Here’s a look at who’d be where if the season were one week shorter than it is, along with our spin on each team’s status…
1. New England Patriots (12-3) — Haven’t lost to Buffalo at home since pre-Brady era. The top seed is theirs.
2. Baltimore Ravens (11-4) — Probably have to beat the desperate Bengals. Expecting a close game.
3. Houston Texans (10-5) — Locked into the three spot and could have trouble wild-card weekend.
4. Denver Broncos (8-7) — Could have their hands full with the Chiefs, but might sneak in anyway.
5. Pittsburgh Steelers (11-4) — Should beat Cleveland with or without Big Ben, but it might not matter.
6. Cincinnati Bengals (9-6) — Probably have to beat the Ravens, but they played them tough on the road earlier.
7. Oakland Raiders (8-7) — Need to beat the Chargers and get help. Wouldn’t rule it out though.
8. Tennessee Titans (8-7) — If all the faves win in Week 17, they’re in.
9. New York Jets (8-7) — Chips are stacked against them. See ya in 2012.
1. Green Bay Packers (14-1) — They’ve clinched everything and will likely rest Sunday.
2. San Francisco 49ers (12-3) — Just beat the Rams and you’re off next weekend. Done.
3. New Orleans Saints (12-3) — Slim chance they land a bye with the Niners in St. Louis.
4. New York Giants (8-7) — New York is a three-point favorite against Dallas Sunday night.
5. Detroit Lions (10-5) — They might dodge the Saints on wild-card weekend. Huge.
6. Atlanta Falcons (9-6) — Probably on a collision course with the Saints, again.
7. Dallas Cowboys (8-7) — Do-or-die at MetLife Stadium. I think the healthier Cowboys pull it out.