Print and Go Back ESPN.com: NFC South [Print without images]

Monday, November 26, 2012
Check out the Playoff Machine

By Pat Yasinskas

December is almost upon us and that means it’s not too early to start talking about the playoffs.

From now through the end of the regular season, we’ll have our Playoff Machine. I strongly encourage you to check it out because you can see how the playoff picture currently looks and you can use a bunch of variables to see how it could end up looking once the regular season is over. You also can get the breakdown on how tiebreakers would play out in different scenarios.

I just went through five scenarios and all of them had the Atlanta Falcons earning the NFC’s No. 1 seed, but their record varied anywhere from 15-1 to 13-3.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are right on the fringe of the No. 6 seed at the moment. The future scenarios are mixed with the Bucs going anywhere from 9-7 to 7-9. Even the 9-7 scenarios for Tampa Bay are mixed, with one putting them in the playoffs and two others having them come up just short.

The 5-6 New Orleans Saints still are mathematically in the playoff picture. But it’s going to take something close to a miracle for them to get to the postseason. The machine has the Saints finishing anywhere from 9-7 to 5-11.