Playoff Teams Almost Determined After Five Weeks!
In this day of parity, it is not supposed to be this way. 20-24 teams are supposed to contend for the 12 playoff spots into Week 15 and on. However, after just five weeks this year, the NFL has become a league of haves and have-nots.
It has been a long time since there were this many undefeated teams after five weeks of the season. Additionally, you have divisions with one decent to very good team and three mediocre to plain awful teams. Let’s take a look at the eight divisions.
AFC East: Many so-called experts believe the Patriots will run the table and could join the Miami Dolphins as one of two undefeated, untied teams to win the Super Bowl. We are not ready to agree yet, but New England should win at least 13 games and easily claim this division, even with two fairly good teams trying to contend for Wildcard spots.
The New York Jets and Buffalo Bills could both finish above .500, and you have to consider these Empire State rivals as two of just three teams contending for the final two spots in the AFC Playoffs.
AFC North: Cincinnati solidified their dominance in the division with an impressive victory over Seattle. The Bengals are now prohibitive favorites to win the division title, especially if Ben Roethlisberger cannot return soon and return to his pre-injury form.
As for the Steelers, they are the third team (along with the Jets and Bills) fighting for the two Wildcard spots.
AFC South: A mediocre Indianapolis Colts team could be an 8-8 division winner, but they might still win this division with a record as pitiful as 6-10. The other three teams combined may not reach 10 wins this year. The Colts are 3-2 with their three wins coming against each of the three other South teams.
AFC West: Denver is somehow 5-0 with Peyton Manning looking pedestrian at best. The Broncos are once again showing that the first year of having Wade Phillips as your defensive coordinator is always an improved defensive result. The Broncos already have two games of light in front of their division rivals, and they could clinch a playoff spot by their 11th or 12th game.
NFC East: This is the one division with a lot of uncertainty. Dallas might be so far behind in the standings by the time Tony Romo returns, while Washington lacks the talent to win consistently. The New York Giants and Philadelphia Eagles should go down to the last couple of weeks to decide the single playoff team from this division. The two rivals square off on Monday Night Football this week in what should be an exciting and high-scoring game.
NFC North: It will be another division flag in Titletown USA, as the Green Bay Packers have only modest competition from their rivals, the Minnesota Vikings. Minnesota could contend for a Wildcard spot, but we don’t believe they are ready to challenge the Packers.
NFC South: There are two playoff teams here, and the only decision is which will be the division winner and which will be the top Wildcard. Atlanta and Carolina don’t face off until Weeks 14 and 16, and by then we expect the eventual division winner to be 10-3, and it would not surprise us if both teams are 10-3 by then.
NFC West: Seattle is lucky, lucky, lucky to be 3-2 instead of 2-3. The Seahawks are going to struggle to make it to 9-7 this year and will have to contend with Minnesota for the number six seed. Arizona could finish as strong as 14-2 if Carson Palmer stays healthy.
Playoff Seed Projections
1. New England
2. Green Bay
|Current NFL PiRate Ratings|
|N F C|
|A F C|
|N. Y. Jets||101.4||101.9||102.1||101.8||3-1-0||95||55|
|This Week’s Games|
|Date of Games:||October 15-19|
|Green Bay||San Diego||12.4||11.9||13.2|