Early Sundays I miss the weekend previews and set up to the 1pm kick off we have for the football season. Bored and just thinking about the great season ahead got me to thinking about the end of it at least up to playoff time. I could have done a simple "what do you guys think"?, but I wanted to take a different approach and show the trend over the past few years as well. The ideal behind this post is that every year on average at least 5 teams turnover and dont return to the playoffs for the past 15 years. With this in mind the obvious end question would be who's your early preseason picks. I started in 07 giving a 5 year span w/ teams not returning starting from 06's playoff season.
2007 – a.k.a The serious let down of being and undefeated season team as the Giants beat the Pats in the SB
Note * Steelers clinched division and Titans got 6th seed based on record over the Browns who also had a 10-6 record on common opponents
Jets, Ravens, Chiefs, Bears, Saints, Eagles, making it 6 teams that did not return to the playoffs from the 06 season.
2008- The year the Lions slipped to the bowels of the league at 0-16 – bring on the Schwartz, SB Steelers
Note * Giants clinched #1 in NFC over the Panthers while the Ravens and the Dolphins left the Patriots sulking in an 11-5 effort that w/ out winning the division left them going home at end of season. And San Diego won their division w/ 8-8 over Denver same record.
Patriots, Jaguars, Redskins, Cowboys, Bucs, Seahawks, Packers all did not return to the playoffs. Giants were the only returning team from the NFC. This made 7 teams that did not repeat their performance from the year before w/ the exception of the Patriots who were shafted at 11-5 record.
2009- New Orleans pulls the bags off their head as the Saints win the SB
NFC-Saints, Vikings, Cowboys, Cardinals, Packers, Eagles
Notes* at 9-7 both Houston and the Steelers miss the playoffs Ravens and Jets earn w/ 9-7. In the NFC the Falcons go 9-7 but were 2 games off from playoffs. Panthers, Giants, 49ers go 8-8 on the season.
Titans, Dolphins, Steelers, Giants, Panthers, Falcons, all do not go back to the playoffs from season before leaving a turnover factor of 6 teams down 1 from the previous year.
2010- The Pack finally shed the old weight of Favre as Rodgers wins his first SB
AFC-Patriots, Steelers, Colts, Chiefs, Ravens, Jets
NFC-Falcons, Bears, Eagles, Seahawks, Saints, Packers
Note* Steelers and Ravens tie at 12-4 Steelers win division, Philly wins the NFC east budging the Giants hopes of a playoff berth at 10-6 which the Bucs also had same record as the Giants and Seahawks get in by winning their division at 7-9 in which Rams lost the tie breaker for w/l record in division. Green bay had a play in this as well based on Strength of Victory and grabbed the final seed for the NFC.
Chargers, Bengals, Vikings, Cowboys, and Cardinals, all failed to return to the playoffs from year before. This marks another year where the teams’ not repeating goes down by 1 w/ only the avg. of 5 in this last year’s playoff not making it back.
So now let’s get to the meat of this post, I know its only the preseason but let’s do this as a early outlook and we can always come back and see how wrong or right we were. So who are the 4 division winners and the two wild card spots for each conference?
AFC –Patriots, Steelers, Texans, Chargers, Ravens, Jets
NFC- Eagles, Falcons, Packers, Rams, Detroit, Cowboys
I’ll be honest the AFC seems a little more easy to guess on most of the teams that should win their division or at least be in the hunt for the wild card big what ifs on Colts, Jaguars, Broncos, Chiefs, and maybe even Cleveland being a thorn in the side of the Ravens and Steelers. The NFC the more and more you look at some of the Divisions its so wide open. The South, North, and East have 3 teams in each very capable of making the playoffs. The west is weak and I really think that Bradford leads the Rams to the division title outright and w/ a winning record not a 7-9 and back to the playoffs this year.