NFL Playoff picture: Teams with losing records still have hope in Week 11

Authentic Womens Julius Thomas Jersey The competitive balance in the NFL has been a bit skewed in 2017. There is a significant gap between the top teams and the rest of the pack, making the final seven weeks of the season tough to predict in terms of the playoff picture.

Even with the gap between the best teams and the next tier in the standings, it’s tough to count too many teams out of the postseason at this point.

Consider this; since 1990, when the current playoff format was first in place, 18 teams with a losing record through nine games have made the postseason. In 2017, two such teams snuck into the playoffs. The Cincinnati Bengals had a 4-5 record through nine games and the Washington Redskins had a 3-6 record through nine games, but both made the playoffs.

The most intriguing race is the one in the AFC West, where the 9-0 Chiefs are battling the 7-1 Broncos for the division crown. With two games remaining between each other, this one could come down to the wire.
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In the East, a lack of receivers hasn’t kept the Patriots from jumping out to 7-2, where they sit with a two-game lead over the surprisingly competent Jets.

Barring a drastic turnaround from the Steelers or Ravens, the 6-3 Bengals should be able to coast to their first AFC North championship since 2009.

The Colts sit atop the South standings, but don’t count out the Titans just yet. Down only two games, they still get two shots at the Colts over the last eight weeks of the season.

One of the two Wild Card slots will inevitably go to whoever loses the race in the West. The other is still very much up for grabs. The schizophrenic Jets currently hold sole possession of that spot, but keep an eye out for the Titans, Dolphins and Chargers, who all sit just a game back at 4-4.

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