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Morgan

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: November 27, 2012, 12:04:07 PM

Bucs lose a close one to the team with the NFL's best record and what happens? They drop two positions.....


http://espn.go.com/nfl/powerrankings/_/year/2012/week/13
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Life on the playoff bubble is tough, especially in the NFC.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Seattle Seahawks, New Orleans Saints, Minnesota Vikings and Dallas Cowboys all lost in Week 12, further clouding the conference's playoff picture (at least as far as the final wild card is concerned) and raising questions about each team's long-term viability.

Who among this group has the best chance to pull though? Our voters (ESPN.com's John Clayton, ESPN.com's Ashley Fox, NFC East blogger Dan Graziano, AFC North blogger Jamison Hensley and NFC West blogger Mike Sando) have the most faith in Tampa Bay (No. 12), but a lot can happen between now and Week 17.

Just consider some of the factors: The Buccaneers and Saints face brutal schedules, the Cowboys have ongoing O-line issues, the Vikings lack consistency on offense and the Seahawks may lose starting cornerbacks Richard Sherman and Brandon Browner to four-game suspensions.

In other words, all five have reason(s) to be concerned. And because there's little margin for error, playoff bubbles will soon begin to burst -- perhaps as early as this week.


BucBalla85

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#1 : November 27, 2012, 12:07:29 PM

Its ESPN. They only talk hot teams. Bucs cooled down after the loss.

Morgan

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#2 : November 27, 2012, 12:08:21 PM

ESPN's 2012 NFL Playoffs Predictor


After a delightful Thanksgiving weekend, we're heading into Week 13 with the playoff race in full force. The Cincinnati Bengals have more hope this week after a Pittsburgh Steelers loss, and the Washington Redskins also are creeping into the playoff picture. San Diego coach Norv Turner is on the hot seat after Ray Rice pulled off a miracle fourth-and-29, and the Baltimore Ravens are sitting pretty after the Pittsburgh Steelers' turnover-filled loss to the Cleveland Browns.

As Nate Silver did for the 2012 election, we do for the 2012 NFL season. Using the mythical powers of math, we let you know first who will be in and who will be out of this year's postseason.

Below is a projection of who will be in this year's playoffs. Be sure to come back each week as we update the projection with the latest results. And once the playoffs begin, we'll reset the bracket and tell you who has the best chance to bring home the Lombardi trophy.

Please note that all rankings refer to the opponent-adjusted efficiency as calculated by numberFire, not the gross yardage.

AFC

1. Houston Texans (13-3)

The Texans got another huge break in Week 12 when Detroit coach Jim Schwartz threw his challenge flag on a scoring play. Sitting at 10-1, the Texans are focusing on home-field advantage for the playoffs. With the AFC's top defense, they should have a good shot.

2. Denver Broncos (12-4)

The Broncos barely beat Kansas City, but have won six straight. With the No. 3 opponent-adjusted passing attack and the No. 2 opponent-adjusted defense in the AFC, they are also fighting for home-field advantage.

3. Baltimore Ravens (11-5)

The Ravens currently sit in second in the AFC. Unfortunately, they have a tough road the rest of the way. After a potentially division-deciding matchup against Pittsburgh, they face the Redskins, Broncos, Giants and Bengals.

4. New England Patriots (11-5)

The Patriots own the NFL's best offense and the Jets could not do a thing to slow it down on Thanksgiving. Tom Brady adds a point to this offense for every three passing attempts, and the Patriots' rushing attack is the best in the AFC after adjusting for strength of opponents.

5. Indianapolis Colts (9-7)

If you had told me before the season that the Colts would be 7-4 and very much in the playoff hunt, I would have called you crazy. But behold, Andrew Luck leads a solid offense, which ranks No. 3 in terms of opponent-adjusted rushing efficiency. Aside from two matchups against the Texans -- including one in Week 17, when Houston might rest players -- the Colts have a very easy schedule the rest of the way.

6. Pittsburgh Steelers (9-7)

The Steelers are hoping against hope that Big Ben will be back and healthy for their enormous Week 13 matchup against the Ravens. While they were fighting for the division two weeks ago, now they are fighting for their wild-card lives. The Bengals are close on their heels.

      

NFC

1. Atlanta Falcons (13-3)

Atlanta barely took down division foe Tampa Bay on Sunday and still sits atop the NFC with a mighty 10-1 record. While Matt Ryan leads the league's No. 7 opponent-adjusted passing offense, Michael Turner and Jacquizz Rodgers have been the focal points of the ninth-worst rushing attack.

