|Give thanks for Cam Newton "Superman" plays when the Panthers face the Cowboys on Turkey Day.|
By Jeremy Conlin (@jeremy_conlin) and Joe Parello (@HerewegoJoe)
Thanksgiving is about three things. Family, Food, and Football. Not in that order.
We're starting to get a better view of the playoff picture. According to the Football Outsiders model, six teams already have a 90 percent chance or better to reach the playoffs - the six division leaders that aren't the NFC East or AFC South. Those leaders (New York and Indianapolis) still see just a coin flip likelihood of playing any deeper into January.
Weekly Playoff Machine Nonsense
There is one fun tool out there on the internets - a page that allows you to choose winners for each remaining game and see how the seedings change (much like ESPN's Playoff Machine, which, for whatever reason, hasn't yet been updated for this season). These tools (whatever is available) will be featured in this space going forward, to keep you, fair reader, abreast of tiebreakers and such.
Here are two (relatively) realistic scenarios:
1. All four teams in the NFC East finish 8-8. Dallas would win the division thanks to the first tiebreaker (they'd have the best division record so long as their only remaining loss comes to Carolina or Green Bay).
2. The AFC South champion finishes 7-9 and gets a home playoff game. Meanwhile, all four teams in the AFC East finish 8-8 or better.