Last night was one of the last games of November, there is only ONE MORE game left in the NFL schedule before the calendar turns to DECEMBER. In lieu of it almost being December, I am NO LONGER going to do my ten observations in the NFL recap blogs, instead I am going to go through EACH division and provide some clarity for the MURKY playoff pictures in BOTH conferences. I will go through EACH division, talking about the chances of winning the division and then talk about the WILD CARD and which teams have the chance to win that.
The AFC East divisional picture is not that MURKY, as we all know who is going to win the division. The Patriots play the Bills in Buffalo this weekend and if they are able to win that game then they WILL basically clinch the division. The Pats are the BEST team in the AFC, so winning the division is NOT a big issue for them. They should put their focus PAST the division and start preparing for the playoffs, by first securing a FIRST ROUND BYE and then securing HOME FIELD ADVANTAGE throughout the AFC playoffs.
If the Bills are able to win the game this weekend, which is HIGHLY unlikely, they can still TECHNICALLY win the division, but they would need A LOT of cards to fall in their favor, and I DO NOT see that happening. The Bills are STILL alive for the Wild Card, so the Bills Mafia SHOULD put their focus on getting a Wild Card berth and FORGET about winning the division.
Though the Jets and the Dolphins HAVE NOT been eliminated from the playoffs just yet, I would be SHOCKED if either of those teams made the Playoffs. A LOT of CRAZY things would need to happen for either one of those teams to make the Playoffs.
The AFC North divisional picture is far from being MURKY, but the division will MOST LIKELY have TWO playoff teams coming out of it. The Steelers and the Ravens play each other on December 10th, and the Steelers will have the opportunity to CLINCH the division at home that night. The Steelers currently have the SECOND best record in the AFC and they play the Pats at home in THREE weeks for a chance to get HOME FIELD ADVANTAGE. The Steelers are basically GUARANTEED to win the division and get a first round bye, if they are able to win their next two games against the Bengals and the Ravens respectively.
The Ravens are STILL alive for the division, but they would need the Steelers to LOSE every single game for the rest of the season, while they WIN all of their games. Though they have like a 0.01% chance of WINNING the division, they should put their focus AWAY from the division and on the Wild Card, as they are currently the 6th SEED in the AFC Playoffs, IF the season ended TODAY.
The Browns and the Bengals are just playing the rest of their season as a FORMALITY. Nobody thought these teams were going to make a run this year did they?
The AFC South currently has TWO of the six teams that would be IN the playoffs if the season ENDED today, but it does not so a lot COULD change between now and Week 17. The Titans and the Jags have the SAME record currently but the Titans “LEAD” the division as they hold the tiebreaker, these two teams still play each other ONE more time and the winner of that game WILL win the division, while the loser will likely be one of the WILD CARD teams in the AFC. Both teams in the AFC South still control their own destiny and I would be VERY SURPRISED if both these teams do not make the playoffs.
Texans and Colts would be in contention if more than HALF of their respective rosters had not GOTTEN hurt.
The AFC West divisional picture is very MURKY. Three of the Four teams are STILL alive for the division and I can make a LEGITIMATE argument for all three team to win the division, so that is exactly what I am going to do.
The Chiefs- They started out as the BEST team in the NFL, but are currently one of the WORST teams in the NFL, losing five of their last six games. The Chiefs are the ONLY team in the division that is over .500, but they are definitely heading in the wrong direction. The Chiefs play the Jets this weekend, so they really need to BEAT UP on the lowly Jets and try to gain some MOMENTUM for the rest of the season and maybe keep their SLIM lead in the division.
The Chargers- They had the OPPOSITE start to the Chiefs, the Chargers started out really slow this season, but are currently one of the HOTTEST teams in the NFL. There defense is REALLY good and it has been shutting down the opposing offenses. The Chargers play the lowly Browns this weekend and with that win they can GET to .500 on the season, with winnable games against the Jets and the Broncos still remaining on their schedule. If you believe in recency bias, than the Chargers are YOUR pick to win the AFC South.
The Raiders- They were supposed to run away with the division, but never got going mainly due to injuries. The Raider are STILL alive for the division, but would need to jump over TWO teams to get there, which is unlikely. The Raiders have been ON and OFF the whole season, they desperately NEED to stay ON for the rest of the season, to make the playoffs.
The Broncos are NOT going to go to the Playoffs, so they should use this time to get HIGH and try to find a quarterback.
The Eagles have basically CLINCHED the division and are now focusing on getting the ONE seed in the NFC playoffs. That is all I have to say about this division as the Cowboys, the Redskins, and the Giants WILL NOT be making the playoffs.
The Vikings need ONE more win to clinch the division, while the Lions need to win ALL of their remaining games to win the division. The Vikings, like the Eagles have basically CLINCHED their division.
The Lions are currently the EIGHT seed in the NFC playoffs, so they would A LOT of things to go in their favor to get a Playoff berth, but I am not saying it CANNOT happen, they are still very much alive for the Wild Card.
The Bears are a FEW pieces away from the Playoffs, while the Packers are missing their biggest piece that is keeping them AWAY from the playoffs.
When this season ENDS, there is a chance that the NFC South has THREE teams that make the playoffs. The Saints, Falcons, and the Panthers all are within ONE game of each other for the division lead, and ANY of these teams can win it. All of these teams STILL play each other so the winner of the division will be decided ON the field. The Saints have one NON divisional game left this season, and that is against the LOWLY Jets, so I will go in detail about the playoff scenario for each team in the division ONCE they play each other over the next few weeks.
The Bucs will be on their couch for the playoffs, as they are SUPER TRASH.
The Rams currently LEAD the division, but the Seahawks are not far behind. I have said multiple times that the Seahawks are TRASH so it would KILL me if they still made the playoffs. The Seahawks CONTINUE to get more injuries in their secondary and they NEED to beat the Rams when they come to Seattle in a couple of weeks. The Seahawks will need to win ALMOST every single game the rest of the way and hope for things to FALL APART for the Rams, who would LOVE to put this division to bed and focus on getting a FIRST ROUND BYE in the playoffs. The Seahawks are STILL alive for the Wild Card but would need to jump over the Falcons who HOLD the tiebreaker over the Seattle.
I want to 49ers and the Cardinals for coming to play this season and they WILL NOT be making the Playoffs.
That was look at all EIGHT divisions in the NFL and the playoff picture for all THIRTY TWO teams. If I had to pick my TWELVE teams to make the playoffs right now, it would go as follows:
AFC- the Pats, the Steelers, the Jags, the Chargers, the Ravens, and the Chiefs
NFC- the Eagles, the Vikings, the Saints, the Rams, the Panthers, and the Falcons
Come back to next week to see an UPDATED look at the Playoff picture.