The 2012-2013 XML 8 Playoff Picture: AFC Edition


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    The 2012-2013 XML 8 Playoff Picture: AFC Edition

    Post by lilgame on December 19th 2011, 9:48 pm

    XML 8 Playoff Picture: AFC Edition

    It's that time of year again! Playoff time! We're a little late, we know, but hey, its never too late for the playoffs. This season has been wild, with last years powers, such as the Titans, Texans, Bengals, Patriots and Chargers taking steps back, and new powers such as the Chiefs, Raiders, Broncos, Colts, and Dolphins making the leap forward. So at this point, nothing surprises us. Not even the four team race that resides in the AFC West. Lets dig into the this AFC edition of the playoff picture. If you want to see the NFC edition, click the link at the bottom of the post.

    WEEK 16

    x - Clinched playoff
    y - Clinched Wild Card
    z - Clinched Division
    * - Clinched Division and Homefield Advantage

    AFC Division Leaders (W-L-T, Conference Record, Division Record)
    1.) (z*) Baltimore Ravens (14-0, 11-0, 5-0)
    2.) Denver Broncos (11-3, 8-3, 3-2)
    3.) Indianapolis Colts (9-5, 6-4, 3-1)
    4.) New England Patriots (9-5, 5-5, 3-1)

    AFC Wild Card Leaders
    5.) Oakland Raiders (9-5, 8-3, 3-3)
    6.) Kansas City Chiefs (9-5, 7-5, 3-3)

    AFC Teams "In The Hunt"
    7.) Miami Dolphins (9-5, 6-4, 3-1)
    8.) San Diego Chargers (8-6, 4-6, 2-3)
    9.) Tennessee Titans (7-7, 5-5, 2-3)

    The Baltimore Ravens have clearly been a dominant force in the XML. Under new ownership in 2011, BJCole has led this team from a mediocre record, to a 17 game winning streak that dates back to Week 15 of last season. And you can't forget to mention that they are the defending XML Bowl champions. With the number one seed locked up, and key players such as Terrell Suggs and Dannell Ellerbe injured, many will wonder if they will just sit their starters through the last two games of the season. Both games come against scrappy teams in the Browns and Seahawks. Otherwise, they can go for the chance to be XML's second ever team to have an undefeated regular season (XML 6 Denver Broncos were the other), and don't be surprised if they do.

    The Denver Broncos have taken back their normal form under GM Cole, leading the competitive AFC West with an 11-3 record. Roethelisberger has been a sensational pick up for the Broncos and is having a pro bowl season along with WR Demaryius Thomas. With a win in at least one of their final two games, they will definitely lock up the division and the number 2 seed in the AFC.

    The Colts finished last season on a strong note, and with their fellow division mates faltering, they kept their hot streak going in 2012, clinching a winning record. They still have a game each remaining against their foes in the Titans and Texans. A win in either would lock the division up and get GM Bikasaw his first XML Division title.

    The Patriots have had a very odd season. Early in the season, they lost ground on the hot Miami Dolphins. Then they went on a major 3 game skid mid-season. But lately, they have won five of their last six, including a head to head matchup with the Dolphins, bringing them to 3-0 in their last three meetings. Now by virtue of that head to head win, they lead the AFC East with two games to go. They'll hit the road for their final two games. The first comes against the Jets, who they lost to earlier this season. The other will be a huge matchup in Week 17 in Miami.

    The Raiders have had quite the season. Throughout XML history, they havent had much success in terms of winning. But in 2012, GM Spank has got his defense winning games and are on the brink of making his first playoff appearance in XML. They have two relatively easy games remaining and could be looking at a 10 win season and a wild card berth barring a stumble.

    The Chiefs, like the Raiders, are another team that has historically not been known as much of a winning franchise. But GM Phantom Shark also has his team clicking on all cylinders. Jamaal Charles is having a pro bowl season, along with defensive leaders like Dwight Freeney and Matt Roth. But the game changing ability of Eric Berry has him in contention for MVP honors as he leads his team toward the playoffs. First they'll have to get past the Bears and Lions, but with both of those teams in contention for a top rookie draft pick, a 10+ win season is looking likely for Kansas City Chiefs.

    Of the teams left in the hunt, the team with the best shot is the Miami Dolphins. A team that slipped into the playoffs last year, rode that momentum into a hot start here in 2012, but after suffering a heartbreaking loss to a hail mary in the Cowboys game, have somewhat faltered down the stretch and fallen a half game behind the resurgent Patriots. Their final two games against the Bills and Patriots are must wins, and if they slip up in either, they'll need big time help in order to think about getting into the playoffs ahead of the teams in front of them.

    The Chargers have suffered a disappointing season by their standards. The perennial playoff team suffered major injuries and losses all season long, but if they can win out, and hope that the teams ahead of them suffer some losses, they could slip into the playoffs. Their final two games are vs. the Broncos and vs. the Jets.

    The Titans only shot is assuming they can win out, and the Colts lose out. If that happens, they could overtake the Colts for the AFC South. But that would first require them to defeat the Colts in Week 16.

    The Bills, Jets, Jaguars, Texans, Bengals, Steelers and Browns have all been eliminated from playoff contention in 2012.

    For the NFC Playoff Picture, click here =>>>

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