OFFICIAL PLAYOFF SCENARIOS: Here’s the breakdown

Matt Ryan stepping into a throw against Seattle. (Associated Press)

Matt Ryan stepping into a throw against Seattle. (Associated Press)

FLOWERY BRANCH – Here’s how the NFC playoffs will shake out if all of the favorites win this week.

In the NFC,

1. Atlanta Falcons

2. Chicago Bears

3.  Philadelphia Eagles

4.   St. Louis

5. New Orleans

6. Green Bay

Outside looking in: Tampa Bay, New York Giants and Seattle.

OFFICIAL PLAYOFF SCENARIOS  FROM THE LEAGUE OFFICE

2010 NFL PLAYOFF SCENARIOS FOR WEEK 17

NFC

CLINCHED: Chicago – NFC North and a first-round bye

Philadelphia – NFC East

Atlanta – playoff spot

New Orleans – playoff spot

ATLANTA FALCONS

Atlanta clinches NFC South and a first-round bye with:

3)    ATL win or tie OR

4)    NO loss or tie

Atlanta clinches homefield advantage with:

3)    ATL win or tie OR

4)    NO loss or tie + CHI loss or tie

CHICAGO BEARS

Chicago clinches homefield advantage with:

1)    CHI win + ATL loss + NO loss or tie

NEW ORLEANS SAINTS

New Orleans clinches NFC South and homefield advantage with:

1)    NO win + ATL loss

GREEN BAY PACKERS

Green Bay clinches a playoff spot with:

1)    GB win OR

2)    GB tie + NYG loss or tie + TB loss or tie OR

3)    NYG loss + TB loss

NEW YORK GIANTS

New York Giants clinch a playoff spot with:

1)    NYG win + GB loss or tie OR

2)    NYG tie + GB loss + TB loss or tie

TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS

Tampa Bay clinches a playoff spot with:

1)    TB win + NYG loss or tie + GB loss or tie OR

2)    TB tie + NYG loss + GB loss

ST. LOUIS RAMS

St. Louis clinches NFC West with:

1)    STL win or tie

SEATTLE SEAHAWKS

Seattle clinches NFC West with:

1)    SEA win

–D. Orlando Ledbetter

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137 comments Add your comment

RE: Fan since nobis

December 31st, 2010
9:50 am

Please quit posting. You make real fans look bad.

Falcon for Life (Cowboy hater since the 1980 playoffs)

December 31st, 2010
10:00 am

@ sknfan:
The way they play is just Falcons football right now. This team is built to pound the ball with Turner and Snelling and win time of possession. Their plan is to keep the other team’s offense off the field. Heck, that’s seems to be the only way to beat Tom Brady, keep him on the sideline….LOL! They hope that running the ball effectively will then set up the pass. If the run isn’t successful, then it falls solely on Matt’s shoulders, as it did on Monday. The defense has been pretty solid, but they are typically “bend but don’t break”. At any rate, this team isn’t built to be explosive and quick striking; they are built to just beat you up. Although it may seem that they are struggling, they’ve been successful with their style of play.

joewhite

December 31st, 2010
10:04 am

Gt51 your right on the money, the falcons will see the saints in week 2 of the playoffs and will remembet this past monday lost and the antics that took place after the game.The saints didnt beat the falcons, we beat ourselves with somethings we dont normally do which is turn the ball over.Falcons will wrap up the game by halftime and march on to dallas still. Hey saints your defending champs but not defending nfc champs

Whopper Dawg

December 31st, 2010
10:04 am

Truly a ground breaking column.

Rico as in Puerto

December 31st, 2010
10:05 am

It seems everyone is thinking the aints will come back to play us in the first playoff game. Of course they will be the favorites to beat Seattle/ St Louis and they probably will win. However, Green Bay is quite capable of beating the Eagles with their defense, and their offense is very potent even without a running game. So if that’s the case we get to play GB and NO goes to Chicago.

Greg Mendel

December 31st, 2010
10:20 am

Why do the Falcons struggle? As I’ve said here before, I think the they’re about two players (or maybe one season) away from being the team Smith and Dimitroff are building them to be. Having also been a fan since Nobis, I can empathize with @Fan Since Nobis (above). Years of Falcons collapses make you instinctively expect the worst.

This team is different. I’m not so surprised its record is 12-3. On the other hand, I’m a little nervous going into the playoffs. But, with Mike Smith in charge, losses are no longer inevitable. The Birds may lose, but, like Monday’s loss to NO, they won’t “get beat.”

