Well this is anti-climactic.
13 weeks into the NFL season, and there's not a lot of mathematical intrigue surrounding the playoff picture. Four division leaders have already clinched, and two more hold leads of over one game.
As far as the Wild Card is concerned, it's not as up-for-grabs as it has been in recent years. There are hosts of teams hovering around the five- and six-win mark, but most of them don't appear serious about making a playoff push.
But if you dig a little deeper, there are a few current playoff teams who shouldn't get too comfortable with their current position.
Let's take a closer look at two teams who could be kicking themselves come January:
People are talking like the Colts have already clinched a playoff berth. Which I get. They have a one-game lead over Cincinnati, who plays at Dallas this weekend. If the Colts beat Tennessee at home, and the Bengals lose to the Cowboys, they'll have a two-game buffer in the AFC Wild Card hunt.
I just don't think that's how it'll shake out.
FootballOutsiders.com––the most widely respected source of advanced football stats––has the Colts 27th in their Week 14 rankings.
That's below the likes of Cleveland, Arizona and San Diego. For God's sake, it's below the Jets!
Football Outsiders gives the Colts a 69.1 percent chance at making the postseason; the Bengals have a 58.1 percent chance. If either Cincinnati or Tennessee win this weekend, those number could be equal.
Especially considering the Colts still have to play Houston twice.
Pittsburgh, who's tied with Cincy (and still has to play a home game against them) is obviously at risk of dropping out too. But the numbers, along with their relatively easy schedule, suggest they'll be okay.
The same can't be said in Indy.
Yes, Chicago has the top-ranked defense in the NFL. And sure, they have a two-game lead on Washington and Dallas.
They're still in jeopardy of blowing a playoff berth for the second straight season.
Chicago's remaining schedule is anything but a gimme. They play at Minnesota this weekend, then host Green Bay in Week 15. Those are two very loseable games.
After that come road games with Arizona and Detroit, which seem innocuous at first, but could actually be traps for the Bears. Arizona has a top-five defense and Detroit has a top-10 offense. Units that good, on their home turf, are always a threat.
Especially with Brian Urlacher out for the rest of the regular season.
Washington, meanwhile, has one of the easiest remaining schedules in the NFL. Should they get by Baltimore at home this weekend, they'd only need to win at Philly, at Cleveland and vs. Dallas to go 10-6.
Exactly where the Bears would be if they finish 2-2.
Chicago and Washington are headed in opposite directions: The Bears have lost three of four, while the 'Skins have won three straight.
Don't be surprised if we wake up one morning and see that one ship has passed the other.
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