National Football League
December 27, 2008
Draft King Analysis
Lou Pickney, DraftKing.com
Reader feedback is always welcomed here. Send your thoughts to Draft King at LouPickney@gmail.com.
By the end of action tomorrow we'll not only know who's in and who's out of the playoffs, we'll also have a good idea of who is picking where in the first 20 spots of the 2009 NFL Draft.
Here's a rundown of the order as we know it now. The top twenty spots go to the non-playoff teams, with the only tiebreaker for teams with identical records is opponent win percentage. If that's a tie, it goes to a coin flip to break the deadlock.
1. Detroit (0-15) [.5583 opp. win %] (at GB)
Hang in there, Lions fans. Better days are ahead for you.
2. Kansas City (2-13) [.5354 opp. win %] (at CIN)
3. St. Louis (2-13) [.5377 opp. win %] (at ATL)
One of these teams will draft in the second spot, while the other gets the #3 spot. Both teams drafted in the top five last year.
4. Cincinnati (3-11-1) [.5628 opp. win %] (vs. KC)
Amazingly, if the Bengals win and the Seahawks, Raiders, and Browns all lose, the Bengals will be picking #7 in the 2009 draft.
5. Seattle (4-11) [.5000 opp. win %] (at ARI)
6. Oakland (4-11) [.5208 opp. win %] (at TB)
7. Cleveland (4-11) [.5753 opp. win %] (at PIT)
I'm no math expert, but I don't think that the Browns can catch the Seahawks or Raiders in the opponent win percentage category.
8. Green Bay (5-10) [.5125 opp. win %] (vs. DET)
9. Jacksonville (5-10) [.5354 opp. win %] (at BAL)
Both Green Bay and Jacksonville could possibly leapfrog the Browns with a loss combined with a Cleveland win.
10. San Francisco (6-9) [.4582 opp. win %] (vs. WAS)
The 49ers would move past either the Packers or the Jaguars in the case of an identical record.
11. Buffalo (7-8) [.4500 opp. win %] (vs. NE)
12. Houston (7-8) [.5146 opp. win %] (vs. CHI)
13. San Diego (7-8) [.5167 opp. win %] (vs. DEN)
Heading into Week 17, no one in the NFL has a lower opponent win percentage than the Bills. If San Diego beats Denver, the Chargers make the playoffs and thus move out of the top twenty. It's possible that we could have two 8-8 teams in the playoffs this year, both as #4 seeds.
14. Denver (8-7) [.4542 opp. win %] (at SD)
15. Washington (8-7) [.4853 opp. win %] (at SF)
16. Arizona (8-7) [.4916 opp. win %] (vs. SEA)
17. New Orleans (8-7) [.4917 opp. win %] (vs. CAR)
Arizona has already clinched a playoff berth, so they won't draft any higher than #21. Also, if Denver beats San Diego, the Broncos make the playoffs and thus move out of the top twenty.
18. Philadelphia (8-6-1) [.5229 opp. win %] (vs. DAL)
The Eagles are on an island. There is an outside chance that they could make the playoffs, in which case they would move out of the top twenty.
19. New York Jets (9-6) [.4646 opp. win %] (vs. MIA)
20. Chicago (9-6) [.4707 opp. win %] (at HOU)
21. Tampa Bay (9-6) [.4792 opp. win %] (vs. OAK)
22. Dallas (9-6) [.5021 opp. win %] (at PHI)
23. Minnesota (9-6) [.5083 opp. win %] (vs. NYG)
There are many, many different playoff scenarios that could play out here.
24. Miami (10-5) [.4583 opp. win %] (at NYJ)
25. Atlanta (10-5) [.4623 opp. win %] (vs. STL)
26. New England (10-5) [.4792 opp. win %] (at BUF)
27. Baltimore (10-5) [.5209 opp. win %] (vs. JAC)
Of the four teams above, only Atlanta has clinched a playoff spot. Miami and Baltimore are in if they win (Baltimore could get in with a loss with help as well), while New England could potentially be 11-5 and on the outside looking in if Miami and Baltimore both win.
28. Carolina (11-4) [.4917 opp. win %] (at NO)
29. Indianapolis (11-4) [.4938 opp. win %] (vs. TEN)
30. Pittsburgh (11-4) [.5251 opp. win %] (vs. CLE)
The Colts could finish 12-4 and end up as the #5 seed in the AFC.
31. New York Giants (12-3) [.5021 opp. win %] (at MIN)
The Giants have clinched the #1 seed in the NFC.
32. Tennessee Titans (13-2) [.4521 opp. win %] (at IND)
The Titans game with Indianapolis could be a preview of a divisional round playoff game in Nashville the weekend of January 10-11, 2009.