With every team exactly three-quarters through its schedule, the entire league has finally shifted into mathematical tiers. Four teams sit clearly ahead of the rest with a 9-3 record, while seemingly the entire remainder of the AFC falls in at 7-5 and, therefore, in a playoff race. The NFC, bogged down by its South division, has virtually no mediocre teams, where franchises find themselves on either end of the Power Rankings spectrum.
Week 13 brought us a bevy of outstanding matchups, from the battle for the top rank in the Power Rankings between New England and Green Bay to divisional and conference games between teams tied with or chasing one another. We saw the top seed in the AFC and NFC both fall, while some division races took a large step forward with wins by the Eagles and Bengals.
Then there’s the bottom. After the five-team group of 5-7 franchises, the rest is an absolute mess. Even the team’s records cannot be taken seriously when comparing one to the next, and most of their wins have been due to playing one another. They make up a microcosm of the Power Rankings, themselves.
With only four games remaining on each team’s schedule, the focus for the final few weeks shifts solely to the playoff races. Records have helped position the teams where they are in the standings, to this point, but, in many cases, the first twelve games have now been rendered meaningless.
It’s only the final four that matter: