Conventional wisdom in ninerland says its the division or bust, but take a look at the wild card contenders in the conference (excluded Arizona because we'll either be competing for a wild card slot or be division champs):
Here's a look at the remaining "tough" games for our wild card opponents:
- GB still has to play MIN, DAL, SF, BAL, @CHI, @PIT, @ARI.
- ATL still has to play NO x 2, NYG, PHI, NYJ
- PHI has murderers' row in the 2nd half: the NYG x 2, DAL x 2, @SD, @CHI, @ATL, SF, and DEN. With that schedule, I don't see how philly makes the playoffs.
- DAL has to play PHI x 2, @GB, @NYG, SD, @NO, @WAS (I put the WAS game on there because they alwys play tough, regardless of talent levels, when playing each other)
- CHI has to play MIN x 2, ARI, @SF, PHI, GB, @BAL
- SF has to play @IND, CHI, @GB, ARI, @ PHI
We have the least number of difficult games remaining, along with Atlanta. But Atlanta has a 1.5 game lead over us. They could lose 4 out of those 6 games and still be 10-6.
Green Bay and Dallas need to win 3 out of 7 games to go 10-6.
Philly needs to win 6 of their 9 brutal games to go 10-6.
Chicago needs to win 4 of those 7 to go 10-6.
We need to win 2 out of 5 to go 10-6.
- I don't see how Atlanta misses the playoffs. They need to lose at least 4 of those games AND the Dallas tiebreaker needs to come into play for them to miss.
- Philly's schedule is just too difficult for them to win 6 of those 9 games.
- Chicago looks like a team that will not be competitive outside of their rivalry games. Lovie WILL get fired.
- Dallas has 5 of its 7 tough games on the road. If they beat Philly and San Diego at home, then avoid a loss in Washington, they're at 10 wins.
- The team that concerns me the most is Green Bay. The only need to win 3 of their 4 tough home games to get to 10-6. They could also drop 2 at home and still go 10-6 by beating Chicago or Arizona on the road (if they beat ARI, we may win the DID). The only positive for us is that Green Bay mateches up poorly against Minnesota, Dallas, Baltimore, and Pit. Weo if we beat them in Green bay, they could be done.
- Now to us. Highly unlikely we beat Indy. The Arizona and the Green Bay games are the two must-must wins. We've gotta beat ARI to win the division and we need to avoid losing a tie-breaker to Green Bay. That could put us at 10-6 and in position to win the division if Arizona has less than 11 wins, or to win the wild card unless (a) green bay wins 4 out of their 7 or (b) dallas slips into the playoffs.
[ Edited by nickbradley on Oct 29, 2009 at 2:05 PM ]