Six weeks into the season, we are starting to get an idea of what teams are going to be in it for the long haul, and what teams should start booking their January vacations early. A decent handful of teams can already be considered dead. Their fans are shopping for coffins to bury the season, the players are getting their golf clubs ready, and the media is discussing who the team should target in the draft, and whether or not the head coach will be fired. Some teams, are well on their way to the playoffs. Others are on life support and need CPR immediately or they are going to die.

Dead

Teams that are dead, are teams officially out. Teams I give literally a zero percent chance of making the playoffs. If they have even a .1% chance of turning it around, they are not on here yet.

NFC

New York Giants (1-5)

 

San Francisco 49ers (0-6)

AFC

Cleveland Browns (0-6)

San Diego Chargers (2-4)

These four teams are finished. Dead in the water. Will the death of these teams cause some heads to roll? Mike Shanahan and Anthony Lynn are fine, it is their first year. Shanahan, despite being winless, has actually looked promising as a head coach. Lynn, less so, but he still deserves a chance to prove himself in more than one season. I also highly doubt Hue Jackson will be fired. He has not been great as the Browns head coach though. He has done a bad job of putting the Browns young struggling QBs in a position to succeed. Good coaches draw up simpler gameplans when their QB is playing bad. Jackson hasn’t done that. In NY though, both the GM and the Head Coach could be gone. Higher chance that the Jerry Reese gets fired than Ben McAdoo. Of all these teams, the 49ers probably have the brightest future. They have a new GM and a new Head Coach, both who have shown promise.

Life Support

These teams are not dead, but they are close. The prognosis is not could for these teams surviving much longer. Miracles can happen though.

NFC

Chicago Bears (2-4)

Green Bay Packers (4-2)

Arizona Cardinals (3-3)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-3)

AFC

Cincinnati Bengals (2-3)

Indianapolis Colts (2-4)

Oakland Raiders (2-4)

I would be shocked if any of these teams made the playoffs. Some are here because of QB injuries. Colts and Packers, with their starting QB, would be expected to be in the playoffs, but with Luck and Rodgers injured, it is highly unlikely. The Colts problems go a bit deeper than just an unlucky injury though. They are poorly coached, and the talent other than Luck is lacking. They would be considered dead if they weren’t in the AFC South. The Bears do not have enough talent on offense to make the playoffs with a rookie QB. The Bears btw, also poorly coached, as are the Bengals. Tampa Bay has been a huge disappointment, and they just do not seem ready. The NFC South is pretty competitive, and they are the last team in the South. Oakland has lost 4 straight, and if they lose one more, they are playing the Chiefs this week, it will be the final dagger that kills their season.

In the Hospital

These teams are not dead, nor are they dying. They still have a chance to pull through. But things aren’t going well right now. They feel a little sick. They are in the hospital, waiting for test results to come back, and the doctor is taking a long time to tell you what is going on. Are we okay? Are we sick? It is hard to tell. They might be dying, they may just have a cold and will bounce back.

NFC

Dallas Cowboys (2-3)

AFC

Baltimore Ravens (3-3)

New York Jets (3-3)

These teams have all struggled, but they all have a chance to come back, but they need to do it now. The Cowboys are now two and a half games behind the Eagles, and may or may not have Zeke for the next six games. Joe Flacco has been awful, and it is hard to see the Ravens winning with him playing like he is. The Jets have actually been good, but in a division where they already have a loss to the two teams at the top of the division, it is hard to project them into the playoffs.

Healthy

Right now, these teams are reasonable contenders to make the playoffs. If the season ended today, they would not be in the playoffs. But luckily for them, there are 11 weeks left, and they still have a good chance.

NFC

Washington Football Team (3-2)

Detroit Lions (3-3)

Seattle Seahawks (3-2)

Atlanta Falcons (3-2)

AFC

Denver Broncos (3-2)

Jacksonville Jaguars (3-3)

Houston Texans (3-3)

All six of these teams are one game away from being in the playoffs. Washington is a half game out of the wildcard, and 1 and a half games out from the division. Atlanta and Seatle are both a half game out from their division, and from the wildcard. All three of these teams are only out because they have had a bye. But also because they have not been as good as the teams ahead of them. Atlanta has struggled, and Seattle started out slow. Washington has a bit of a tough road ahead, and have already lost to the Eagles once. The Lions started out strong, but have lost two straight games. They currently look like a mess. Note, one of the wildcard teams are the Packers, who obviously will not be there. In the AFC, the AFC South is up in the air. The Titans are currently in first, though the three teams at the top are all 3-3. As for the Broncos, they find themselves outside the playoffs because of subpar QB play.

Alive, For Now

These teams are currently in the playoffs, but it isn’t a sure thing they stay there. They are hanging onto that spot by a thread for now. There is a team right behind them, who are pushing for their spot. They currently have very little room for error

NFC

Minnesota Vikings (4-2)

LA Rams (4-2)

Carolina Panthers (4-2)

New Orleans Saints (4-2)

AFC

Buffalo Bills (3-2)

Miami Dolphins (3-2)

Tennesee Titans (3-3)

The Vikings have a decent chance at staying in the playoffs, But, the Lions are right behind them. They already have one loss to the Lions. But, they currently look better than the Lions. While the Lions are on a two-game losing streak, the Vikings are on a two-game winning streak. The Rams are ahead of the Seahawks by half a game, only because the Hawks had a bye. The Rams lost to them once, so they need to buckle down now because there is little room for error. like the AFC South, the NFC South is close, with three teams all being very close to each other. The Saints and Panthers currently get the edge, but they have no room for error with the Falcons behind them for the decision, and multiple teams pushing for a wildcard. Bills and Dolphins would be Wildcards for now, but Jay Cutler has looked awful for Miami, and the Bills have struggled to run the ball. The Broncos are right behind them.

Alive and Well

These teams are alive and with room for error. Even if they lose a game, they will still be in the playoffs for now.

NFC

Philadelphia Eagles (5-1)

AFC

Pittsburgh Steelers (4-2)

Kansas City Chiefs (5-1)

The Eagles have a firm hold on the NFC right now, being the only team with only one loss. Even if they fall to Washington on Monday, they will still be in first of their division and the conference. They are 4-0 in the NFC, and 2-0 in the NFC East. The Steelers are here less because of how good they are, but because they do not have great competition for their division. The Ravens look bad. I am little confidence in the Steelers as true contenders because Big Ben looks shot, but they will make the playoffs. The Chiefs stumbled, but they still control the AFC and the AFC West. It may have just been a bad week for them.

 

My Updated Playoff Predictions

NFC

1st seed- Philadelphia Eagles

2nd Seed- Seattle Seahawks

3rd Seed- Minnesota Vikings

4th Seed- New Orleans Saints

5th Seed- Atlanta Falcons

6th Seed- LA Rams

AFC

1st Seed- Kansas City Chiefs

2nd Seed- New England Patriots

3rd Seed- Houston Texans

4th Seed- Pittsburgh Steelers

5th Seed- Denver Broncos

6th Seed- Buffalo Bills

Wildcard Round

NFC

3)Vikings vs 6)Rams

4)Saints vs 5)Falcons

AFC

3)Texans vs 6)Bills

4)Steelers vs 5)Broncos

Divisional Round

NFC

1)Eagles vs 6)Rams

2)Seahawks vs 4)Saints

AFC

1)Chiefs vs 6)Bills

2)Patriots vs 5)Broncos

Conference Championships

NFC

1)Eagles vs 2)Seahawks

AFC

1)Chiefs vs 5)Broncos

Superbowl

1)Eagles vs 1)Chiefs