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NFC Obituary - Dead After Week 11 (and the hierarchy of the NFC)

The Cardinals' punishment for overvaluing draft picks - Derek Anderson, Max Hall, and an end to their season after 10 games.
The Cardinals' punishment for overvaluing draft picks - Derek Anderson, Max Hall, and an end to their season after 10 games.

Newly Dead:


Last year the Cardinals were 11th in the NFL in points scored. This year they're 26th. They're also 31st in total yardage. Why? Well, we all know the answer. No QB. They dumped Matt Leinart in the preseason and chose to go to battle with Derek Anderson and Max Hall, with predictably crappy results. The Cardinals have weapons - Larry Fitzgerald, Steve Breaston, Beanie Wells, Tim Hightower, LaRod Stephens-Howling, Early Doucet, etc. I have to think that if the Cards had chosen to trade for Donovan McNabb, they'd probably be in the drivers seat in the horrible NFC West and once again playoff-bound. I have to imagine their first rounder this year probably would have gotten it done. Instead, they hung onto that pick and wound up with Dan Williams. Their season is over. 5 straight losses, 3-7 record, no QB. Bye Cards.

Dead and buried


See what I wrote above about the Cardinals? You can pretty much substitute in the 49ers as a team that may have goofed by not trading for McNabb. I wondered if I shut the Niners too early... Eh, not so much. When you get shut out by the Bucs and are 3-7, you belong right here. The Vikings rightfully fired Brad Childress, and the Cowboys rightfully fired Wade Phillips. The Panthers are the worst team in the NFL. The Lions, while making strides, still stink.

10 weeks in the books, 6 teams down, 10 remain.

See the rest of the NFC hierarchy after the jump...

The NFC West - And then there were 2.


What a shame that one of these teams has to make the playoffs. It's disgraceful. And worse, they'll get a HOME GAME. The NFC has actually turned out to be surprisingly good this year, with 7 legitimate playoff-worthy teams. Either the Seahawks or Rams are going cost a good team a playoff berth.

Still breathing


Give them credit. They took as bad of a beating as I've ever seen in an NFL game last week. Then they went to Tennessee and beat a tough Titans team on the road. This team has been able to eek out sloppy wins this season in route to a respectable 5-5 record, but with so many teams in the NFC playing well, time is running out.

I'm starting to believe... a little bit.


The teams that these guys have beaten this season are extraordinarily unimpressive. But wins a are wins, and the Bears and Buccaneers blanked the Dolphins and 49ers respectively this week. It doesn't really matter who you play in the NFL - Shutouts are impressive no matter who you play. Both teams are 7-3 and have to be the 2 biggest surprises this season. This week, we'll see how legitimate they really are - the Bears play the Eagles and the Bucs play the Ravens.

Walking wounded


David Diehl, Shaun O'Hara, Madison Hedgecock, Steve Smith, and now Hakeem Nicks. Almost half their offensive starting lineup is hurt. It doesn't help that the Giants' opponents are taking the football away from them like they're 90-year-olds in a crooked nursing home.

2 teams I'd be happy not to face in the playoffs


The Packers and Saints are officially putting it together after starting slower than expected.

Big test this week


The Falcons took care of business this week in St. Louis. Ho hum. The big test is this week when the Packers visit the Georgia Dome.

Giant killers


The Eagles are the only team in the NFL to have beaten 4 teams with winning records, and they're undefeated in games Michael Vick has started and finished.