The jockeying for position in the AFC and NFC wild-card races begins in earnest in Week 11.
Four of the five teams involved in the AFC wild-card race play each other in divisional contests Sunday, while a pair of NFC North teams need results to stay in control of their own wild-card pursuits.
At the moment, it appears the No. 5 seed in each conference is safe from the messes beneath them, but one loss could bring them back into the chaos.
In total, nine teams sitting outside the wild-card positions have a legitimate opportunity to contend for the postseason, while the season is slipping away from the teams at the bottom of the standings.
1. Kansas City (9-1)
2. Pittsburgh (6-2-1)
3. New England (7-3)
4. Houston (6-3)
5. Los Angeles Chargers (7-2)
6. Cincinnati (5-4)
7. Tennessee (5-4)
8. Miami (5-5)
9. Baltimore (4-5)
10. Indianapolis (4-5)
11. Cleveland (3-6-1)
12. Jacksonville (3-6)
13. Denver (3-6)
14. Buffalo (3-7)
15. New York Jets (3-7)
16. Oakland (1-8)
1. Los Angeles Rams (9-1)
2. New Orleans (8-1)
3. Chicago (6-3)
4. Washington (6-3)
5. Carolina (6-3)
6. Minnesota (5-3-1)
7. Green Bay (4-4-1)
8. Atlanta (4-5)
9. Seattle (4-5)
10. Dallas (4-5)
11. Philadelphia (4-5)
12. Tampa Bay (3-6)
13. Detroit (3-6)
14. Arizona (2-7)
15. San Francisco (2-7)
16. New York Giants (1-7)
Super Bowl Odds (via OddsShark)
Los Angeles Rams (+350; Bet $100 to win $350)
New England (+500)
New Orleans (+500)
Kansas City (+550)
Los Angeles Chargers (+1400)
Green Bay (+5000)
New York Jets (+40000)
Tampa Bay (+50000)
New York Giants (+100000)
San Francisco (+200000)
Chargers In Control Of AFC Wild-Card Race
The Los Angeles Chargers are the best non-division leader in the NFL at 7-2.
Anthony Lynn's team is on a six-game winning streak, but it's still two games behind the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC West.
Even if they beat the Chiefs in the second meeting of the season in Week 15, the Chargers won't be able to overtake Andy Reid's team on a head-to-head tiebreaker.
Luckily for the Chargers—and unfortunately for whichever team ends up as the No. 4—the wild-card exists and they'll end up as the most deserving wild-card franchise, and one that can win multiple games in the postseason.
Two games beneath the Chargers in the AFC wild-card race lie Cincinnati and Tennessee, who are both at 5-4, and a Miami team lingering at 5-5.
At 4-5, Baltimore and Indianapolis have an outside chance to crash the postseason party, and they both have an opportunity to directly alter the competition for the No. 6 seed with wins over the Bengals and Titans, respectively, in Week 11.
If Baltimore and Indianapolis come out victorious Sunday, there will be a five-way tie for sixth place, with Miami benefiting in that scenario on the bye week.
The Dolphins will be thrust into the wild-card chaos out of their bye week, as they visit the Colts in Week 12 in what could be a massive game in the AFC playoff picture.
At the moment, none of the five teams have distinguished themselves as the front-runners for the No. 6 seed, but that could change if the Bengals and Titans take charge in Week 11.
Vikings, Packers Benefiting From Tie In NFC Wild-Card Race
Three of the four NFC North teams could qualify for the postseason, and the tie between Minnesota and Green Bay could be the reason why.
Currently, the Vikings and Packers sit sixth and seventh in the NFC standings behind fifth-seeded Carolina, while no one beneath the No. 7 position is over .500.
Even if the Packers lose in Week 11 to the Seattle Seahawks, who are one of the four teams stuck at 4-5, they'll be in decent shape because all they have to do is finish with the same number of wins as the other teams fighting for the No. 6 seed.
Minnesota's record could come into play as well if it falls to current NFC North leader Chicago Sunday night.
Unless the Packers beat Seattle, the Vikings won't fall out of a playoff spot with a loss, as they'd sit at 5-4-1 with a few 5-5 teams beneath them.
While the ties are nice to have when it comes down to winning percentage, both teams still have to take care of business down the stretch, which is a task that will be much more difficult for the Vikings.
The only two teams left on Green Bay's schedule with a winning record are Minnesota and Chicago.
Conversely, Minnesota has two games left with the Bears, one remaining against the Packers and a trip to New England coming up in Week 13.
Given the difficulty of Minnesota's schedule, it's hard to see both NFC North teams make the playoffs, which means one of the two should join Carolina in the pair of wild-card positions.
Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90