AFC Playoffs Are Set

Here are your AFC Seeds (edited after conclusion of SD-DEN game)

  1. Tennessee Titans
  2. Pittsburgh Steelers
  3. Miami Dolphins
  4. San Diego Chargers
  5. Indianapolis Colts
  6. Baltimore Ravens

* Congratulations to the Baltimore Ravens for their emphatic beatdown of Jacksonville. Joe Flacco had perhaps his best game as a pro, Ray Lewis and Ed Reed do what they do - make big plays, and the Ravens coaching staff undeniably schooled Jack Del Rio and his staff. It's not important, but can you believe that Del Rio wouldn't kick a FG from the Ravens' 20 yard line in the 3rd quarter...down 3 scores! Just makes no sense. We'll see if Del Rio is out of a job in the near future, but it wouldn't surprise me if that was the case.

* Congratulations as well to the Miami Dolphins for handling the New York Jets in the Meadowlands. The biggest difference in the game? 3 Brett Favre INTs compared to 0 for Chad Pennington. The +46 rushing yards edge also contributed to the Dolphins winning the time of possession battle 33+ minutes to 26+ minutes.

* Indianapolis keeps rolling. It was a game where Jeff Fisher and the Titans showed next to nothing offensively, but nevertheless, the efficiency with which both Peyton Manning and Jim Sorgi moved the offense was still impressive. The Colts have won 9 in a row heading into Wild Card Weekend next week in San Diego. Look out AFC, but don't sleep on the Chargers. They still have top notch talent on both sides of the ball, even if it did take them an absurd number of games months to get rolling.

* The Jets lose 4 of 5 to close. Awful. Have we seen the last of Brett Favre?

* The Pats were the odd man out this year. Despite winning their final 4 ball games, New England missed out on the playoffs due to tiebreakers.

* I'll touch on this later, but as opposed to the NFC playoff contending teams which crapped the bed for the most part down the stretch (Tampa, Chicago, Dallas, New Orleans, Washington), the AFC playoff teams are all heading into the Dance with a positive head of steam. The Dolphins have won 5 in a row and 9 of 10. Indy has won 9 in a row. Tennesee may have stumbled a bit in Week 15 and 17, but they won the game that counted against Pittsburgh in Week 16. San Diego (the likely winner tonight) will have won 4 in a row. The Ravens have won 5 of their past 6 and 9 of their past 11, making them a #6 seed that nobody's eager to face. And last but not least, the Steelers have won 6 of 7. This is not a top heavy bracket like it has been in recent years, but it sure is filled with teams trending in the right direction. I'm not sure I would write off any of those 6 team's chances at making a Super Bowl in this wacky year.

The fun's only just begun.

More soon.

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