The League

Sean Moroney
Sports Writer

Sean Moroney

Lead writer, editor and creator of the Pro Quarterback Manifesto

Playoff Picks

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Time to speculate which current division leaders are most likely to miss the playoffs.

Locks:

New Orleans: With a current three game lead over Atlanta (who they just beat), Drew Brees and co. have greater expectations than just making the playoffs.

Minnesota: The Vikings have a three game lead over Chicago and Green Bay. Even if Favre starts to fall apart after a fast start like last year, Minnesota only needs to win four of their last eight games to make the playoffs (remaining schedule is 28-29).

Indianapolis: With a tough schedule coming up, the Colts are still a lock for at least 12 plus wins as long as Peyton Manning stays healthy.

New England: With Tom Brady looking more confident as the season goes along, the Patriots have a great shot at not only making the playoffs, but making another Super Bowl.

In very good shape:

Denver: With a two game lead over San Diego (who they already beat), Denver seems to be on their way to the playoffs with Kyle Orton under center.

Arizona: Since the Cardinals play in an awful division (the NFC West has been outscored by 135 points so far this season), nine wins should be enough to take this division. Their biggest threat, the San Francisco 49ers, just benched a quarterback who is 10-6 as a starter (Shaun Hill) for a quarterback who is 11-20 as starter (Alex Smith) with the same exact team. Yikes!


Pittsburgh
: The Steelers are currently in a tie with the Bengals for the division lead. However, as long as Roethlisberger stays healthy, I don't see Pittsburgh missing the playoffs.

A lot of Competition:

Philadelphia & Dallas: Both teams are good. However, there will be a lot of competition in the NFC for the final few playoff spots- making it likely that one of these three NFC East teams (Eagles, Cowboys and Giants), missing the playoffs.

Most Likely to Tail Off:

Cincinnati: The Bengals are 4-1 in games that came down to the wire, and already lost defensive star Antwan Odom for the season. With Pittsburgh and Baltimore in their division, the Bengals' luck is the most likely of the current division leaders to run out.

By Sean Moroney  |  November 5, 2009; 9:32 AM ET  | Category:  Arizona Cardinals , Cincinnati Bengals , Denver Broncos , Minnesota Vikings , New England Patriots , New Orleans Saints , Philadelphia Eagles , Pittsburgh Steelers Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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Comments

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What a dumb article.
Cincinnati went 4-1-1 in their last 6 games last year. They are 7-2 this year. (yes, I know this was written before they beat Pittsburgh - again, but they had already beaten Baltimore twice) Overall that is 11-3-1 in their last 15 games. Anyone who does not think they will make the playoffs is not paying attention. They play only 2 more games against teams with a winning record all season. A 12-4 record is very possible.

Posted by: Iowahoosier | November 16, 2009 4:54 PM

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