I used to follow sports car racing, and the Falcons remind me of a first-class racing team that is developing into a world beater. All the components — designer, driver, mechanics, manager, etc. — have to come together and get in sync. When they do, they win consistently. Since 1966, the Falcons have never put three consecutive quality seasons together until now. The future is bright.

truth

December 31st, 2010
10:42 am

I hate the getting beat by the aints as much as any fan. What is amazing to me, which took a few days to feel this way, is the Falcons almost beat the defending champs with a blatant vanilla offense. If that fumble had not occured by Turner we’d all be praising Mularkey’s 4-5 play game plan.

Greg Mendel

December 31st, 2010
10:57 am

@truth:

Very good point. The Saints are an explosive team, but the Falcons made them look mortal. My old Falconized instincts tell me the Birds won’t get far in the playoffs this season, but they could win it all.

take it from me.

December 31st, 2010
11:03 am

If your serious about a superbowl,you don’t go out on monday night football,and lay an egg in front of national tv.the falcons are12-3,and that loss to NO holds more ramifications than you think! i think after a loss like that ,the Falcons will come out flat in the Carolina game and possibly get beat! The falcons had it all laided out on the line monday night,Respect, a chance to win the division, and homefield through out the playoffs.thats why they get no respect from ESPN or any other media across the country.

Falcon for Life (Cowboy hater since the 1980 playoffs)

December 31st, 2010
11:08 am

Respect doesn’t win games. They could care less and so could I. We will be fine…..

truth

December 31st, 2010
11:18 am

12-3 enough respect for me. It’s just weird to think that this coaching staff just forgot how to beat the aints. Seriously, it was very strange. Dieon Sandes was the firat to say before the game that Atlanta would not show their hand monday night. IDK, just strange.

Greg Mendel

December 31st, 2010
11:19 am

@take it

You may be right, but I disagree. I think the Falcons will devastate Carolina.

As far as being serious about a SuperBowl, you don’t shag a kick in OT in week 3 in your own dome. But the Saints made it to the playoffs despite the loss.

Rico as in Puerto

December 31st, 2010
11:22 am

@ Take it from me:

I respectfully disagree. With the parity of NFL teams nowadays it is extremely hard to consistently win. The Falcons win streak before the aints game was an amazing feat and being able to finish 13-3 and division champs is amazing. If you expect a team to win each and every game you’re setting yourself for lots of disapointment.

@ Hey R

December 31st, 2010
11:23 am

Seems as though you’re the real idiot here, fool.

2008 Patriots were 11-5 and missed the playoffs. Are you talking about the 1985 Denver Broncos who were 11-5 and didn’t make the playoffs? You’re a couple decades too far back, buddy.

I think his/her point was genius. It would ensure that the best teams play in the postseason. the NFL shouldn’t reward mediocrity like College Football does :)

Rico as in Puerto

December 31st, 2010
11:23 am

And the fac that we were in this game until the end is something totally different than getting blown out 41 – 3. This was not a game to be ashamed of or mad over.

Rico as in Puerto

December 31st, 2010
11:25 am

BOOGIES THE MAN FROM HARTWELL GA

December 31st, 2010
11:53 am

EXCELLENT JOB BY THE DEFENSE MONDAY NIGHT…
MISTAKES KILLED US NOT THE N.O. THUGS……………..

WE WILL REBOUND AND PREVAIL…..

GO BIRDS !!!!!!!!!

MrDan

December 31st, 2010
12:20 pm

Hey Fan since Nobis. I too have been a Falcons fan since day 1, was there when Nobis and co beat the (St. Louis) Cardinals the first season, saw fans tear down the goal posts. That was a long time and a lot of losing seasons ago. This team is different, and different from the top down. Coach Smith (and staff) should be coach of the year. This defense can play with anyone in the league-anyone. Without a couple of offensive snafu’s Monday night the game would’ve gone the other way, and Sunday’s game would be meaningless. But now it means something, and the coaches know it, the team knows it. As said by a few before, they know what they need to do and that was made clear in Monday’s game. It would’ve been nice to win but I think that loss may be the catalyst to go all the way. It’s been a long time (1980??) since this team has even been thinking about home field advantage thru the playoffs. Go Falcons and I may have to make the trip down from Greenville to see you win this one.

Arthur Blank

December 31st, 2010
12:25 pm

If Michael Turner fumbles again, he’s fired.

Dennis

December 31st, 2010
12:34 pm

Joe Tess Fish House
December 31st, 2010 12:47 am

> Why am I still band from posting?

Perhaps they were waiting for you to learn English. Since you haven’t, maybe you’ll be BANNED again.

Dennis

December 31st, 2010
12:40 pm

Colonel Kurtz
December 30th, 2010 7:36 pm

> First

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

A curiosity question for you peeps who seem compelled to “yell” first, since nobody sees you, do you still turn red when you see you weren’t first after all? :-)

Arthur Blank

December 31st, 2010
12:41 pm

Oooh, in your FACE, Fish House!!

