Last week: 12 (-2)
In spite of a close road loss in a previously underrated Colts team, the Dolphins are still legitimate playoff contenders and if history is any indication, they’re more likely to make it than some other borderline playoff teams in the AFC right now, other than San Diego. Every year, 5 new playoff teams make the playoffs that didn’t make it the year before, dating back 17 straight years. I use this in my Power Rankings every week.
Right now, Chicago, who didn’t make the playoffs last year, looks like a lock to make it this year. Meanwhile, Cincinnati and New Orleans, two playoff teams from a year ago, look very unlikely to make it this year. Indianapolis, sitting at 5-3, is another solid bet to make the playoffs after missing it last year. Detroit, at 4-4, probably has to go 6-2 the rest of the way to make the playoffs, against a brutal schedule, so they’re probably out. Other than that, not much is set in stone.
Miami, San Diego, Minnesota, Seattle, an...