AMERICAN FOOTBALL CONFERENCE
AFC East: New England has wrapped up the divisional title. The other three teams in this division need a three game winning streak and a lot of losses by others to sneak into the post-season. The conference records of the Jets, Bills and Dolphins currently lie two or more game below .500 so a wildcard for any of them seems unlikely.
AFC North: This remains the only division in the AFC with any drama left. Baltimore. Pittsburgh or Cincinnati trail the Ravens by two games yet either could overtake the leader if Baltimore chokes in losing three of its remaining games.
AFC South: Houston is on the verge of winning this division. The Texans need only win two more games or just defeat the Colts again to accomplish that. The Colts control their own fate to grab the higher wildcard.
AFC West: Denver has secured the divisional title. The Broncos have a likely chance of finishing as the second seed in the playoffs. The other three teams cannot even finish with winning records.
NATIONAL FOOTBALL CONFERENCE
NFC East: The Giants hold a precarious, one-game lead over the Redskins and Cowboys. New York has split its games with both teams. Washington and Dallas can both finish with more divisional wins than New York, which could give either the division if tie-breakers are needed to determine the champion.
NFC North: Green Bay holds a slight lead over Chicago thanks to the Packers’ victory over Chicago. If the Bears can win the rematch, this division will likely not be settled until the final week of the season. The Vikings hold some tie-breakers of other teams yet still require some defeats by others to slip into the post-season.
NFC South: Atlanta has claimed the divisional title. Tampa Bay and New Orleans both need to win their four remaining contests plus see Minnesota, Washington, Dallas, Chicago and Seattle two or more games each. It appears unlikely that either the Buccaneers or Saints will grab a wildcard.
NFC West: San Francisco leads by more than the one and a half game. The Forty-Niners have already defeated second-place Seattle. In addition, the Forty-Niners have another divisional win while the Seahawks have lost all three NFC West matches so far. Barring a complete collapse by San Francisco, the Rams’ superior divisional record and head-to-head tie-breaker advantage will not matter.
COPYRIGHT BY CHARLES KASTRIOT DECEMBER 2012