This is the year of the NFC.
There are five NFC teams with zero or one loss while every AFC team has at least two losses.
That is the difference in the two conferences after the first seven weeks of the season.
Arizona is the only unbeaten team at 7-0 and currently has top seed in the NFC after the Cardinals routed the woeful Texans as expected.
Meanwhile, Green Bay, Tampa Bay and the Rams all won to go to 6-1. And 5-1 Dallas had a bye but has a four-game lead in its division with the other three teams at 2-5. So those five teams are virtual locks for the playoffs.
The game of the upcoming week is Arizona taking on Green Bay on Thursday night. A Green Bay win would leave five teams with one loss. An Arizona win keeps the Cardinals unbeaten with Green Bay at two losses.
Minnesota, New Orleans and Atlanta are leading the pack in the race for the last two playoff spots at 3-3. The Saints beat Seattle to reach .500 and drop the Seahawks to 2-5. They trail 3-4 Chicago and Carolina and 2-4 San Francisco. But the NFC team in the Super Bowl figures to be one of the first five teams.
Meanwhile, there is a wide open race in the AFC with Cincinnati of all teams currently the top seed after its takedown of Kansas City with a 5-2 mark. Baltimore, Tennessee and Las Vegas, which has won two in a row after the departure of Jon Gruden, are also 5-2. The Bills and Chargers are at 4-2 and Cleveland is at 4-3. Pittsburgh is at 3-3 Kansas City and Kansas City, Indianapolis and Denver at 3-4.
So that means 12 AFC teams are within two games of each other in the race for the seven playoff spots although Cincinnati, Buffalo and Tennessee are currently in the best positions.
The Bengals and Bills are led by quarterbacks Joe Burrow and Josh Allen while Tennessee’s offense features Derrick Henry, who is putting up Jim Brown-type numbers.
—The four one win AFC teams – Jets, Miami, Jacksonville and Houston– are the only teams out of the playoff race and are the AFC teams fighting for the first pick in next year’s draft along with winless Detroit in the NFC. Every other NFC team has at least two wins.
—Mac Jones became the first of the rookie quarterbacks to win three games for the Patriots with the rout of the Jets while Zach Wilson, who has one win for the Jets, suffered a knee injury that will sideline him for two to four weeks. That prompted the Jets to trade for Joe Flacco. Trey Lance also missed the 49ers game Sunday night with an injury. Justin Fields had his worst game for the Bears, throwing three picks and losing two fumbles in the loss to the Bucs. He is now 2-3 as a starter. Trevor Lawrence, who has a 1=5 record, had a bye.