East leader– New England Patriots, 6-1 (1 seed)

Once again, the Colts and Patriots are poised for another playoff run.

North leader– Baltimore Ravens, 5-2 (2 seed)

South leader– Indianapolis Colts, 5-2 (3 seed)

West leader– Kansas City Chiefs, 5-2 (4 seed)

Wildcard 1– N.Y. Jets, 5-2 (5 seed)

Wildcard 2– Pittsburgh Steelers, 5-2 (6 seed)

Half-game back– Tennessee Titans (5-3)

One game back– Houston Texans (4-3), Miami Dolphins (4-3)

Key Week 9 games– Miami at Baltimore, Kansas City at Oakland, San Diego at Houston

Biggest surprises– Kansas City at Oakland has major playoff implications and the Jets and Steelers would be wildcard teams if the playoffs began today … how good is the AFC?



The Bucs have a huge test at Atlanta Sunday. A win puts them in the NFC South driver's seat.

East leader– N.Y. Giants, 5-2 (1 seed)

North leader– Green Bay Packers, 5-3 (3 seed)

South leader– Atlanta Falcons, 5-2 (2 seed)

West leader– Seattle Seahawks, 4-3 (4 seed)

Wildcard 1– Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 5-2 (5 seed)

Wildcard 2– New Orleans Saints, 5-3 (6 seed)

Half-game back– Chicago Bears (4-3), Philadelphia Eagles (4-3)

One game back– St. Louis Rams (4-4), Washington Redskins (4-4)

Key Week 9 games– Tampa Bay at Atlanta, N.Y. Giants at Seattle

Biggest surprises–  With a win Sunday, head coach Raheem Morris’ statement that his team is the best in the conference will no longer look foolish. With a loss Sunday the Vikings will join the Cowboys as hopelessly out of the playoff picture halfway through the season.