Another week in the books, and another chance to have a peek at what the playoffs would look like if they started today.
This week, I've introduced "On The Bubble and Playing Well". In order for a team to qualify for that mention, they need to have won at least their last two games, and be no more than one game out of the playoff picture.
Imagine if we found ourselves with the Dolphins and Falcons playing in the Super Bowl this year?
AFC Playoff Picture
1. Tennessee Titans (9-0)
Two weeks ago, a lot of my readers thought the Packers would deal Tennessee their first loss. Last week, even more of my readers thought the Bears would do it.
Care to take another stab at it?
2. Pittsburgh Steelers (6-3)
For those of you who are beginning to doubt the legitimacy of the Steelers, please keep in mind that two of their losses were against Mannings, and both of those losses were within one score.
3. New England Patriots (6-3)
The Patriots edge out the Jets due to New England's week two victory over New York. The Jets have a chance to settle the score on Thursday night, but for now... New England takes the division, and the three seed.
4. Denver Broncos (5-4)
My current train of thought has the AFC West taking the four seed, and losing to whatever wild-card team they have to face. Maybe the Chargers will catch fire again and change my perception.
5. Baltimore Ravens (6-3)
Impressive win over Houston in week ten. If they can keep putting points on the board, these guys might be more of a force than I first thought. They've got as tough of a test as they could have in week eleven, as they face off against the defending champs.
6. New York Jets (6-3)
Have the Jets found their rhythm? Was their utter destruction of the Rams a preview of what's to come? With the Patriots and the Titans standing in line to find out, I'm assuming we won't see that type of offensive explosion again any time soon.
On The Bubble and Playing Well: Miami Dolphins (5-4), Indianapolis Colts (5-4)
NFC Playoff Picture
1. New York Giants (8-1)
Last week's win over the Eagles wasn't as close as the score might indicate. The Giants are still in full throttle, and with the way their offense is set up... it could be a while before anyone slows them down.
2. Carolina Panthers (7-2)
The Panthers are in the middle of their month off. They had a bye week in week nine, beat the Raiders last week, and will beat the Lions in week eleven. For their sake, I hope the time off doesn't come with complacency. Matt Ryan and the Falcons await them in week twelve.
3. Arizona Cardinals (6-3)
What a gift it is to be in the NFC West this year. The Cardinals have as many wins as the rest of the teams in the division, combined.
4. Chicago Bears (5-4)
The Bears are atop a division that was supposed to be intense. I have a strange feeling they won't be on top for much longer though... not if the Green Bay Packers have anything to say about it.
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-3)
Neither the Bucs nor the Redskins lose their spots during the bye week. Tampa Bay has a tough matchup this week, as they face Adrian Peterson and the Vikings.
6. Washington Redskins (6-3)
Sunday night football against the Cowboys isn't a great way to improve your record, but the Redskins will have to do just that if they're planning to stay in the playoff picture for another week.
On The Bubble and Playing Well: Atlanta Falcons (6-3)
Here's what we'd be looking at in the Wild-Card Round if the season ended today:
Jets @ Patriots; Redskins @ Cardinals; Ravens @ Broncos; Bucs @ Bears
Well would you look at that... it appears as though one of our Wild-Card matchups will be on NFL Network tomorrow (Thursday) night!
Tune in next week!