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Playoff picture: Most teams still have hope

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With only a month left in the season (how did that happen already?) it’s time to look at where everyone stands and see what we can expect to look forward to in the coming weeks. Looking at the standings we can divide the league into four segments based on playoff aspirations; Control their own destiny, looking for some help, looking for a miracle, and looking forward to the draft. Here’s where we stand right now:

Controls their own destiny:

AFC:

Tennessee
Pittsburgh
Indianapolis
Baltimore
NY Jets
Denver

NFC:

NY Giants
Tampa Bay
Carolina
Atlanta
Minnesota
Arizona

Looking for some help:


AFC:

Miami
New England
Buffalo

NFC:

Dallas
Washington
Chicago
Philadelphia
New Orleans
Green Bay

Looking for a Miracle:

AFC:

Houston
Cleveland
Jacksonville
San Diego
Oakland (yes, Oakland)

NFC:

San Francisco

Looking forward to the draft:

AFC:

Kansas City
Cincinnati

NFC:

St. Louis
Seattle
Detroit

Amazingly enough, with only four weeks left in the season there are only five teams that have completely tanked the season to the point of being out of the hunt.

Sure, there are a lot of teams that need a lot of help, but that’s why they play the games, and at least there are a lot of teams left that have something to play for. Of course, next week the draft list will probably double, but playing semi meaningful games in December is what you hope for in September as a fan, and the majority of fans still have a reason to hope.