As we enter the last week in November in the NFL, the contenders are beginning to separate from the pretenders and teams are getting ready to make runs to the playoffs. This is the best part of the regular season. Every team has a goal of winning its division, and in most cases (except the NFC West) certain teams have been eliminated for all practical purposes.
The AFC East is basically a two-horse race with New England and the Jets, who will meet in a critical Monday Night matchup in Week 13.
Buffalo has a zero percent chance but Ryan Fitzpatrick played very well in the comeback against the Bengals.
Miami has a small shot at 5-5, but unless the two teams in front of them slip up and they get on a run they have no shot.
Mark Sanchez has led the Jets to three straight unbelievable fourth-quarter comebacks, but the Jets will need to close out games early because elite teams will not allow these ridiculous comebacks.
After the Browns put a clinic on the Patriots, New England has played as well as any team in football, beating two of the top teams in the AFC, Indianapolis and Pittsburgh.
The Patriots beat the Jets on Monday Night and don't allow the Jets to get back in the picture, but New York picks up a Wild Card berth. New England also secures home field advantage.
Much like the East, the AFC North is primarily a two horse race between the Ravens and Steelers, who are both 7-3.
The Bengals have been disappointing this year and I don't think anyone would be surprised if this is Marvin Lewis' last year in Cincinnati.
The Browns have proven they can play with anybody and are coming off consecutive heartbreaking losses against the Jets and Jaguars.
The Ravens defense didn't look so elite in their recent loss to the Falcons, but they had a nice bounce back game vs. the Panthers. The Steelers also rebounded to an embarrassing loss at home to New England by giving the Raiders a 35-3 beat down.
The Steelers have (in my opinion) the better defense and will prevail in the North, but the Ravens will get a wild card berth as a consolation.
The AFC South is a division that each team has a decent shot to win.
After starting the season 4-2, the Texans have lost four straight to fall to 4-6 and find themselves in a must win game against the Titans.
The Titans are 5-5 and coming off a tough overtime loss to the Redskins it will be interesting to see if the Vince Young-Jeff Fisher war of words is a distraction to the players on gameday.
The Jaguars are playing well but cannot win if they continue to turn the ball over.
The Colts are coming off tough back to back losses to the Eagles and Patriots and all the injuries are starting to take their toll.
Although the Colts are banged up, can you imagine a playoffs without Peyton? They get through with a first round bye.
The AFC West has probably been the strangest division this year.
The Broncos are in the cellar after an embarrassing loss to the Chargers on Monday Night.
The Raiders and Chargers are knotted at 5-5 and the Chargers recently made a key activation in Vincent Jackson, who will give Rivers a true deep threat and a great red zone weapon.
At the top of the West are the surprising Chiefs, who are owners of a 6-4 record and if they can win their three remaining division games they would really be in control of the division.
The Chargers and Philip Rivers are as hot as any team in football, and the Raiders and Chargers won't be able to stop their high flying offense.
The NFC East has been a tight race- but not between the teams most people expected.
The dissapointing Cowboys are coming off two wins after Jason Garett became the interim head coach.
The Redskins are sitting at 5-5 after signing Donovan McNabb to a five year extension, but there have been some distractions around this team involving McNabb and head coach Mike Shanahan.
The New York Football Giants have lost two straight divisional games and their defense has not been able to get pressure on the QB.
Michael Vick is putting up MVP numbers and DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin have been playing lights out a WR.
The Eagles pull away with the division and home field advantage, but the Giants escape with a wild card.
The Chicago Bears have been, in my opinion, one of the biggest surprises of the season. The Bears have had some luck and Jay Cutler has not made as many mistakes to lead his team to 7-3 and a share of the division lead with the Pack.
The cheese heads are playing really well and Rodgers to Jennings has become what may be the best QB-WR connection in all of football.
The Vikings and Lions are sitting at 3-7 and 2-8, respectively, and both teams are out of the playoff picture.
The Vikings will be playing under new Coach Leslie Frazier for the first time this week and the Lions will try to get the upset at home on Turkey Day against the Pats.
The Packers win the division and the Bears slip up and miss out on the postseason.
The NFC South is probably the best division in football. Besides the Panthers (who are 1-8 and playing awfully) the worst team is 7-3.
The surprise Bucs, who Raheem Morris called "the best team in the NFC" have been playing well and Josh Freeman is really being smart with the football and getting the ball to his receivers, including fourth-round pick Mike Williams, who was arrested for DUI earlier this week, but should start against the Ravens.
The Saints offense is beginning to click again and Drew Brees is getting into the rhythm he had when the Saints made a Super Bowl run last year.
The Falcons are atop the division with a record of 8-2 and they have a big matchup this week against the Packers.
The Falcons win the division along with securing a first-round bye and the Saints get a wild card berth while the Bucs barely miss the playoffs.
Ah, the NFC West. The worst division in the NFL.
At the bottom sit the Cardinals and the 49ers at 3-7.
The Cardinals are having serious issues at quarterback while in San Francisco, Troy Smith has been managing games well.
At 4-6 Sam Bradford has been playing great football and didn't have an interception until last week.
The .500 Seahawks sit at the top of the division and have a big home game against the Chiefs this week.
The veteran experience gets the Seahawks out of the worst division in the league with a .500 record.
This has been a very entertaining season and it will be very interesting to see how some of these division races play out. Teams who are out the playoff race will be looking to pull upsets over teams who are in the race for home field and are sleepwalking against the non-contending teams.
Which teams will prove to be true contenders? Which teams won't be able to handle the pressure? Those questions will be answered in the coming weeks.
Please leave a comment saying what you think the best division in the NFL is! I'd be interested to know what you think.