Tifton Gazette

Local Sports

November 26, 2012

NFL playoffs taking shape, and still a month to go

 

Start the playoffs now. 
Well, just about. 
More than a month from the end of the NFL season, and nearly every division race 
is decided. Atlanta and Denver have four-game leads and can earn titles with 
victories Sunday, although the Falcons also need Tampa Bay to lose — 
coincidentally, to the Broncos, who don't need any help if they win to walk off 
with the AFC West. 
The Falcons (10-1) get an early start by hosting New Orleans on Thursday night. 
Considering the rivalry, and that Atlanta's only defeat this season has been to 
the Saints, taking the NFC South crown merely adds to the team's already soaring 
incentives. 
"Ten and one is great, but I'll tell you what I've said since the beginning of 
the season: We're just jockeying for position," star tight end Tony Gonzalez 
said. "We just want to put ourselves in the best position, playing the best 
football. Right around this time is when you want to start jelling as a team and 
take it on into the playoffs because that's the most important thing." 
Denver (8-3) already has swept San Diego, so one more victory puts Peyton 
Manning back in the playoffs with his new team. Oddly, Manning's Colts didn't 
always fare so well after early clinchings, but every coach, including his 
latest one, John Fox, will say that owning a postseason berth overrides any 
potential negatives. 
"We can't influence what everyone else does over the last five games," Fox said. 
"We know we have to take care of this week and that'll be our mindset." 

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Local Sports
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