The absurdly premature playoff picture presents one man’s projection for the NFL playoffs, at each given week in the season — even if that week is unreasonably early. Top AFC seeds : Houston Texans, Baltimore Ravens Other AFC division champs : Denver Broncos, New England Patriots AFC Wild Cards : Pittsburgh Steelers, San Diego Chargers Top NFC seeds : Atlanta Falcons, San Francisco 49ers Other NFC division champs : Green Bay, New York Giants Wild Cards : Arizona Cardinals, Philadelphia Eagles • Last week , I gave a Wild Card spot to the Eagles ahead of the Cardinals. I may have been a bit off there. My bad, everybody. • As for this week, you might ask how I have the Cardinals first in the power rankings but clinging only to a Wild Card spot here, and by way of explanation, I offer you Kevin Kolb. I’m not buying Kevin Kolb. If that means I’m disrespecting the Cardinals, then I guess I’m disrespecting the Cardinals. They’ve absolutely earned their 3-0 mark and they’ve got a collection of wins superior to that of anyone else. Does that mean I trust Kevin Kolb? Does that mean the wheels will not come off at some point over a 16-game season? No. No, it does not. • Not too much else changes in the NFC. I thought about moving the Giants ahead of the 49ers for a first round bye, but I’m giving the Niners a one-week pass. They’ve earned that. Through the course of a season, a team will have a handful of games that are out of character for them. I believe the 49ers just had one.
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The absurdly premature 2012 playoff picture: Week 3 (Shutdown Corner)