If the NFL Playoffs Started Today

Yeah, I know, its a tad early to think concretely about the playoffs.  Playoffs?!!!?  But now that every team has played at least 25% of its schedule I’ll go ahead and offer weekly conference standings.  As we move thru the next couple months I’ll modify the format to list teams as being in danger or out of it; for the meantime I will simply rank the teams in each conference in order.  Keep in mind of course that the top 4 are the division leaders and the top 6 would be the actual playoff teams.

AFC

1. Baltimore

2. New York

3. Kansas City

4. Houston

5. New England

6. Pittsburgh (3-1)

7. Jacksonville (3-2)

8. Tennessee

9. Indianapolis

10. Miami (2-2)

11/12 Cincinnati/Oakland (2-3)

13. Denver

14. San Diego

15. Cleveland (1-4)

16. Buffalo (0-5)

NFC

1. Atlanta

2. Chicago

3. Washington

4. Arizona

5. Tampa Bay

6. New York (3-2)

7. New Orleans (3-2)

8/9 Philadelphia/Green Bay

10. Seattle (2-2)

11. St. Louis (2-3)

12. Minnesota (1-3)

13. Dallas

14. Detroit (1-4)

15/16 Carolina/San Francisco (0-5)

A few notes on methodology: When ranking teams from different divisions at the same record you only consider the highest ranked team not already “placed” at that record vis a vis teams in other divisions.  For example, New York is considered vis a vis Green Bay and New Orleans amongst 3-2 teams in the NFC but Philadelphia is not because the Giants are ahead of the Eagles in the division standings.  Only once the Giants are placed in the rankings are the Eagles considered.  Amongst teams of the same record the first tiebreaker is head to head if applicable, then conference record.  Places where I list teams together their conference record is also tied.  There are other tiebreakers that would be used beyond that, starting with record against opponents common to everyone involved in the tie (if there are 4 or more games) but I won’t worry about calculating those until/unless it matters in December.

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