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The absurdly premature 2010 playoff picture: Week 7

MJD
Shutdown Corner

The absurdly premature playoff picture presents one man's predictions for the NFL playoffs, each given week in the season -- even if that week is unreasonably early.

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• After the Giants gutted the Cowboys on Monday night, it seemed like everyone was a little quick to anoint the Giants NFC title contenders, based on one win over a team that's probably not very good. Then I took another look at the NFC and thought, "Actually, yeah, that's fair." Because I'm pretty sure you could pick 22 guys out of a random pottery class in Norway, show them a 60-minute instructional video on the basics of American football, and they'd immediately be NFC title contenders.

• Not that any of that is meant to belittle the Giants. They're legit. They can make a very strong case for being the most complete team in the conference, and four-game win streaks are not to be trifled with, I don't care what happened before them -- JET BLUE, JET BLUE, THIS GUY, JET BLUE.

• Sorry. Jon Gruden stole my keyboard for a minute there.

• I'll still take at least five AFC teams over the best NFC team.

• Green Bay is the second seed in the NFC. I don't feel good about it, but as alternatives, I had a team that's struggled with both the Bengals and Browns, the NFC West or to take Raheem Morris' word for it. The Packers won a close game, and here, that's enough to vault them to first-round-bye status.

• I've finally bumped the Saints entirely, but I'll understand if you want to call me a moron for doing so. After all, it was just a week ago that they clobbered the Bucs, but still ... two of their last three games are losses to the Browns and Cardinals, and there's got to be some kind of punishment for that.

• I wanted to put the Redskins in there, and I would have, if their game against the Bears had looked like anything other than a pillow fight between two 4-year-old girls who had each chugged a bottle of Nyquil.

• The NFC West champion? Seattle. I don't feel like it's a subject worth discussing.

• The AFC playoff teams remain unchanged from two weeks ago, with only the order shuffled a bit. Pittsburgh and Indy have swapped places, and I bumped the Titans up one meaningless notch above the Ravens.

• On the outside looking in? The Patriots. It feels a bit unfair, as they're 5-1 and would be at least a two seed in the NFC. Their exclusion is a simple result of the eyeball test. They just didn't look good against the Chargers. They managed 179 yards of total offense. And sure, they won, and any win is a good win, but the Chargers were absolutely hellbent on losing Sunday. They refused to win.

• The Titans move up on the strength of their last two results -- a road blowout against Jacksonville and a dominant fourth quarter against a pretty good Eagles team. It's not so much that those things happened, but they happened with Kerry Collins(notes) at quarterback. How many good teams out there can say, "Yes, swap out Kerry Collins for our current starting quarterback, and we'll just keep winning"?

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