The Philadelphia Eagles continued on the path to getting the first seed in the NFC while the Kansas City Chiefs ran into a Cincinnati road block in their bid for the top seed in the AFC last Sunday..
The Chiefs loss to the Cincinnati combined with the Bills win over the listless Patriots vaulted the Bills from the fifth seed to the top seed in the AFC with a 9-3 mark. The Chiefs are also 9-3 with a three game lead in the AFC West, but the Bills have the head to head tiebreaker over the Chiefs.
The Eagles crushed the Titans and still have the best record in the league at11-1. They have a one game lead on 10-2 Minnesota, which barely edged the Jets, in the battle for the top seed.
The 9-3 Dallas Cowboys routed the Indianapolis Colts to stay two games behind the Eagles.
The 8-4 49ers remained one game ahead of 7-5 Seattle in the NFC West by beating the Dolphins, but they lost Jimmy Garoppolo for the season early in the game. Brock Purdy, the last player drafted this year, guided the 49ers to the victory but it is not likely he will lead them to the Super Bowl.
And Tom Brady kept the Bucs on top of the NFC South with a comeback win over the Saints. Brady struggled much of the game but led two touchdown drives late in the fourth quarter to win the game.
But while Purdy is too young, Brady is showing signs mof age and it is unlikely either one will be in the Super Bowl. There now seem to be three NFC teams – Philadelphia, Minnesota and Dallas – who have realistic chances of making the Super Bowl.
The Giants and Commanders remained viable in the wild card race by playing to a tie. The Giants are 7-4-1 and the Commanders 7-5-1.
The AFC battle for the top seed also revolves around three teams – Buffalo, Kansas City and the Bengals, who are trying to become only the second team to lose the Super Bowl and then win it the next year since the perfect Dolphins did it in 1972.
The Bengals got off to a slow start but must be taken seriously since they are the only team to beat the Chiefs three consecutive times since Patrick Mahomes became their quarterback. The Bengals beat the Chiefs in the season finale last year, in the playoffs last year and now last Sunday.
Baltimore at 9-4, the Titans at 7-5 and the Dolphins at 8-4still have a good shot at the playoffs, but they aren’t looking like Super Bowl contenders.
The Ravens barely beat the Broncos by a point and Lamar Jackson was injured while the Dolphins lost to the 49ers and the Titans to the Eagles by wide margins.
So it now looks like the two Super Bowl teams will come from a field that includes Buffalo, Kansas City and Cincinnati in the AFC and Philadelphia, Minnesota and Dallas in the NFC.
Deshaun Watson made his return and looked like a quarterback who hasn’t played in two years. He was ineffective but the Browns still beat the Texans on defense and special teams while Watson was booed loudly every time he took a snap.