- Cape student sues, accuses school officials of slamming her to ground multiple times (04/28/16)45
- Bob Evans restaurant in Cape Girardeau among chain's 21 closings (04/26/16)9
- Missouri House votes to allow concealed weapons without permits (04/28/16)6
- Two hurt in motorcycle wreck on Interstate 55 (04/25/16)1
- Law firm requests information about Cape's traffic cameras (04/25/16)2
- Local lawmakers split over failed medical marijuana bill; voters may have a say (04/26/16)19
- Police report filed, but no charges in incident at Cape Central (04/29/16)35
- Tanker truck catches fire near Oak Ridge (04/24/16)7
- Local company makes eco-friendly kitty litter that cuts cat-box smell (04/25/16)
- Senator introduces bill for I-57 that would connect Sikeston with Little Rock (04/28/16)4
The drama is gone in the NFC races
Three-quarters through the NFL season, the race for the playoffs should be hitting its peak.
Not in the NFC, where the six playoff teams were all but decided on Sunday, and what remains is deciding the seedings.
The AFC? Hold on for the final weeks.
In the NFC, Green Bay (9-3) clinched the North on Sunday, something the Packers could have done two weeks ago had they not lost two straight games. The 49ers (8-4 in the West) and Eagles (9-3 in the East) are three up with four to play. New Orleans' 23-20 win over Tampa Bay just about guarantees those two teams, plus Atlanta, will make the postseason from the South.
The South is anyone's race. Tampa Bay is 9-3, Michael Vick and Atlanta are 8-3-1 and New Orleans is 8-4.
"This is kind of a round robin," Saints coach Jim Haslett said. "We beat Tampa twice. Atlanta beat us twice. Hopefully, Tampa will beat Atlanta next week and we'll just pass the thing around."
The losers in this are the Giants and the Rams, who two weeks ago looked like playoff contenders. The Giants, with the injury to QB Donovan McNabb making the Eagles vulnerable, looked ready to seize control in the East.
But New York (6-6), its defense weakened by injuries, has managed to lose to Houston and Tennessee.
"I'm not even thinking of the playoffs," the Giants' Tiki Barber said.
St. Louis, with Kurt Warner clearly hurting, lost 10-3 in Philadelphia, with the only touchdown coming on Bobby Taylor's interception return. Third-string QB A.J. Feeley played prevent offense, not gambling with the lead.
Warner is 0-6 as a starter this season, and the Rams are teetering at 5-7.
Washington and Dallas also are 5-7 and everyone else in the NFC is 4-8 or worse.
"I hate the word 'parity,'" Rams tight end Ernie Conwell said after the loss in Philadelphia. "But we've been able to see both ends of it. We were 4-12 and then went to the Super Bowl. Now we're the defending NFC champions -- and this."
If Conwell wants to discuss parity, the AFC is the place.
Only three teams are under .500: Jacksonville (5-7), Cincinnati (1-11) and expansion Houston (3-9). And the Jaguars still are contenders, albeit barely.
So with four weeks to go, it's almost impossible to line up playoff scenarios.
Next week should clear up questions.
Indianapolis (8-4) takes its four-game winning streak to Tennessee (7-5), with the winner in control of the South. That's because the Titans won in Indy, so if they win again, they have a clear tiebreaker for the division title.
Pittsburgh (7-4-1) has a 1 1/2-game lead over Cleveland and Baltimore in the North. On form, the Steelers should win it.
In the East, one game separates New England and Miami (7-5) in first from Buffalo (6-6) in last. In the West, San Diego's overtime win over Denver gives it the edge in a three-team race.