How the NFL Stands After Week 8

We are nearing the halfway point, with 24 teams having played 7 games and 8 teams playing 8 games to date.  At this point the only race that appears almost decided is the AFC South, were Tennessee holds a 4 game lead on the other 3 teams after last night’s comeback win against the Colts.  Every other division shows a spread of one game or less in the win column between at least 2 teams, and plenty of teams are still solidly in playoff contention.  Anyhow, here is the breakdown, starting in the AFC:

1. Tennessee 2. Pittsburgh, 3. New England, 4. Denver. 5. Buffalo, 6. Baltimore (4-3)

Tied for 6th: New York

One game behind 6th: Miami, Cleveland, Jacksonville, Indianapolis, Houston

1.5 games behind 6th (and 1.5 game out in division): San Diego

2 games behind 6th: Oakland

Need to win out: Kansas City

Planning for 2009: Cincinnati

And in the NFC:

1. New York, 2. Carolina, 3. Arizona/Green Bay, 4. Green Bay/Arizona, 5. Washington, 6. Dallas (5-3)

Tied for 6th: Tampa Bay

0.5 game back of 6th: Philadelphia, Chicago (tied for division lead), Atlanta

1 game back of 6th: New Orleans

1.5 games back of 6th: Minnesota (one game back in own division)

2.5 games back of 6th: Seattle, St. Louis (both 2 back in own division)

Need to win out: San Francisco

Planning for 2009: Detroit

Obviously, a very fluid situation with plenty of football left to play.  For example Dallas is scored ahead of Tampa due to head-to-head.  But if more than them were tied at the same record, it would go to conference record where Tampa is currently better.  Which is part of what can make playoff scenarios in late December entertaining.

*Author’s note: While this subject is becoming a Tuesday evening tradition, readers should not expect this column to appear on Tuesday next week as Buckeyenewshawk will be in Election Central mode.  This column and the related coverage map column will not appear next week until Wednesday or Thursday.*

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