The Miami Dolphins dropped their game to the Buffalo Bills on Thursday, falling to 4-6 on the season. They became the first team to have their playoff hopes officially dashed in Week 11, but several other teams will join them over the weekend.
It looks as though a team will need to hit 10 wins to secure a Wild Card in the AFC and NFC this season, but a 9-7 record could end up being enough to win a division or three.
For the most part teams will be tapped out once they hit six losses. Assuming a six-game winning streak to finish the season is too much.
But for every rule there is an exception. Here is how several teams will realize it is time to think about next season.
Matchup: Arizona at Atlanta
Score Prediction: Atlanta 27, Arizona 13
It is hard to put a fork in the Cardinals after their strong start to the season but the team has been exposed. They don't have an adequate offensive line and their defense is wearing down.
The Falcons will want blood after their first loss of the season. Their defense should be able to control the line of scrimmage, at least on defense, to shut down the Cardinals' offense.
New York Jets
Matchup: NY Jets at St. Louis
Score Prediction: St. Louis 20, New York 13
Apologies if I'm piling on the Jets a bit here but they continue talking and continue to find their way into the media. Their offense won't have much success against the Rams.
"The Jets will make the playoffs this year. We believe in eachother. We believe in Coach Ryan & his staff." - Antonio Cromartie— FOX SPORTS: NFL (@NFLONFOX) November 8, 2012
Sam Bradford and Steven Jackson will do enough to pull the win.
Rex Ryan says Jets can still Make Playoffs. The NFL should seriously put in guidelines for Coachs with concussions too.— Faux Peyton Manning (@FauxPManning) November 15, 2012
Matchup: Green Bay at Detroit
Score Prediction: Green Bay 30, Detroit 24
Just one year after getting back to the playoffs things have regressed for Matthew Stafford and his team. The Lions pulled out some tough wins but early struggles put their backs against the wall.
Last week may not have been a "must win" but the loss calls into question their ability to win games down the stretch. They can't realistically afford another division loss and still make the playoffs.
A healthy Jordy Nelson and a surging Aaron Rodgers will make sure to put Detroit down when they can.
Matchup: Philadelphia at Washington
Score Prediction: Washington 20, Philadelphia 13
With six losses on their slate one could argue the Eagles are already done. But there is a chance 9-7 could win the division.
The Eagles have a win over the New York Giants and a rematch with them and the Dallas Cowboys still on the schedule. If they could get their game on they could make a run from 4-6.
With Michael Vick not practicing following his concussion it will be Nick Foles leading the offense. He'll be outmatched by Robert Griffin III.
San Diego Chargers
Matchup: San Diego at Denver
Score Prediction: Denver 38, San Diego 24
The Chargers could still make a late-season run but they won't be able to catch Denver. San Diego will trail Peyton Manning by three games plus the tiebreaker with six to play.
The real tipping point of this season will be clear when the Chargers look back to see what happened. The loss to the Cleveland Browns was costly.
Darin Pike is a writer for Bleacher Report's Breaking News Team and a Featured Columnist covering the NFL and the Seattle Seahawks.
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