Home » Blog » NFL playoff picture 2018: Contenders to make moves

NFL playoff picture 2018: Contenders to make moves

We’ve finally gotten here. After the New England Patriots and Buffalo Bills conclude on Monday night, the NFL kicks into both the midway week of the regular season and… November football.

This is the time when teams begin to separate themselves from the rest of the proverbial pack. Sure, there are already a couple of contenders that appear head-and-shoulders above the rest such as the Los Angeles Rams, Kansas City Chiefs and New Orleans Saints, but beyond them? The group is muddled for the most part.

Here is what the playoff pictures for both conferences look like, and what we might expect moving forward.


1. Kansas City Chiefs (7-1)
2. New England Patriots (5-2)
3. Pittsburgh Steelers (4-2-1)
4. Houston Texans (5-3)
5. Los Angeles Chargers (5-2)
6. Cincinnati Bengals (5-3)

7. Baltimore Ravens (4-4)
8. Miami Dolphins (4-4)
9. Tennessee Titans (3-4)
10. Jacksonville Jaguars (3-5)

The Chiefs and Patriots are clearly going to make the playoffs barring a total disaster. The Chargers should also be a safe bet with a relatively easy schedule down the stretch, including games with the Oakland Raiders, Denver Broncos and Arizona Cardinals.

In the AFC North, it appears to be a three-team race. This weekend could tell us plenty going forward, with the Ravens and Steelers playing the second of their annual set at M&T Bank Stadium. If the Steelers win, they are in the driver’s seat, but a loss would put them in danger of fighting for a wild card berth down the stretch.

The AFC South is simple; one team is getting in. The Indianapolis Colts have a soft schedule but already sustained five losses, while the Titans and Jaguars have shown little offensive firepower. It’s the Texans division to lose.


1. Los Angeles Rams (8-0)
2. New Orleans Saints (6-1)
3. Washington Redskins (5-2)
4. Chicago Bears (4-3)
5. Carolina Panthers (5-2)
6. Seattle Seahawks (4-3)

7. Minnesota Vikings (4-3-1)
8. Green Bay Packers (3-3-1)
9. Philadelphia Eagles (4-4)
10. Atlanta Falcons (3-4)

The Rams and Saints are going to not only make the playoffs but be the two teams securing playoff bye weeks, barring a surge from the Panthers. Carolina also appears to be safe as one of the wild card teams, although the Saints and Panthers play twice this season still, with both matchups coming in December.

The biggest intrigue comes from the NFC North. The Vikings and Packers were supposed to be shoe-in playoff teams with a chance to go to the Super Bowl come Feb. 3. Instead, both are currently on the outside of the playoff picture after losing on Sunday.

Chicago is holding down the lead in the division, but it’s tough to imagine the Bears fending off the Packers and Vikings with three games left against those foes. Mitchell Trubisky isn’t outplaying Aaron Rodgers or even Kirk Cousins, so the Monsters of the Midway better live up to their names.

  • 100%