This weeks games helped clarify the playoff scene a good bit so I am going to quickly update where things stand.
The Pats, Broncos and Texans have all won their divisions and are jockeying for the 2 first round byes. The Ravens, meanwhile, are guaranteed a playoff spot despite losing 3 straight games, thanks to the awfulness that is the rest of the AFC right now. The wild card spots belong to the Colts and Bengals and the Bengals still have a chance to steal the division crown from Baltimore with a week 17 match-up against them. The Steelers are still alive but would have to beat the Bengals this week to put themselves in real contention. The Dolphins, at 6-8, technically still have a pulse, but would have to win out vs the Bills and Pats and hope that the Bengals lose to the Steelers and Ravens and then the Steelers also lose to the Browns. Mark Sanchez finally eliminated the Jets from playoff contention last night.
In the NFC the Falcons have all but locked up the top seed and won their division weeks ago. After back to back 50 point games, no one wants to play the Seahawks right now and the Niners-Seahawks match-up this week could not only determine that division, but could give the winner the 2nd first round bye thanks to both teams having head-to-head wins over Green Bay, the third division winner and third seed right now. The NFC East, exciting as always, has 3 teams who all control their playoff destinies. The Redskins currently lead the division with the Cowboys 2nd and the Giants 3rd. Thanks to tie-breakers, if the Giants win out vs the Ravens and Eagles, they will be in the playoffs as at least a wild card team. The Cowboys face the tough Saints this week and the Redskins travel up the road to Philadelphia. If both teams win this week, then they will be playing head-to-head for the division title week 17 in Washington. Giants fans will be cheering for them to lose to get back into the division conversation. The final wild card spot is completely up for grabs still with the Giants, Cowboys, Bears and Vikings all sitting at 8-6. The Vikings have the hardest road playing the Texans and Packers the next two weeks, the Bears have it much easier, getting the Cards and Lions. Finally, similar to the Dolphins, the Rams, at 6-7-1 are technically capable of making the playoffs but it would require an awful lot of dominoes to fall their way.