2011 NFL Playoffs Predictor

This fable of an NFL season gave us another chapter Sunday, one that threatens to turn everything upside down for at least one team. Quarterback Matt Schaub will miss the rest of the season, a source has told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter, so Houston -- which looked like a potential favorite out of the AFC -- has fans recalibrating their hopes. Yet it's hard to say with any certainty how this will end up. Consider: Washington got off to a good start with former Texans backup Rex Grossman running point, but has since fallen apart. San Francisco also started hot, even as nobody envied its quarterback predicament. But the 49ers have doubled down and now sit at 8-1, and Alex Smith -- a recent poster boy for erratic quarterback play -- has been playing well. We can project, but we can't know, particularly with quarterbacks.

In this week's edition of the Playoff Predictor, powered by numberFire, we say hello to the Dallas Cowboys and prepare ourselves, yet again, to be the least popular people in the greater New York area.

And remember, this isn't about where teams are or were, it's about where they'll be. The algorithms factor in everything from weather to injuries to overall trends. Of course, all of this is still highly volatile, due to the fact we're just now halfway through the season; still, the model can get us close. Check back each week as the numbers continue to paint a clearer bracket portrait.