AROUND THE LEAGUE

Time for early look at NFL playoff picture

 

gcote@MiamiHerald.com

With Thanksgiving the appetizer, the dawn of December is when NFL fans really start to dig into the playoff picture. No teams have yet clinched a postseason berth but five could this weekend: the Broncos, Patriots, Ravens and Texans in the AFC, and the Falcons in the NFC — if they won Thursday night.

The current playoff picture, by conference, with the six projected qualifying teams and the team on the bubble based on percentile likelihood via makenflplayoffs.com computers, along with each team’s remaining home games and opponent record:

AFC

1. Texans (10-1): Likelihood 99.998 percent. Clinch playoffs Sunday with win or other results. Remaining opponents, .582. Home games left, 2.

2. Broncos (8-3): Likelihood 99.926 percent. Clinch division with win Sunday or San Diego loss. Opponents, .400. Home, 3.

3. Ravens (9-2): Likelihood 99.884 percent. Clinch playoffs with win Sunday or other results, clinch division with win or Cincinnati loss. Opponents, .582. Home, 3.

4. Patriots (8-3): Likelihood 97.1 percent. Clinch division with win Sunday. Opponents, .555. Home, 3.

5. Colts (7-4): Likelihood 84.1 percent. Opponents, .527. Home, 2.

6. Steelers (6-5): Likelihood 41.8 percent. Opponents, .491. Home, 3.

Bubble: Bengals (6-5): Likelihood 37.9 percent. Opponents, .491. Home, 2.

Note: Dolphins (5-6) are next with likelihood of 17.8 percent, opponent record of .555 and three home games left.

NFC

1. Falcons (10-1, entering Thursday night): Likelihood 99.878 percent. Could clinch playoffs with win Thursday and Seattle loss Sunday, or division with win plus Tampa Bay loss. Remaining opponents, .455. Home games left, 3.

2. 49ers (8-2-1): Likelihood 97.2 percent. Opponents, .500. Home, 2.

3. Bears (8-3): Likelihood 87.0 percent. Opponents, .491. Home, 2.

4. Giants (7-4): Likelihood 81.4 percent. Opponents, .582. Home, 2.

5. Packers (7-4): Likelihood 68.5 percent. Opponents, .509. Home, 3.

6. Seahawks (6-5): Likelihood 39.4 percent. Opponents, .527. Home, 3.

Bubble: Vikings (6-5): Likelihood 34.0 percent. Opponents, .664. Home, 2.

Scatter-shooting the league:

• Dolphins in updated Pro Bowl voting: Tackle Jake Long continues to lead but has fallen into a virtual tie for first with Ravens’ Michael Oher. Punter Brandon Fields’ lead is stronger. Others in top five: DE Cameron Wake (third) and DT Randy Starks (fifth).

• Bears’ Brandon Marshall is fifth receiver to have a 1,000-yard season with three different teams. The others: Irving Fryar, Randy Moss, Terrell Owens and Tony Martin. (Yes, Tony Martin.)

• Rams cornerback Janoris Jenkins became fourth rookie to return two interceptions for TDs in a game, but first since Bobby Franklin in 1960. (The 50 INT scores league-wide are most ever at this point.)

• Texan Andre Johnson’s 461 catch yards the past two games are most ever in two-game stretch, topping previous mark of 450 by Chad Johnson in 2006.

• Lions’ Calvin Johnson is near pace (1,829) to challenge Jerry Rice’s enduring 1995 league record of 1,848 receiving yards.

• Take heart, Dolfans. Fifteen teams since 1990 have made playoffs after being 5-6 at this point. But don’t take too much heart. Patriots have won 11 consecutive December games.

• Updated Super Bowl odds via Bovada have Texans and Patriots deadlocked at 9-2, with 49ers 5-1 and Broncos 11-2.

Read more Football stories from the Miami Herald

  •  
Miami Dolphins running back Knowshon Moreno (28) goes through rehab drills as center Mike Pouncey (51), who is recovering from hip surgery, looks on during Miami Dolphins training camp in Davie on Friday, Aug. 1, 2014.

    MIAMI DOLPHINS

    Miami Dolphins’ Knowshon Moreno still recovering from knee issues

    As Lamar Miller continues to solidify the starting job, Knowshon Moreno – a 1,000-yard rusher last season with Denver – is still unsure when he’ll return.

  •  
Miami Dolphins strong safety Don Jones (36) during Miami Dolphins practice at Dolphin Camp on Thursday, July 31, 2014.

    Dolphins

    Miami Dolphins’ Don Jones humbled, changed since anti-gay tweets

    Don Jones has been a model teammate following a suspension and sensitivity training after his tweets about Michael Sam during the NFL Draft. ‘I learned I can’t be judgmental.’

  •  
Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice answers question during a news conference after NFL football training camp practice in Owings Mills, Md. on July 31, 2014.

    In My Opinion | David J. Neal

    David J. Neal: NFL fumbled on Ray Rice punishment, then tried to justify it

    Baltimore Ravins running back Ray Rice spoke publicly Thursday for the first time since security camera video and NFL discipline transformed him into the latest domestic violence national talking point. Rice occasionally came off as self-centered. He also indulged in some self-victimization. Generally, however, he seemed seriously ashamed of the actions toward his wife in February that got him charged with felony aggravated assault.

Join the
Discussion

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category