Originally written on Football Nation  |  Last updated 1/3/13
A total of 15 teams remained standing as the clock struck 1 PM EST on Sunday afternoon, the day before New Year's Eve.From there, in three or four hour increments, that list whittled down to the mandated 12 necessary to form a playoff pool.We here at the Football Nation Medical Examiner's Office know how difficult this last week of post-mortem examination can be.Well, not from an emotional standpoint; that's left for the fans, players, and others to digest. I'm referring to the layers of broken optimism that need to be scraped off the cadavers before we can begin working. Sometimes it's like trying to chip through five inches of solid ice with a plastic spork.These are the teams that needed just one or two breaks to go their way, and they'd be alive today, vying among a field of a dozen for a trophy awarded only to one.Instead, they plot their next move, bitterly vowing that they'll be back, better than ever.But until such opportunity arises, embrace the squalid stench of death. At ...
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