With six games left in the season, I don't think it is too early for fans to start thinking about the playoffs and playoff seeding. Here are my predictions.
1. Indianapolis (10-0). Remaining Schedule: @Hou, Tenn, Den, @Jax, NYJ, @Buff. Projected Record: 15-1. I can't imagine the Colts lose more than two games. The only way I can see them losing three is if they don't play anyone at Buffalo because they don't need the game. Either way, they end up the #1 seed.
2. San Diego (7-3). Remaining Schedule: KC, @Cle, @Dal, Cin, @Tenn, Wash. Projected Record: 12-4. I think they win all of their remaining games other than dropping one to Dallas, Cincy, or Tennessee.
3. New England (7-3). Remaining Schedule: @NO, @Mia, Car, @Buff, Jax, @Hou. Projected Record: 12-4. They either lose at New Orleans or one of the three games between Miami, Jacksonville, or Houston. They could swap with San Diego for the #2 seed depending on tie-breakers.
4. Cincinnati (7-3). Remaining Schedule: Cle, Det, @Minn, @SD, KC, @NYJ. Projected Record: 11-5. They beat Cleveland, Detroit, Kansas City, and the Jets.
5. Pittsburgh (6-4). Remaining Schedule: @Bal, Oak, @Cle, GB, Bal, @Mia. Projected Record: 11-5. I think they lose this weekend at Baltimore and then win out. Cincinnati gets the division based on head-to-head.
6. Baltimore (5-5). Remaining Schedule: Pitt, @GB, Det, Chi, @Pitt, @Oak. Projected Record: 10-6. They lose at Pittsburgh, but win the rest and sneak into the final playoff spot. Depending on tie-breakers, they may sneak in front of Pittsburgh.
Jacksonville (6-4). Remaining Schedule: @SF, Hou, Mia, Indy, @NE, @Cle. Projected Record: 9-7. I don't see them beating the Colts or Patriots and would be surprised if they take more than three of their four remaining games.
Denver (6-4). Remaining Schedule: NYG, @KC, @Indy, Oak, @Phil, KC. Projected Record: 8-8. Clearly, Denver isn't the elite team it pretended to be for the first part of the season. They might be lucky to get to 8-8, even with three games against weak division opponents.
Houston (5-5). Remaining Schedule: Indy, @Jax, Sea, @ St. Louis, @Mia, NE. Projected Record: 9-7. I think they will control their own destiny going into the final week of the season, but they won't beat New England which will be fighting for a first round bye with San Diego. If they can pull out a win against the Colts this weekend, they will be the six seed in front of Baltimore.
Miami (5-5). Remaining Schedule: @Buff, NE, @Jax, @Tenn, Hou, Pitt. Projected Record: 7-9. I see four losses in their games with New England, Jacksonville, Tennessee, Houston, and Pittsburgh.
Tennessee (4-6). Remaining Schedule: Ariz, @Indy, St. Loius, Mia, SD, @Sea. Projected Record: 8-8. Running the table will be tough with games against Arizona, Indy, and San Diego.
Let me know what you think.