IN. YOUR. FAAAAAACE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

jfreak13713

December 31st, 2010
1:22 pm

While I don’t yet the the Falcons as a Super Bowl team I certainly they are as capable as any team in the NFC of getting there. The Bears, Eagles, Saints, and Falcons are all pretty even with the edge to the Saints because they were there last year. I would suggest everyone stop looking back and just focuse on the future which is the Panthers. The Falcons will beat that team and get home field advantage. From there the Falcons will have something to prove to themselves and to us their fans.

BirdDawg24

December 31st, 2010
1:27 pm

pardon me for not getting all giddy and dancing in the streets , but the falcons lost mon nite. granted they beat themselves, but im not exactly sure they will beat the saints next time ,or the packers. when they get to the superbowl, then maybe i ll get more excited. ,but this team is gonna have to show me. i ve been down this road one too many times , i believe they can ,but….. by the way ,cowboy hater since the 80s play-offs too.

Water Boy

December 31st, 2010
1:34 pm

Monday night game is OVER, get OVER it. We win on Sunday, watch wild card weekend next week to see who we are playing after our by week and then go to the dome and cheer the Falcons to the Super Bowl. Anyone know where I can get some Super Bowl tickets?

SeenThisB4

December 31st, 2010
1:34 pm

Saying that the falcan’ts beat themselves, as opposed to the Saints owning them, strikes me as a bit “revisionist”. The Saints held the ball for 15 minutes of the last 20 minutes. ran 34 plays to atlanta’s 11. Kinda hard to beat yourself when you don’t have the ball!

BirdDawg24

December 31st, 2010
1:40 pm

yeah they held the ball for 15 , but only won by 3. winning by 3 aint owning anybody, its called getting by ,by the skin of your teeth. you” re living in dreamtime buddy, beat em by 24 , then you oooown somebody.

Rico as in Puerto

December 31st, 2010
1:52 pm

Hmmm…STB4 I would think the score is more telling than the time of posession. You beat us by 3 we beat you by three – how bout we make this best of 3?

hbcuclassics

December 31st, 2010
1:56 pm

HBCU Classics All-Americans

Offense:
QB Matthew Johnson, Bethune**
QB Stanley Jennings, Albany St**
RB Walter Sanders, St. Augustine
RB DeAngelo Branche, Norfolk St
RB Frank Warren, Grambling – broke Walter Payton’s rushing records
WR Raymond Webber, UAPB
WR Ronnie Childs, Albany St
WR Lennel Elmore, SC State
OL David Mims, VA Union
OL Johnny Culbreath, SC State
OL Mike Mavromichalis, Albany St
OL Natiel Curry, Bethune
OL Josh Harrison, SC State

http://www.hbcuclassics.com

truth

December 31st, 2010
2:02 pm

What I would worry about Seen is the Falcons was on the verg of beating the aints with a vanilla game plan that consisted of 4-5 plays. You know and so does everyone else if Turner and McCluer(sp) hadn’t had uncharateristic fumbles the Falcons would had pulled it off. And by the way BirdDawg24 the aints could use one more fan.

truth

December 31st, 2010
2:05 pm

BirdDawg24

December 31st, 2010
1:27 pm
pardon me for not getting all giddy and dancing in the streets , but the falcons lost mon nite. granted they beat themselves, but im not exactly sure they will beat the saints next time ,or the packers. when they get to the superbowl, then maybe i ll get more excited. ,but this team is gonna have to show me. i ve been down this road one too many times , i believe they can ,but….. by the way ,cowboy hater since the 80s play-offs too.

If after 12-3 so far this season hasn’t showed you something then nothing this team does will. I feel the frustration too but come on, it’s been a great season. Not hate’n just say’n.

SeenThisB4

December 31st, 2010
2:05 pm

Uh-huh, and yet your team targeted 9 receivers for receptions, very blan, very blan indeed. Uh-huh.

DJ Sniper

December 31st, 2010
2:05 pm

Here’s an excerpt from an article from ESPN.com’s Bill Simmons. He’s giving his picks for the Week 17 games, and mentions this about the Falcons. I agree wholeheartedly:

[b]Enduring lesson from 2010: You can’t win a Super Bowl by playing it safe. Atlanta’s offense played missionary position football for four quarters and blew a winnable Saints game on Monday; it was almost like Marty Schottenheimer had put on a Mike Smith mask and hijacked the team. If the Falcons play that passively in January, they will lose just like Marty always did. Mark my words. Take it to the bank. Lock it down. End of story. Period. Fin. (And any other authoritative and slightly condescending conclusion you want to put here.)[/b]

take it from me.

