–The Philadelphia Eagles and the Kansas City Chiefs retained the top seeds at the nine game mark with key victories over good teams Sunday. The Eagles went to 8-1– the best record in the league – by beating Dallas 28-23 while the Chiefs beat the Dolphins 21-14 in Germany to keep the top seed in the AFC at 7-2. It is still probably too early to talk about a Super Bowl rematch. Despite the loss, Miami is still leading the AFC East at 6-3 but the Dolphins have lost all three of their games against winning teams.
–Cincinnati, on a roll now that Joe Burrow is healthy, beat the Bills 24-18 to grab the AFC seventh seed in the playoffs with a 5-3 record. All four AFC North teams are currently qualifying for the playoffs. The Ravens, who crushed the Seahawks 37-3, are 7-2 and have the second seed while the Steelers, Browns and Bengals are all 5-3 and currently have the three AFC wild card spots but that is likely to change. The Browns blanked the Cardinals 27-0 and the Steelers beat the Titans 20-16. The Bills loss dropped the Bills to 5-4 and they are currently out of the playoff picture but they have time to rebound.
–Baltimore has been impressive, winning its last four while scoring 24, 38, 31 and 37 points. The Ravens should challenge the Chiefs for top seed although they don’t play during the regular season. The Chiefs have been winning more on defense than their Patrick Mahomes offense. Their streak of hosting the AFC title game five years in a row could be 49er in jeopardy.
–The Eagles have a two game lead in the loss column over the Cowboys after beating them Sunday although they will have a rematch in Dallas on Dec. 10. The Lions had a bye and are the only team in the AFC with two losses at 6-2while three teams — Cowboys, 49ers and Seahawks – have three losses at 5-3. San Francisco had a bye but moved into a tie with the Seahawks when they lost to the Ravens. The Saints lead the NFC South at 5-4 with the Falcons and Bucs at 4-5 but one of these three teams will get a division title and a home playoff game. The Saints beat the Bears, 24-17, while the Bucs lost to the Texans 39-37 as C.J. Stroud threw five touchdown passes. The Falcons lost to the Vikings (31-28) and Josh Dobbs, who joined the team this week and hadn’t taken a snap. Dobbs came in when rookie Jaren Hall suffered a concussion.
–The Raiders, under new interim coach Antonio Pierce, who took over after Josh McDaniels was fired, routed the hapless Giants, 30-6, who are 2-7 and lost quarterback Daniel Jones for the season. The Cardinals at 1-8 and the Panthers are 1-7, are leading in the race for the top pick although the Bears have the Panthers top pick. The Giants, Pats and Bears – all at 2-7 – are in the mix. The Bears could get the first two picks.