Many times the divisions throughout the NFL have a team that stands out half-way through the season. A team that seems to best the others by record and ability. The 49ers are one this year. The Texans are another. But what really makes for an interesting race in the second half is the battle for the wild-cards.
This year will be no exception to the late-season drama that will unfold. In the AFC and the NFC, there are at least three or four different teams that are in a position for a playoff push, but there are only so many spots.
Let’s take a look at which teams could make the wild-card playoff spots, and which teams will.
In the AFC we mainly have three teams right now. The Indianapolis Colts, the Cincinnati Bengals, and the Pittsburgh Steelers. That means there has to be one odd man out. In this case, it will likely be the Pittsburgh Steelers. With the injury to Ben Roethlisberger keeping him out this week and possibly next, they just have too much to overcome.
The Colts will make this year’s first AFC wild-card spot, as they currently hold a 7-4 record. They simply find ways to win games, and they have all year. Andrew Luck has had a phenomenal rookie season, and the defense has taken many steps forward from a horrid 2011 showing.
The Cincinnati Bengals will grab the last spot. Andy Dalton has been on fire the last three games, throwing 9 touchdowns to no interceptions. The defense has re-entered the top 10 overall ranking and is helping the Bengals keep the momentum growing each game.