December 31st, 2010
2:06 pm

gess i’ll never forget 1980,and the hated Cowboys,thats why monday nights was so inportant to me.we had a chance to show the country what this team is made of,but we, as so many times through the years failed the task again.

truth

December 31st, 2010
2:06 pm

…..it aint over. It’s just beginning.

truth

December 31st, 2010
2:10 pm

Good luck with the Bucs this weekend aints. And please win, I want another game in the dome with the aints before this season is over. LOL!!! It took all the aints had to stop the Falcons vanilla offense. LOL!! Funny, the Falcons gave you a sense of hope for this season. LOL!!

SeenThisB4

December 31st, 2010
2:11 pm

If it breaks out that way, I would look forward to it Rico. But that would hinge on Eageles getting past Green Bay, and I don’t think they will.
In fact, my guess is that the Saints will host the pack for the NFC ’ship. That’s something that would just rankle Ueediot, but, se la vie.

truth

December 31st, 2010
2:11 pm

Uh-huh!!!! BWAA HA HA HA HA HA!!!!! Remember Seen, 2nd place is first loser. Take your faults hope with you this sunday. LOL!!!

truth

December 31st, 2010
2:13 pm

SeenThisB4

December 31st, 2010
2:11 pm
If it breaks out that way, I would look forward to it Rico. But that would hinge on Eageles getting past Green Bay, and I don’t think they will.
In fact, my guess is that the Saints will host the pack for the NFC ’ship. That’s something that would just rankle Ueediot, but, se la vie.

BWAA HA HA HA!!!!! I feel the faults sense of hope oozing through your post. LOL!!

truth

December 31st, 2010
2:15 pm

The aints have 3 games to win to make it to the NFCCG. Sorry faults hopes won’t get you there.
Eeehhh…..maybe next year.

truth

December 31st, 2010
2:16 pm

Enter your comments heretruth

December 31st, 2010
2:02 pm
What I would worry about Seen is the Falcons was on the verg of beating the aints with a vanilla game plan that consisted of 4-5 plays. You know and so does everyone else if Turner and McCluer(sp) hadn’t had uncharateristic fumbles the Falcons would had pulled it off

SeenThisB4

December 31st, 2010
2:25 pm

Cancel out your turnovers and Drew’s Interceptions, and the Saints still win…otherwise Truth, you’re on the verge of setting up your own FALSE sense of hope.

truth

December 31st, 2010
2:34 pm

SeenThisB4

December 31st, 2010
2:25 pm
Cancel out your turnovers and Drew’s Interceptions, and the Saints still win…otherwise Truth, you’re on the verge of setting up your own FALSE sense of hope.

Dang it Seen, use your own material. You are soooo gullible. Hook line and sinker. The thing is Seen, we are all use to seeing Breesus throwing int’s this year so with every game that’s a given. But Turner having a fumble, that hadn’t happened in over 400+ carries, so that was luck for you guys. LOL!! This is fun. Actually neither teams “owns” the other between both games each scored, if I’m correct, 41 pionts, that’s pretty even.

truth

December 31st, 2010
2:36 pm

Good luck the remainder of the season Seen. Just do this, root for us in the Superbowl.

Thanks.

SeenThisB4

December 31st, 2010
2:42 pm

Likewise Truth. Have a Happy New Year’s.

GEAUX SAINTS! IT IS “STILL”: OUR TIME!!

P Rose

December 31st, 2010
2:42 pm

The aints game didn’t matter! All the birds have to do now is take care of business at home this week against the lowly panthers and dome field advantage is theirs. Knowing they would likely face the aints for the third time in the playoffs (a game that WILL matter), TD and Smitty wisely elected to hold their cards close to their vest. Why show the defending champs their hand in a meaningless game? The aints were likely to have won it anyway because they needed it more. So what if a few talking-heads on ESPN disrespect the birds. We’ve got ‘em right where we want ‘em. Rise up!

SeenThisB4

December 31st, 2010
2:49 pm

Alright, I admit it:

I’M GAY.

SeenThisB4

December 31st, 2010
2:49 pm

OUR TIME FOR THE WILD CARD!!

gadome

December 31st, 2010
2:51 pm

Ok we didn’t earn any respect Monday night but that wont get you to the Super Bowl wining will we still have the best number of wins in the NFC and a winnable game coming up Sunday. Chances are good the Aints will be back in the dome come round two of the playoffs but I’m thinking they may not get past St. Louis.

gadome

December 31st, 2010
3:00 pm

“OUR TIME FOR THE WILD CARD!!”

Does this mean the Aints are going downward as in out of the playoffs.