The Vikings are officially 8th in the NFC playoff hunt, after you figure in all the tiebreakers between them, the Lions and the Cardinals. Here’s the remaining schedule for Detroit:
- @ San Diego
- Kansas City
- @ Green Bay
That’s brutal. Although, that last game against the Packers could feature a lot of Green Bay back-ups, since Dallas will probably have wrapped up home-field by then and the Pack will have little if anything to play for. That Chiefs game will be tough because it’s at KC, but given the Chiefs’ recent decline, it’s possible they’ll have packed it in by then too.
Here’s what Arizona faces:
- @ Seattle
- @ New Orleans
- St. Louis
I doubt Arizona will be able to go into Seattle and beat the Seahawks. As for those other three games – it’s kind of hard to guess what you’ll get from those teams. The Saints are more schizo than Jim Carrey. Atlanta and St. Louis will be playing out the string, and may possibly have no motivation – or, no pressure on them, allowing them to be really loose if you want to take the glass-half-full angle. At any rate, there’s a real chance Arizona could go 3-1, which would make it difficult for us.
Then there’s the Giants, who hold down the #1 wild-card slot at 8-4. Our advantage over them in a two-team tie is that we’ve beaten them and therefore hold the best tie-breaker. Here’s what they’ve got left:
- @ Philadelphia
- @ Buffalo
- New England
There’s not an easy game in there. Philly will have McNabb back next week (which may or may not be a good thing for them). Then there’s Washington who can be tough, assuming their coach doesn’t go senile while trying to ice a kicker. At Buffalo is never a treat. And then New England, who could be 15-0 at that point, giving them a really good reason not to bench anyone (at least until they’ve gotten a good lead, probably some time in the second quarter). I could easily see the Giants finishing 9-7. The best thing would be for them to go completely in the tank, losing the last four and letting us sneak past them.
I think you can forget about Detroit – Roy Williams is gone for the season, they have no running game and their defense…well, we saw what their defense is like. As for Arizona…I have too many memories of McCown-to-Poole to even want to think about them. Let’s just enjoy our next game at San Francisco, which will hopefully not turn out like our last game in San Francisco.