The NFL playoff picture is becoming a little clearer, especially in the AFC. The New York Patriots, New York Jets, Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers all won this week, making them the class of the AFC. The AFC West should send only one team and the AFC South appears to be a one-team race with the Jacksonville Jaguars tied with the Indianapolis Colts at 6-4. The Jaguars would be the division champions if the season ended today based on their head-to-head win.
In the NFC, there are too many teams to count, but based on how the teams have played the Atlanta Falcons, Green Bay Packers and Philadelphia Eagles appear to be the favorites to represent the AFC. This week the winner of the Falcons and Packers game in Atlanta will be the November favorite to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl.
Here is the playoff picture as I see it heading into Thanksgiving Day. Keep a couple of things in mind when looking at where I have your favorite team in the pecking order. First, a team with a better or same record can be lower than another team depending on the division they play in. Second, I will not put a team in the lock position until they have clinched a playoff spot, but I will put teams in the eliminated category if they still have a mathematical chance. I will try not to put a team in the eliminated column until it becomes clear they would need to win out and have 10 teams in front of them lose.
AFC Playoff Picture
Great Position: New England Patriots (8-2), New York Jets (8-2), Baltimore Ravens (7-3), Pittsburgh Steelers (7-3), Kansas City Chiefs (6-4), Jacksonville Jaguars (6-4), and Indianapolis Colts (6-4).
On the Bubble: Miami Dolphins (5-5), Oakland Raiders (5-5), San Diego Chargers (5-5), and Tennessee Titans (5-5).
Life Support NFL: Houston Texans (4-6), Cleveland Browns (3-7), and Denver Broncos (3-7).
Eliminated NFL: Buffalo Bills (2-8) and Cincinnati Bengals (2-8).