IT has taken 10 weeks, but I think we are starting to understand who is good and who isn’t in the NFL. The NFC seems to be the dominant conference with five teams who have seven wins, but the best team in the league still may be the Steelers or the reigning SuperBowl champion Patriots.

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The Seeded

AFC
1st: Pittsburgh Steelers (7-2) – vs. Titans, vs. Packers, @Bengals
2nd: New England Patriots (7-2) – vs. Raiders, vs. Dolphins, @Bills
3rd: Kansas City Chiefs (6-3) – @Giants, vs. Bills, @Jets
4th: Tennessee Titans (6-3) – @Steelers, @Colts, vs. Texans
5th: Jacksonville Jaguars (6-3) – @Browns, @Cardinals, vs. Colts
6th: Buffalo Bills (5-4) – @Chargers, @Cheifs, vs. Patriots

THE top-heavy AFC continues to role with the Steelers and Patriots winning their fourth and fifth straight games respectively. Tenessee and Jacksonville also kept winning streaks alive as they battle it out for the AFC South crown. Either Pittsburgh or the Titans will have their streak snapped when they clash in Week 11 with the Bills in a danger game against the LA Chargers.

NFL Playoff Picture - Week 10 1Image from behindthesteelcurtain.com

NFC
1st: Philadelphia Eagles (8-1) – @Cowboys, vs. Bears, @Seahawks
2nd: Minnesota Vikings (7-2) – vs. Rams, @Lions, @Falcons
3rd: New Orleans Saints (7-2) – vs. Redskins, @Rams, vs. Panthers
4th: Los Angeles Rams (7-2) – @Vikings, vs. Saints, @Cardinals
5th: Carolina Panthers (7-3) @Jets, @Saints, vs. Vikings
6th: Seattle Seahawks (6-3) – vs. Falcons, @49ers, vs. Eagles

THE NFC boasts most of the dominant teams in the league with five teams owning a winning percentage of 70% or higher. We will get to see a handful of the conference foes play each other in the coming weeks to learn if squads are contenders or pretenders. The Rams trip to Minnesota next week looms as the first of these intriguing matches with Seattle and Philly also playing teams over .500.

In The Hunt

AFC
Miami Dolphins (4-5) – vs. Bucs, @Patriots,vs. Broncos
Baltimore Ravens (4-5) – @Packers, vs. Texans, vs. Lions
Oakland Raiders (4-5) – vs. Patriots, vs. Broncos, vs. Giants

NFC
Atlanta Falcons (5-4) – @Seattle, vs. Bucs, vs. Vikings
Detroit Lions (5-4) – @Bears, vs. Vikings, @Ravens
Green Bay Packers (5-4) – vs. Ravens, @Steelers, vs. Bucs
Dallas Cowboys (5-4) – vs. Chargers, vs. Eagles, vs. Redskins

TWO different groups of teams are on the outside looking in for the playoff hunt. With winning records the Falcons, Lions, Packers and Cowboys are all hoping for the Seahawks or Panthers to stumble and take up a wildcard berth. The Dolphins, Raiders and Ravens are up sub .500 with Buffalo the weakest link right now in the AFC hunt.

Miracles Do Happen

Washington Redskins (4-5)
Arizona Cardinals (4-5)
New York Jets (4-6)
Houston Texans (3-6)
Cincinnati Bengals (3-6)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-6)
Los Angeles Chargers (3-6)
Chicago Bears (3-6)
Denver Broncos (3-6)
Indianapolis Colts (3-7)

A lot of teams are getting the benefit of the doubt in this topsy-turvy 2017 season. While I remain pretty confident that no three-win team will be making the playoffs but in some conferences, the battle for the second-best record is alive and well.

Better Luck Next Year

New York Giants (1-8)
Cleveland Browns (0-8)
San Francisco 49ers (1-9)

WITH seven weeks left of the schedule it’s already curtains for the Browns, 49ers and Giants. Next weekend this list will likely be longer, but the three squads are clearly out of the race with just one win between them heading into Week 10 games. Even if they win out 8-8 won’t get it done this year.

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