All season long, teams have been positioning themselves for the final playoff push. Divisions like the AFC North and NFC East play coy, pretending like one team is ready to separate from the rest, only to snap back into the crowd. Others, like the AFC East and AFC West, appear to now have clear champions. In fact, teams may even be clinching division titles this week.
Then there are the hopefuls. The 7-6 franchises that seem to populate the AFC. The 9-4 teams, one of which wouldn’t make the playoffs in the NFC today. Many teams took a hit in their playoff races; some may be knocked out for good. Others will see these failures as opportunities, either to supplant the fallen or to trip over their bodies, as well.
With only three games remaining for each team, now is the time for the pieces to shift into position for their final moves.