Wednesday, October 25, 2006

NFC Playoff Table: Week 7

So here it is: My masterpiece. This table breaks down PRECISELY the race for the NFC Wild Card spot. It includes every team without a losing record, except da Bears, who will be included if the Vikings move within a game of them. Until then, I'm going to assume they're going to win the NFC North.

In order to avoid confusion, here's a quick explanation of the table. The first three columns are self explanatory (Conference Record matters because its the tiebreaker used if head to head matchup can't be used). The fourth column lists who the team holds a tiebreaker over. You'll notice there are no division teams listed right now, because until the two games are both played, it's just speculation. The fifth column lists the upcoming games against out of division playoff contenders, the sixth lists upcoming division games, and the final column lists the upcoming nonconference games and games against teams that are out of the playoff race. In the last two columns, teams in bold have winning records, and italicized teams in the final column are in the NFC. [Due to formatting issues, the chart is well after the "analysis". If anyone knows how to fix this, it'd be appreciated.]

So are the Vikings going to make the playoffs? While it's early, I'd have to say they are the favorite to do so. They currently are tied with the Giants and Seahawks for the second best conference record (behind da Bears) and only have to play two more games against NFC teams with winning records, one of which is at home. The Seahawks have an easier conference schedule remaining, but since the Vikings hold the tiebreaker, it won't factor in if they are tied for a wild card berth. Aside from the Rams (who have three road games against NFC playoff contenders) every other team has at least four more games against NFC playoff contenders and most also have games against AFC contenders as well.

This is why the Vikings division is so helpful. Instead of having four division games against good teams, they only have two. The NFC West is equally as easy, but the Vikings already beat the Seahawks, and will get to host the Rams, giving them control of their own destiny.

The other six teams in contention all have to play each other, and play each other alot. Each team from the NFC South and NFC East has at least four games against teams on this chart. They're either going to beat up on each other (ruining their conference record) or one of them will emerge from the pack relatively unscathed (meaning the Vikings will likely have a better record then the wild card contenders AND a better conference record). It's too early to decide on which teams will come away with the division titles (My guess is the Giants in the East and the Saints in the South), but considering the schedules and the tiebreakers, I would be surprised if more then one team from those two divisions got a wild card berth. The Seahawks' injuries (Memo to Matt Hasselbeck--Quit whining. You're better than that. It's Mack Strong's fault, not E.J.'s) are the only reason I'm not writing off the NFC East and NFC South for wild card berths. But make no mistake about it. The Vikings should make the playoffs this year. Failing to do so would be a massive choke job, which sadly, is what this franchise does best. So be prepared for it--we all know it's coming.











[The Chart is coming]











[Almost there!]














[Here it is! Whoo hooo!!]

Team

Record

NFC Record

Tiebreakers

Tiebreaker Games Left

Division Games Left

Opponents Left

MIN

4-2

4-1

SEA, CAR

STL

GB, @GB, @DET, @CHI

NE, NYJ, ARZ, @SF

NYG

4-2

4-1

ATL

@CAR, NO

DAL, PHI, WAS

TB, HOU, CHI, @JAX, @TEN

PHI

4-3

3-3

NONE

CAR, ATL

WAS, @WAS, @NYG, @DAL

JAX, TEN, @IND, BYE

DAL

3-3

1-2

NONE

@CAR, NO, @ATL

@NYG, PHI, @WAS

ARZ, IND, TB, DET

NO

5-1

4-1

PHI

@DAL, @NYG

@ATL, CAR @TB

BAL, @PIT, CIN, SF, WAS

ATL

4-2

3-2

NONE

DAL, @PHI

NO, CAR, @TB

@CIN, @DET, CLE, @BAL, @WAS,

CAR

4-3

2-2

NONE

DAL, STL, @PHI, NYG

TB, @ATL, @NO

@WAS, PIT, BYE

SEA

4-2

4-2

NYG

NONE

STL, @SF, @AZ, SF

@KC, OAK, GB, @DEN, SD, @TB

STL

4-2

3-2

NONE

@CAR, @MIN

@SEA, SF, AZ

@SD, KC, CHI, @OAK, WAS



[Sorry About the formatting. I have no idea how to make it fit. Any help would be appreciated, because I plan on updating this chart weekly]

4 comments:

Pacifist Viking said...

Two things worry me: the Vikes lost at Buffalo, and "records don't matter" when they play the Packers.

cheswick said...

Pacifist, you took the words right out of my mouth. Winning AT seattle made me feel a lot better about this team on the road. We all know how bad they've been on the road on real grass. That seems to be turning around though. Thankfully.

I figure even with an even split in the remaining games they Vikes are looking fine. And they really should do better than a split. They could beat anybody on this list. Even the Bears next time around.

Should be an exciting finish to the season in Viking Land!

Tbird - nice job, but damn! HOw long did it take to put that chart together?

TBird41 said...

Those two things, along with the Vikings' franchise history make me worried, but I don't think the Vikings need more then ten wins to get into the playoffs. The contenders from the NFC South and NFC East are going to beat each other up such that there's no way the second best team has a better record then 10-6, which, along with the liklihood the Vikings are going to have the tiebreaker, means that they'll get a playoff berth.

The three big games are STL, @SF and @GB, with the last two being potential "Buffalo" Games. I don't expect them to beat NE or win at Chicago, but they can't afford to drop the ball in those three games. 2-1 there means they're probably going to the playoffs. 3-0, and they're pretty much a lock.

TBird41 said...

Tbird - nice job, but damn! HOw long did it take to put that chart together?

The chart? Not that long. Thankfully, Blogger is compatible with Word Tables. Formatting the entry? That took forever, and I just ended up giving up. Now that it's done, it'll probably be the quickest entry I do every week. The only reason it would take some time is if some team reentered the Wild Card race *cough* da Bears *cough*