With just 4 games left things are starting to take shape. Heres how I think its going to go down.
AFC East: Patriots (9-3)
With a 3 game lead, the Patriots can clinch the division next week in Miami. Even if the Dolphins pull something off they will have to win out and hope for help from the Bills and Jets.
Bengals Steelers (7-4-1)
The Bengals have lost all 4 games since my last prediction and 6 of their last 7. That is not the makings of a playoff team. The Steelers should be able to hold the Ravens off.
AFC South: Texans (9-3)
Its hard to bet against a team that has won 9 straight going into December. Especially when their remaining 4 opponents dont have a single winning record.
AFC West: Chiefs (10-2)
The Chiefs are probably the best team in the AFC. The Chargers might just be the second best. The Chiefs have the easier remaining schedule but they face each other Thursday night week 15. That game could be the difference between a wildcard and first week bye.
AFC Wildcard: Chargers (9-3), Ravens (7-5)
The Chargers are going to get a wildcard if they dont win the division. They could easily go 12-4. As for the second spot, its a crap shoot. The fact that the 3-9 Jets are still officially in the hunt is a bit upsetting. Right now it goes to the Ravens and I just dont know if theres anybody left to take it from them.
Redskins Cowboys (7-5)
Without Alex Smith, the Redskins have fallen apart. Pair that with 4 straight wins from the Cowboys and I have to change my pick. The Eagles could put something together but its unlikely.
NFC North: Bears (8-4)
I really though this division would be more competitive. The Lions and Packers are done. The Vikings will have to win out and get some help. Look like the Bears are going to the playoffs.
NFC South: Saints (10-2)
This is another division that I thought would be more competitive. Even with a loss this week, the Saints have pretty much wrapped things up. Like the Vikings, the Panthers would have to win out (including 2 games against the Saints) to have a chance. Even then they would need help.
NFC West: Rams (11-1)
The Rams have not only clinched their division but they are one win from locking down a first round bye as well.
Panthers Seahawks (7-5), Vikings (6-5-1)
There are really only 3 teams worth a damn in the NFC. There are several teams that could wind up in the wildcard games for the NFC. The Panthers and Eagles have a shot but their schedules are incredibly hard the rest of the way.