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Wednesday, November 21, 2012
Return of The Playoff Machine

By Jamison Hensley

If the season ended today, it would be kind of silly considering there will be three games played on Thanksgiving. But, if you can play along for a few minutes and think the season did end today, two teams from the AFC North would make the playoffs.

The Ravens (8-2) would be the AFC's No. 2 seed, getting a first-round bye and a home game in the divisional round. The Steelers (6-4) hold the sixth and final playoff spot in the AFC, which means a trip to third-seeded New England. The Bengals (5-5) trail the Steelers by one game. And the Browns (2-8), well, don't figure into the playoff picture. But they do currently have a top-four spot in the NFL draft.

With six weeks remaining in the regular season, a lot of things can change to alter the playoff picture. This is where you plug in The Playoff Machine. It's a space-age interactive tool that allows you to play out the rest of the season any way you see fit. The Playoff Machine then lets you know how that impacts the postseason field.