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The Pro Football Notebook


November 23, 2010 7:40 AM

Updated Playoff Picture

DavidGarrard.jpgSan Diego's easy win over Denver puts another week of the NFL in the books. With six games to go, let's take a look at the playoff picture...

NFC East: Philadelphia moves into first place with their win over New York, though they still have to go the Big Apple. The Giants have gone from the toast of the NFL to the outside looking in, as they sit on 6-4 in a conference with a host of 7-3 teams in wild-card contention.

NFC North: Green Bay & Chicago each held serve and moved to 7-3. They have big games ahead this week against Atlanta and Philadelphia respectively and a head-to-head meeting in Lambeau before it's over.

NFC South: Atlanta sits atop the entire conference at 8-2 and can really get some separation for homefield advantage if they beat Green Bay on Sunday. But New Orleans and Tampa Bay are still hot on the Falcons' heels at 7-3 apiece, though each has lost to the Falcons head-to-head.

NFC West: Seattle's 5-5 record is still the "class" of the division, with San Francisco, St. Louis and Arizona all losing, as the division went 0-4 for the day.

AFC East: There might not have been a Red Sox-Yankees race in baseball, but New York and Boston are set to deliver in football. The Patriots and Jets are each 8-2 and have a Monday Night battle in Foxboro in two weeks.

AFC North: Baltimore and Pittsburgh continue to joust back and forth at 7-3 apiece. The Ravens still have that head-to-head win in the Steel City, and the impending home game with Pittsburgh on December 5.

AFC South: Jacksonville just won't go away. Their win over Cleveland moved them to 6-4 and suddenly they're tied with Indianapolis at the top. Tennessee missed a big chance when they lost at home to Washington. The Colts get the benefit of the doubt, but Jack Del Rio's troops down south need to be paid attention too now.

AFC West: Kansas City took sole possession of first place at 6-4 as they won and Oakland lost. But San Diego, 5-5 after last night's blistering of Denver has the Chiefs and Raiders at home down the stretch and has to be the favorite.

Here's how I'd project the field right now.

AFC 1st Round: Indianapolis (#3) vs. Pittsburgh (#6) San Diego (#4) vs. NY Jets (#5)
AFC Byes: New England (#1), Baltimore (#2)

NFC 1st Round: Philadelphia (#3) vs. NY Giants (#6), Seattle (#4) vs. New Orleans (#5)
NFC Byes: Atlanta (#1), Green Bay (#2)

The way the schedule and tiebreakers work out mean my preseason Super Bowl picks of Baltimore and Green Bay probably don't pick up the #1 seed, but I will stick with both to be in Dallas come February.

Image from blogs.chron.com

Dan Flaherty is the editor of the Sports Notebook Family, published through the Real Clear Sports Blog Network, offering daily commentary in college football ,game analysis in the NFL. and coverage of college basketball. He is the author of The Last New Year's, a book that revisits the historic high points of college football's New Year's Day bowl games.

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