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Over/Under

Is it an SAT question? A study in probability? No, it's time to go through the wild card scenarios! Below are the teams that are (barely) eligible, and what needs to happen for each team to make the playoffs.

Team: Philadelphia
Record: 7-5-1
What They Have To Do:

- Learn not to tie.
- Boo Santa Claus just a little more furiously.
- Regain title of "America's Fattest City."

Team:New Orleans
Record: 7-7
What They Have To Do:

-Remind rest of America that their government's negligence destroyed their city. Now, America "owes them one."
- Send "Girl Gone Wild" from French Quarter to the team offices of the remaining three opponents.
- Confuse other teams' quarterbacks by leaving confusing phone messages with thick Cajun accents.

Team: Miami
Record: 8-5
What They Have To Do:

- Remind other teams that Miami is the place to be during the off-season.
- Start Miami Vice revival. Fashion-conscious players spend more time searching for white suits with pink undershirts than studying their playbooks.
- Remind rest of America that global warming will totally wipe out Miami, and since New Orleans is in the NFC, America can "owe them one too."

Team: Indianapolis
Record: 8-5
What They Have To Do:

- Remind the rest of America of their slim entertainment choices; there's the Colts and the Indy 500. Ask for pity.
- Like other irresponsible homeowners, the Colts used a subprime mortgage to build their new stadium. Remind the rest of America that they need the playoff ticket revenue to meet the mortgage payments.
- If they don't make the playoffs, players will join Dick Durbin in asking President Bush to get George Ryan out of their state pronto.

Team: Atlanta
Record: 8-5
What They Have To Do:

- Remind the rest of America that Atlanta's nickname is HOTlanta. Pledge to prove it by turning the opening game of the playoffs into Ladies Night.
- Remind league officials that Michael Vick's dogs know where they live.
- Assure players on other playoff teams that, like the Braves, they just want to make the playoffs, they don't want to win them.

Team: Chicago
Record: 8-6
What They Have To Do:

- Remind the rest of America that teams from Chicago are more than willing to take a dive in the playoffs if the price is right.
- Threaten the rest of America with the prospect of Sen. Rod Blagojevich if they don't cooperate.
- Remind the rest of America that if the price is right, they can be appointed Bears quarterback.

*

OverHyped Game of the Week: Giants at Cowboys
Storyline: In a Thunderdome rip-off, Plaxico Burress and Pac-Man Jones enter a nightclub. Only one player and his entourage leave.

Reality: Always bet on the one willing to pull the trigger, even it was due to pure stupidity.

Prediction: Giants Minus 3 Points, Over 46 Points Scored

UnderHyped Game of the Week: Bucs at Falcons
Storyline: Seriously, people, this game is going to be good! To prove it we've hired TV pitchman Billy Mays to be the color commentator. You know it's got to be good!

Reality: This game will be so tight from start to finish that Mays will have no time to ironically call "Vince from Sham-Wow" a "two bit hack."

Prediction: Atlanta Minus 3 Points, Over 44.5 Points Scored.

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Last week's picks: 5-1
For the season: 35-21-4

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Eric Emery grew up in small-town Illinois but has an irrational love of the Pittsburgh Steelers. Every week he writes The Blue & Orange Kool-Aid Report and Over/Under. He also is a spark plug in floor hockey. You can reach him here.

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