By Danny Cox
The NFL playoffs are getting closer every single day and many fans are hopeful that their favorite teams are going to somehow get into the field of 12 and make a run at the Super Bowl. Believe it or not, with only three weeks left in the regular season, there is still a lot to be determined and not a whole bunch has been figured out just yet.
Through Week 14, only three teams have clinched playoff berths, but they have not clinched their seeding at all.
Over in the AFC, the Denver Broncos have clinched a playoff spot with a record of 11-2. Currently, they hold the No. 1 seed, but the New England Patriots are hot on their heels with a record of 10-3. The Indianapolis Colts have also locked up a spot at 8-5 due to winning the AFC South.
In the NFC, the Seattle Seahawks own a playoff berth with a record of 11-2. They are also sitting in the first spot in the NFC, but the New Orleans Saints could do a little work and get a little help to still take the top spot as they have a record of 10-3.
While some things may look simple and similar, from that point on, things get rather mixed.
Let’s take the somewhat simple conference first as six teams have already been mathematically eliminated from playoff contention. Those teams are the New York Giants, St. Louis Rams, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Minnesota Vikings, Atlanta Falcons, and the Washington Redskins.
Four teams are still alive in the Arizona Cardinals, Chicago Bears, Dallas Cowboys, and Green Bay Packers.
As far as positioning goes, the current line-up is:
- Seattle Seahawks 11-2
- New Orleans Saints 10-3
- Philadelphia Eagles 8-5
- Detroit Lions 7-6
- Carolina Panthers 9-4
- San Francisco 49ers 9-4
Remember that just because one team may have a better record than another, it doesn’t always guarantee them a higher seed. The division winners get the top four spots and the two wild card teams take the remaining berths.
In the AFC, only the Houston Texans have been mathematically eliminated with a record of 2-11.
Nine teams still remain alive in the playoff berth hunt even though some of their records are horrific for this point in the season. The Dolphins, Chargers, Jets, Titans, Steelers, Raiders, Jaguars, Browns, and Bills are all still mathematically alive. Yes, the final four teams each have records of 4-9, but they still have a shot at the playoffs.
The current seeding in the AFC looks like this:
- Denver Broncos 11-2
- New England Patriots 10-3
- Cincinnati Bengals 9-4
- Indianapolis Colts 8-5
- Kansas City Chiefs 10-3
- Baltimore Ravens – 7-6
12 spots to fill and only three of them are claimed with just three games remaining for every team in the NFL. It’s hard to believe that 25 of 32 teams are still alive this late in the season, but it is going to make for some great football throughout the rest of the month of December.
For more NFL news and updates, visit NFL Central.
Danny Cox knows a little something about the NFL, whether it means letting you know what penalty will come from the flag just thrown on the field or quickly spouting off who the Chicago Bears drafted in the first round of the 1987 draft (Jim Harbaugh). He plans on bringing you the best news, previews, recaps, and anything else that may come along with the exciting world of the National Football League. Danny is a freelance writer covering all things NFL. His work can be found on Examiner.com.