Now that every team has exactly six games remaining, we can add a new wrinkle to our “If the season ended today” coverage by giving you the updated playoff picture to shed light on who’d make the postseason if the season ended today…
1. New England Patriots (7-3) – Four teams at the top makes breaking ties very tricky.
2. Houston Texans (7-3) — They begin life without Matt Schaub this week.
3. Baltimore Ravens (7-3) — Head-to-head tiebreaker over Pittsburgh in the AFC North.
4. Oakland Raiders (6-4) — Two games clear of preseason favorite San Diego.
5. Pittsburgh Steelers (7-3) — The battle with Baltimore should come down to Week 17.
6. Cincinnati Bengals (6-4) — Their biggest challenge might be holding off the Jets.
7. Denver Broncos (5-5) — Only one game out with four wins in the five-week Tim Tebow era.
8. Tennessee Titans (5-5) — Schedule’s not too bad. Week 17 game in Houston could mean something.
9. New York Jets (5-5) — They only have one more game against a team with a winning record.
10 Buffalo Bills (5-5) — They’ll finish with seven wins tops.
1. Green Bay Packers (10-0) — Some serious challenges over the final six weeks. 16-0 will be tough.
2. San Francisco 49ers (9-1) — Unless they run the table the rest of the way, they’ll be locked into this spot.
3. New Orleans Saints (7-3) — Barring a major slip-up, the NFC South is theirs.
4. Dallas Cowboys (6-4) — The schedule is favorable, especially compared to the Giants’.
5. Detroit Lions (7-3) — Fading. Momentum is not on their side.
6. Chicago Bears (7-3) — Caleb Hanie era begins this week. Can they survive without Jay Cutler?
7. Atlanta Falcons (6-4) — Might have to win in New Orleans, Houston and Carolina.
8. New York Giants (6-4) — Only one game remaining against a team with a sub-.500 record.
Those are some sexy potential wild-card matchups, but my personal favorite would be Pittsburgh in Oakland. And interestingly, six of the 12 playoff teams would hail from two divisions (AFC North and NFC North).