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News from Yahoo.com and ClevelandBrowns.com
FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) -- Matt Ryan cringed on Wednesday when remembering his most recent games against Arizona's defense.
CLEVELAND (7-4) At BUFFALO (6-5)
BEREA, Ohio (AP) -- Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon says the lowest point during his 10-game suspension was that he was treated differently by friends and teammates.
Here's how critical Philadelphia's game at Dallas will be on Thanksgiving Day: The winner can start thinking about a home postseason game, maybe even a bye for the wild-card round. The loser winds up needing to win the rematch in 17 days to be viable in the NFC East.
Mike Pettine received the opportunity to coach the Cleveland Browns after one successful season running the Buffalo Bills' defense.
Nick Mensio checks in on Robert Griffin III, Julius Thomas, Jordan Cameron and plenty of others in Wednesday's Dose.
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) -- It's back to normal for the vagabond Buffalo Bills.
It was a pretty big deal when the 7-9 Seattle Seahawks made the playoffs at the end of the 2010 season. People still bring them up, as the only losing team to make the playoffs. Those Seahawks are memorable because they won a playoff game, too. So how many times would we cite this year's NFC South champion if it won the division at 5-11? It is still mathematically possible. And the scenario is not as crazy as you might think with five weeks left. [ Join FanDuel.com's $1.75M Week 13 fantasy league: $25 to enter; top 14,530 teams paid ] Every team in the NFC South is 4-7 or worse. The Atlanta Falcons technically lead, and they are 0-7 in non-divisional games. Here are the remaining schedules, followed by the unbelievable "5-11 division champion" scenario: ATLANTA FALCONS (4-7) vs. Arizona, at Green Bay, vs. Pittsburgh, at New Orleans, vs. Carolina NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (4-7) at Pittsburgh, vs. Carolina, at Chicago, vs. Atlanta, at Tampa Bay CAROLINA PANTHERS (3-7-1) at Minnesota, at New Orleans, vs. Tampa Bay, vs. Cleveland, at Atlanta TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS (2-9) vs. Cincinnati, at Detroit, at Carolina, vs. Green Bay, vs. New Orleans To make a 5-11 champ happen, we need to give the Falcons and Saints losses in every non-divisional game. Not hard, since they might not be favored in any of them. That scenario would bring Atlanta to 10 losses and the Saints to nine losses. We need to make sure the Panthers have at least 11 losses too (that darn tie) to not push them above the 5-11 threshold. So give them losses at Minnesota and against the Browns. That's nine losses for them. The 5-11 plan rests on Tampa Bay winning some games (ha!). So of Tampa Bay's remaining games, they need to lose at least two against Cincinnati, Detroit and Green Bay. Really, really, really shouldn't be a problem. That accounts for the Buccaneers' 11 losses. If Tampa Bay then beats Carolina and New Orleans, we're up to 10 losses for the Panthers and Saints. Then if Carolina beats either Atlanta or New Orleans, and loses to the other (it can't sweep both or get swept by both), there's the Panthers' 11th loss. Let's say Carolina beats New Orleans, and the rest that we outlined happens. That's 11 losses for the Saints. Then if the Saints beat Atlanta, that gives the Falcons 11 losses. Or if the Panthers lose to the Saints (Carolina's 11th loss), beat the Falcons (Atlanta's 11th loss), and the Falcons then beat the Saints (New Orleans' 11th loss), it accomplishes the same thing. For easier reference, let's look at one scenario in the schedule form: ATLANTA FALCONS (4-7) vs. Arizona (loss), at Green Bay (loss), vs. Pittsburgh (loss), at New Orleans ( 11th loss ), vs. Carolina (win) NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (4-7) at Pittsburgh (loss), vs. Carolina (loss), at Chicago (loss), vs. Atlanta (win), at Tampa Bay ( 11th loss) CAROLINA PANTHERS (3-7-1) at Minnesota (loss), at New Orleans (win), vs. Tampa Bay (loss), vs. Cleveland (loss), at Atlanta ( 11th loss ) TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS (2-9) vs. Cincinnati (loss), at Detroit ( 11th loss ), at Carolina (win), vs. Green Bay (win or loss), vs. New Orleans (win) Or you just flip-flop the Panthers' results with the Saints and the Falcons, then change the Saints-Falcons result too. And voila, you have the biggest playoff-related embarrassment in NFL history, a 5-11 team hosting a playoff game. Would a 5-11 debacle be enough for the NFL to change its playoff structure? When you have four-team divisions, weird results like this become possible. The entire AFC North has at least seven wins. The NFC South might not get a team to seven wins at all. The 2-9 Tampa Bay Buccaneers are still alive for the first pick of the draft and still alive for the NFC South title. That's terrible, and a horrible look for the league. A team six games under .500 should not be in the playoffs, and it definitely should not host a playoff game. Doesn't it seem like we're getting a lot closer to having a "2014 Saints rule" or a "2014 Falcons rule" passed by the NFL? It's almost Thanksgiving and we can present a fairly reasonable scenario in which the NFC South can have a 5-11 division champion. The 2014 NFC South is not just on its way to being crowned the worst division ever, it's pretty close to making sure nobody will ever take that distinction away. - - - - - - - Frank Schwab is the editor of Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @YahooSchwab
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