AFC is very tight – 2 games separate 1st place and 11th place
The AFC is not really defined in good and bad teams, not like the NFC at least. If you look at the NFC, the teams are more defined in good, average, and bad. We have a sense of what NFC teams are going to make the playoffs and the ones that don’t have a shot, even the teams like the 49ers and Seahawks have a shot but most likely will not make the postseason.
In the AFC there are 11 teams who legitimately have a shot at making the playoffs. Not just as a wildcard but all 11 still have and feel like they have legitimate chances at winning their division. The parity in the AFC is truly real. The Bills who looked nearly unstoppable just lost to the Jags, and only put up six points in the process. It truly is a league where “Any Given Sunday” is the mantra.
AFC still wide open
The Jets’ two wins came against the Bengals and Titans, two much better teams on paper. With all the “good teams” losing to “bad” teams it truly feels like on Any Given Sunday any team has a shot. Just like the AFC West, the AFC North also has four teams above .500.
If everyone keeps beating each other within the division, the division can remain wide open as long as everyone keeps pace with each other. One thing that also, plays into the Bengals’ favor is their division record.
The Bengals currently have the best division record at 2-1 with both wins coming on the road as well. The loss to the Browns in Cincy hurts but if they can win at least two of the three divisional games left, the Bengals could have the best divisional record.
With that record — and if the Bengals can get back on track outside the division — they could either win the division or definitely clinch a Wild Card spot.