It’s that time of year again. Time to talk about the NFL playoff picture. With just two weeks left in this season, what deep conclusions can we draw about post-season play?

AFC EAST: After studying the various strengths, weaknesses and tiebreaker procedures, we can come to the following conclusion about this talent-laden division: ANYONE CAN MAKE IT. The Jets, Dolphins, Pats, Colts, Bills or the sixth team, Our Lady of The Holy Fumbler.

AFC CENTRAL: Once again, ANYONE CAN MAKE IT. Except Cincinnati, which stinks.

AFC WEST: The two cities that hired Bo Jackson as a professional athlete are out of it. The others are in.

NFC EAST: If Dallas ain’t comin,’ they should all stay home.

NFC CENTRAL: NOBODY CAN MAKE IT. We don’t count Chicago, which belongs in this division the way Wilt Chamberlain belonged in Tibet.

NFC WEST: San Francisco and New Orleans.

Well. So much for our divisional analysis. Now, let us examine the tiebreaking procedures. As we all know, the first determinant is head-to-head competition. We line up the teams and let them batter each other’s heads. The last head left wins. If this results in a tie, we go to best record within the division. For example, if Cleveland has “The Tracks Of My Tears” by Smokey Robinson, and Pittsburgh has “Disco Lady” by the Tramps, Cleveland gets to go to the playoffs, because it has the best record.

If all this fails, we flip for it.

So much for the playoffs.

And now, this week’s picks. . . .

MINNESOTA 28, DETROIT 20: Lions fans say the worst is over. They say the corner has been turned. They say we are on the right track. I say Minnesota is not Tampa Bay.

NY GIANTS 20, GREEN BAY 10: Trust me on this one.

DENVER 20, KANSAS CITY 17: Trust me on this one.

BUFFALO 31, NEW ENGLAND 30: Whenever Steve Grogan makes a comeback, he has one big week, then one week in the dumper. Last Sunday was a big week.

CHICAGO 20, SEATTLE 17: And afterward, Brian Bosworth and Jim McMahon rub each other’s buzz heads.

PITTSBURGH 21, HOUSTON 17: Moon under everybody.

CLEVELAND 28, LA RAIDERS 20: Bo Jackson will miss this one. He’s trying out for the U.S. Olympic hockey team.

NEW ORLEANS 34, CINCINNATI 27: Sam Wyche recently told reporters: “You don’t know what you’re talking about.” Hey, Sam. Have you looked at your record lately?

ST. LOUIS 24, TAMPA BAY 16: Zzzz. . . . grzlp. . . . rrrr. . . . zzzz. .
. .

SAN FRANCISCO 20, ATLANTA 14: Could it be an upset? Could it be a major upset? Could the Falcons just pull off the surprise of the month? Nah.

INDIANAPOLIS 21, SAN DIEGO 14: The Chargers are so laid back, they fell over.

NY JETS 31, PHILADELPHIA 30: Mark Gastineau will start again today for the Jets. Did anyone notice he was missing?

MIAMI 34, WASHINGTON 31: Did you hear that former running back John Riggins criticized George Rogers for not being tough? Riggins said this while snoring under a table in a fancy Washington restaurant.

LA RAMS 24, DALLAS 20: And not a winning record between them.

BEST PICK LAST WEEK: Washington 24, Dallas 20 (Washington won, 24-20).

WORST PICK LAST WEEK: Indianapolis 19, Buffalo 14 (Buffalo won, 27-3).

RECORD LAST WEEK: 9-5.

RECORD AGAINST THE SPREAD: 8-6.

RECORD FOR SEASON: 88-63-1.

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