Teams are starting to make that push to the end, and the real contenders are making their way to the top.
1. Denver Broncos (11-3): This team has figured out how to play like the old Indianapolis Colts. Get a lead, pound the ball, and rush the passer.
2. Houston (12-2): Nice bounce back at home. And, they needed to let the Colts know it’s their year for the division.
3. New England (10-4): That was like watching three different games Sunday night. This team has their faults, but still can make a run.
4. Indianapolis (9-5): This team shows fight and determination every week, and they have the QB that keeps them in every game. They now are starting to believe they can win every game.
5. Baltimore (9-5): I have no problem making a coaching change at this point, but I think the replacement is untested and over rated. The change at offensive coordinator only exposed Joe Flacco more. Limping towards the playoffs.
6. Cincinnati (8-6): They now have the chance they have been waiting for. Games against Pittsburgh and Baltimore to finish the season and get in the tournament.
7. Pittisburgh (7-7): Horrific loss to the Cowboys. Cincy and Cleveland to end the season.
The NFC is now officially wide open….
1. San Francisco (10-3-1): The Niners seem to be getting back on stride, but still don’t like the QB drama. Big trip to Seattle on the horizon.
2. Green Bay (10-4): Showing what having a winning team is all about. Still think they will struggle in the playoffs without a good O-Line.
3. Seattle (9-5): Good defense, good running game, and a pretty good QB. Let’s see if they make everyone believers vs SF.
4. Atlanta (12-2): Coaching and playing in a dome can de-rail this team. Still need to show some toughness.
5. New York Giants (8-6): Win and your in…something they have heard for a few years now. They are the only team of the following group that controls their fate. Win two and you need no help from anyone.
This is where it really gets interesting….
Chicago, Dallas, Washington, and Minnesota
Chicago (8-6): Needs help and to win their last two. They lose tie-breaker to Giants if they both finish 10-6.
Dallas (8-6): They play Washington last week of the season, could win the division or miss out altogether.
Washington (8-6): They learned an important lesson this week..They can win without RG3. Eagles and Cowboys to finish.
Minnesota (8-6): Even though NFL.COM has them listed as the 6th seed currently, that isn’t quite correct. That is based on if the season ended today, and I’m pretty sure they are not canceling the final two weeks of the season. They can win their last two and still not make the playoffs.
Follow Joe on Twitter, @tufdan