With five weeks left in the regular season, there are certain truths that have become crystal clear in the NFL. Barring collapses of epic proportions, Green Bay and Dallas should represent their respective divisions in the playoffs and be the one and two seeds in the NFC. With a win tonight, Green Bay would clinch the NFC North.
The Patriots have five teams to go through to tie Miami's single season record for consecutive wins. The teams with the best chance to stop it between now and then is the ones that get the most creative in the way they play. Philly already proved that.
The Dolphins have a strong chance to go 0-16. Miami has lost six games by three points, and their best chance for a win will probably come against the offensively deficient Ravens in December.
Currently in the NFC, the wild card standings are as follows -
- NY Giants
- Detroit Lions
- NO Saints
- Arizona Cardinals
- Philadelphia Eagles
- Washington Redskins
The current wild card standings in the AFC -
- Jacksonville Jaguars
- Cleveland Browns
- Tennessee Titans
- Denver Broncos
- Buffalo Bills
The most likely changes in the AFC playoff picture really take into account the possibility that the Colts could end up the top wild card entry and the Broncos could knock the Chargers out of the playoff picture. With the soft final five for the Browns, I wouldn't rule out Cleveland and Pittsburgh tying with an 11-5, or even a 12-4 record. However, a tie still puts the Browns behind the Steelers by virtue of their two losses to the Steelers and no better than the fifth seed, no matter how bad the record of the AFC West champion is.
Let the games begin.