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This is the first of many weeks in the NFL where we will start off a lot of conversations with, “If the playoffs started today.” Oh, those magical words that start all type of hypothetical NFL arguments and make fan bases feel good or terrible each week.
That phrase will be knocked around quite a bit in the coming weeks. Which teams will actually be in after that day really arrives?
1. Pittsburgh Steelers (8-0)
The Steelers have completed half of their schedule and the second half features only four teams with a winning record. Pittsburgh has defeated two of those teams already this season.
2. Kansas City Chiefs (8-1)
The Chiefs will go into their bye week with the second best record in the NFL. Patrick Mahomes has 25 touchdown passes and only one interception on the season.
3. Buffalo Bills (7-2)
After a few weeks of not reaching the 20 point mark, the Bills’ offense is starting to come around. Sunday’s 44 point outburst was more than they’ve scored in two previous games combined.
4. Seattle Seahawks (6-2)
The contrast between the Seahawks’ offense and their defense is much larger than a day versus night thing. It’s more like the offense is the year 2019 and the defense is 2020.
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-3)
The Buccaneers rushed for a total of eight yards and finished the game with three turnovers. They have a total of six turnovers in two games versus the Saints this season.
6. Baltimore Ravens (6-2)
People will talk about the Ravens’ offense for the most part, but it’s their defense that should get the attention. They are now ranked first in total points allowed and they are third in forced turnovers.
7. Tennessee Titans (6-2)
The Titans have four turnovers on offense and have forced 14 turnovers on defense. They have scored 24 touchdowns in 30 red zone chances.
8. New Orleans Saints (6-2)
The Saints top five offense was on full display, scoring 30 or more points for the fifth time this season. The 35 point beat down of the Buccaneers is their most lopsided victory of the season.
9. Green Bay Packers (6-2)
Aaron Rodgers told the 49ers they would regret not drafting him the day he was drafted. He really meant it this season it seems.
10. Miami Dolphins (5-3)
In Tua Tagovailoa’s second start, the Dolphins actually needed him to perform well for them to win. He didn’t disappoint, especially when you consider the Dolphins were playing with a third and fourth string running back on Sunday.
11. Arizona Cardinals (5-3)
The Cardinals had their winning streak snapped, mostly due to a late missed field goal. Kyler Murray finished the game with 283 yards passing, 106 yards rushing and four total touchdowns.
12. Indianapolis Colts (5-3)
The Colts had the worst loss of the season versus the Ravens and the fun is not over yet. Their next three games are against Tennessee, Green Bay, and then Tennessee again.
13. Chicago Bears (5-4)
The Bears started the season 5-1 and now have dropped three straight games. They rank 29th in both total points and total yards on offense.
14. Los Angeles Rams (5-3)
The Rams come off their bye week to face Russell Wilson, then Tom Brady, and then whatever San Francisco is rolling out at quarterback these days.
15. Cleveland Browns (5-3)
Coming off their bye week the Browns will play Houston, Philadelphia, and Jacksonville in their next three games.
16. Las Vegas Raiders (5-3)
The Raiders have a allowed 32 total points during their two game winning streak. Their next opponent is the Broncos who are ranked 27th in total points.
17. San Francisco 49ers (4-5)
The 49ers have over $80 million of their cap space on the injured reserve list. At this point, Kyle Shanahan is trying to make it to the next game with enough players to actually play the game.
18. Philadelphia Eagles (3-4-1)
The Eagles were on their bye week this week and still remain in first place in the NFC East. They have the worst record of any division leader in the NFL.
19. Carolina Panthers (3-6)
The Panthers are on a four game losing streak and it’s not like they are getting blown out in these games. Their average margin of defeat during the streak is 5.0 points.
20. Detroit Lions (3-5)
Matt Patricia was known for his defensive prowess, which landed him a head coaching job. That has not translated to the field during this season.
21. Denver Broncos (3-5)
Drew Lock has thrown six touchdowns and six interceptions so far this season. These last eight games should be somewhat of an audition for him and the Broncos to see if it’s a good match.
22. New England Patriots (3-5)
The Patriots certainly did not want to be the Jets’ first victim of the season and a late game field goal helped them avoid that.
23. Atlanta Falcons (3-6)
The Falcons are 3-1 under interim Head Coach Raheem Morris. They enter their bye week fifth in total yards and Matt Ryan leads the NFL with 2,746 passing yards.
24. Minnesota Vikings (3-5)
I have a novel idea for the Vikings: give Dalvin Cook the ball. He’s averaging 6.0 rush yards per carry and 122.6 rushing yards per game. He he has 12 touchdowns on the ground. How could they possibly go wrong giving him the rock?
25. Cincinnati Bengals (2-5-1)
After a division showdown with Pittsburgh, the Bengals play two teams that have combined for four wins on the season.
26. Los Angeles Chargers (2-6)
Every one of the Chargers’ losses have come by a touchdown or less and their point differential on the season is only -11. They’ve got to start figuring out how to close out games.
27. New York Giants (2-7)
The Giants have collected their second win of the season, but they could easily be on a five game win streak. Their last three losses have been by a field goal or less.
28. Houston Texans (2-6)
Houston snatched their second win of the season over the Jacksonville Jaguars. If only they had them a few more times on the schedule.
29. Washington Football Team (2-6)
Washington is ranked 30th in both total points and total yards on offense. They, like everyone else in the NFC East, are still in the hunt.
30. Dallas Cowboys (2-7)
Garrett Gilbert became the fourth starter this season for the Dallas Cowboys. He nearly led Dallas to a win over the undefeated Steelers and he kept the turnovers down. He’s most likely the starter for the rest of the season.
31. Jacksonville Jaguars (1-7)
The Jaguars won their first game of the season, which was versus the Colts. They will play them again, but not until the last game of the season. If this is how they fare against the rest of the league, they’re in big trouble.
32. New York Jets (0-9)
Joe Flacco threw for 262 yards, three touchdowns, and one costly interception late in the game. The Jets almost snatched their first victory away from the rival Patriots, but things could be looking up as far as play on the field.