It wasn't long ago that the playoff picture looked relatively clear cut, especially on the AFC side of the bracket, but that's the beauty and curse of following NFL football. Sunday gave an opportunity for some teams to tidy up the brackets, but they're now looking as unpredictable as ever.
On the AFC side, the division winners seems to be pretty clean. The Texans, Ravens, Patriots and Broncos have all but secured their divisional titles. The Colts also seem to have a strong hold on the 5th seed, but that's where the clarity ends.
The Slumping Steelers have brought a pair of teams back in the mix for the final spot in the AFC. The Bengals have made the most of the Steelers' woes while the Dolphins are quietly sticking around just a game out of the 6th spot in the playoffs. The Chargers, Titans, Jets and Bills are all two games back, and they all lost this weekend. It seems unlikely that any of those four could make a late season run, but as they say, stranger things have happened.
The playoff picture is even more incomprehensible on the NFC side. The Falcons seem to have a somewhat strong hold on the top seed with the 49ers and Bears giving chase. Chicago regained their slim divisional lead over the Packers today by taking care of business on their end and getting help from the Giants.
At 7-4, the Packers are a game ahead of a whole host of potential wild card teams. The Seahawks left the door open by dropping their matchup against the Dolphins, and Seattle is now joined by the Buccaneers and Vikings at 6-5 for the last playoff spot. They're followed closely by the Redskins, Cowboys and Saints, all at 5-6 just a game out of 6th place.
There's only five games to go, and if the first eleven games are any indication, we're in for a wild ride.