NFL Playoff Picture: Patriots, Steelers (Again) Look Like Class Of AFC

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Every team in the NFL has been through its bye week, and the playoff picture is slowly coming into focus.

There still is plenty to be sorted in the final six weeks of the season, but the top contenders in each conference are starting to separate themselves from the field.

In the NFC, the Philadelphia Eagles are running away with the East after pasting the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday night to improve their record to 9-1. In the AFC, it looks like the same old story, as the New England Patriots and Pittsburgh Steelers appear to be on a postseason collision course with identical 8-2 records.

Here’s how the playoff picture currently stands entering the Week 11 finale in Seattle.

AFC
First-round byes
1. Pittsburgh Steelers (8-2)
2. New England Patriots (8-2)

Wild-card round matchups
No. 6 Baltimore Ravens (5-5) vs. No. 3 Jacksonville Jaguars (7-3)
No. 5 Tennessee Titans (6-4) vs. No. 4 Kansas City Chiefs (6-4)

Notes: Five of the Patriots’ remaining six games are divisional contests, with a marquee matchup against the Steelers mixed in … Kansas City doesn’t have a game against a team with a winning record left on its schedule.

NFC
First-round byes
1. Philadelphia Eagles (9-1)
2. Minnesota Vikings (8-2)

Wild-card round matchups
No. 6 Seattle Seahawks (6-3) vs. No. 3 New Orleans Saints (8-2)
No. 5 Carolina Panthers (7-3) vs. No. 4 Los Angeles Rams (7-3)

Notes: It obviously should be noted the Falcons and Seahawks play Monday night, which will affect the seedings … After losing to the Vikings in Week 11, the Rams face another big test with playoff implications when they host the Saints in Week 12.

Thumbnail photo via Geoff Burke/USA TODAY Sports Images

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