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2011 NFL Playoffs - AFC Wild Card Round


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Who do you think will win?  

4 members have voted

  1. 1. Cincinnati Bengals at Houston Texans

    • Cincinnati Bengals
    • Houston Texans
  2. 2. Pittsburgh Steelers at Denver Broncos

    • Pittsburgh Steelers
    • Denver Broncos
      0


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With the tables set, who do you think will win?

Texans, Steelers

Torn on the Texans Bengals game since the Texans may have to rely on effectively their fourth string QB, Jake Delhomme, their defense has been on the decline and only a last minute drive won the previous match up. Don't see Tebow beating the Steelers D; Big Ben's ankle is cause for concern for his ability to extend the play, but Denver's D has also been on the decline.

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Would someone mind explaining how the playoffs work in the NFL? We never really get much coverage over this side of the pond until the superbowl.

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Would someone mind explaining how the playoffs work in the NFL? We never really get much coverage over this side of the pond until the superbowl.

Just to cover all bases, I'm including info you may already know. There are 32 teams split between conferences, the AFC and NFC. Each conference has four divisions of four teams. Each division winner automatically goes to the playoffs and two other playoff spots are available for the rest of the teams that have the best win-loss-tie record (so six playoff teams total). The top two teams of each conference get a bye week (meaning they don't play) while the next four play during wild card weekend. Each week, the highest seeded team plays the lowest seeded team. Texans (#3) vs Bengals (#6), Broncos (#4) vs Steelers (#5). Because the Texans won, they play the Ravens (#2) and whoever would have won the Broncos Steelers game would automatically play the Patriots (#1) since they were seeded lower than the Texans.

Now let's say the Bengals won yesterday instead of the Texans. They would have played New England next week since New England has the #1 seed. If the Bengals won that game as well, they would be playing in the AFC championship game against the winner between the Broncos (#4) and the Ravens (#2). This scenario applied last year, when Green Bay, being the #6 seed, play the highest seeded team each week.

Make sense? It wasn't always setup this way; there's a lot more info here.

There are some people, myself included, that think this needs to be changed. It's possible for teams without a winning record to not only win their division, but also host a playoff game. In 2008, the 8-8 Chargers hosted the 12-4 Colts; last year the 7-9 Seahawks hosted the 11-5 Saints; this year, the 8-8 Broncos hosted the 13-3 Steelers. It seems backwards that a team with a worse record, or without a winning one, would host a playoff game. Some argue that winning your division automatically gets you that advantage of playing at home, while I argue that winning their division should just guarantee a playoff spot. One of the talked about changes was keeping the top two seeds as is (top two of the four division winners get a bye week), while seeding by win-loss-tie for the remaining four teams. This means no more .500 teams playing at home while teams with a great record have to play on the road. I'm in favor of this change. I'm more in favor of seeding based on win-loss-tie record alone. For this year, that would mean the AFC ranks from first to last would be Patriots, Ravens, Steelers, Texans, Bengals, Broncos, and on the NFC side, Packers, 49ers, Saints, Falcons, Lions, Giants. Having this kind of system could prevent teams from resting starters if losing a game means losing a high playoff spot.

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On the AFC fence, I have no choice now but go for the Broncos. Ugh, but I'm so sick of Tebowmania or whatever. I hate the Florida Gators, and didn't like Tebow when he was with them. But I dislike the Texans/Patriots/Ravens more, as a Dolphins fan. I do not want to see the Patriots in another super bowl.

On the NFC side, I was rooting for either the Lions or Saints. Sucks they had to play each other first off. I'm hoping now, that either the Saints or Giants make it into the super bowl, as I'm not a fan of the Packers or 49ers at all.

A Broncos vs Saints/Giants super bowl would be ideal, so I wouldn't care who won really, though I'd pull for an NFC team. I don't really like rooting for other AFC teams, as a Dolphins fan.

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And if there is enough interest in the games played overseas it's quite possible Europe could get 1 or even 2 NFL franchises. It's been talked about for a few years.

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