2. San Francisco 49ers (11-4-1)

Colin Kaepernick showed that his domination of the Bears was not a one-time event by taking down the streaking Saints. The San Francisco passing attack is No. 3 in the NFC behind only Green Bay and New Orleans after adjusting for strength of opponents, and Kaepernick is a huge part of the league's No. 2 opponent-adjusted running game.

3. Green Bay Packers (11-5)

The Packers have major pass-protection issues, which the Giants exploited on national television Sunday night. Despite their offensive line woes, Aaron Rodgers still leads the best passing offense in the NFC -- an offense that adds 11 points over expectation per game.

4. New York Giants (9-7)

The Giants got a huge win over the Packers to give them some breathing room in the NFC East, but they have four extremely tough contests in the next four weeks: Washington, New Orleans, Atlanta and Baltimore.

5. Chicago Bears (10-6)

Jay Cutler is back in town -- along with his mustache -- and the Bears couldn't be happier. Although there are questions surrounding Matt Forte's most recent injury, the Bears are winning, thanks to the NFL's top opponent-adjusted defense, which has prevented more than 100 points that a league-average defense would allow.

6. Seattle Seahawks (9-7)

The Seahawks' seventh-ranked passing defense may take a big hit if Richard Sherman and Brandon Browner's suspensions hold up, but Russell Wilson has led a surprisingly efficient offense so far.

AFC: LAST TWO OUT

Cincinnati Bengals (8-8, 47.9 percent playoff odds)

BenJarvus Green-Ellis and the Bengals' rushing attack rank No. 2 in the AFC after adjusting for strength of opponents. Cincinnati still needs to play the Steelers and Ravens in the last two weeks of the season, and wins in those would go a long way toward making the playoffs.

New York Jets (7-9, 6.6 percent playoff odds)

The Jets were downright embarrassed on Thanksgiving, and their playoff odds were cut in half as a result. If anyone can make a miracle happen, though, it's Tim Tebow. The biggest question is how long Jets fans -- and the front office -- can stand to watch. Fireman Ed was the first to go.

AFC REMAINING TEAMS

Sorted by playoff odds

Miami Dolphins (6-10, 6.2 percent)
San Diego Chargers (7-9, 6.1)
Buffalo Bills (7-9, 4.4)
Tennessee Titans (7-9, 2.1)
Cleveland Browns (4-12, 0.2)
Oakland Raiders (5-11, 0.1)
Jacksonville Jaguars (3-13, 0.0)
Kansas City Chiefs (3-13, 0.0)

      

NFC: LAST TWO OUT

Washington Redskins (8-8, 32.0 percent playoff odds)

The Redskins won a huge game on Thanksgiving over the Cowboys, and Robert Griffin III continues to impress. They have another playoff-changing matchup against the Giants in Week 13. RG3 leads the best opponent-adjusted rushing attack in the NFL.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (9-7, 29.3 percent playoff odds)

The Bucs almost grabbed a huge win against division-leader Atlanta, but they sit behind the Seahawks in terms of conference record. Tampa Bay's rushing defense ranks third in the NFC behind only the Bears and 49ers, after adjusting for opponent strength.

NFC REMAINING TEAMS

Sorted by playoff odds

Minnesota Vikings (8-8, 20.0 percent)
Dallas Cowboys (8-8, 14.7)
New Orleans Saints (8-8, 8.3)
St. Louis Rams (5-10-1, 2.6)
Detroit Lions (7-9, 0.3)
Arizona Cardinals (7-9, 0.2)
Carolina Panthers (5-11, 0.0)
Philadelphia Eagles (5-11, 0.0)

jerseybucsfan

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#3 : November 27, 2012, 02:27:46 PM

12 is about right.

In Verner We Trust

Morgan

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#4 : November 27, 2012, 02:52:30 PM

Looking forward to seeing the Bucs earn a playoff spot this season - never figured it would happen. They are definitely due to upset another team.
Originally, the Broncos were supposed to play this game at RayJay while the Charger game was supposed to be on the road. It would have been a great game to see with Manning a shoe-in for the HoF.

bucs4eva

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#5 : November 27, 2012, 04:41:03 PM

Looking forward to seeing the Bucs earn a playoff spot this season - never figured it would happen. They are definitely due to upset another team.
Originally, the Broncos were supposed to play this game at RayJay while the Charger game was supposed to be on the road. It would have been a great game to see with Manning a shoe-in for the HoF.

What?

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