Five weeks of the NFL are now complete, and we have a better idea of which teams are legitimate playoff threats. It's still too early to declare any team the Super Bowl favorite, but that doesn't mean we can't start projecting which teams will make the playoffs. This list should change a bit each week early in the season. While it will look similar to my power rankings, it won't be the exact same. This accounts for team's schedules as well as their divisions. So, here is my projection for the NFL Playoffs after five weeks.
The Patriots look like the best team in the NFL. Their division appears challenging with the Bills and Jets looking like possible contenders, but the Patriots shouldn't have any issues winning the AFC East.
The AFC North is tough, but the Bengals have looked great so far. As long as bad Andy Dalton doesn't show up for an extended period of time, the Bengals will be set for another playoff run. The loss of Ben Roethlisberger helps the Bengals.
Denver's defense is worth of a No. 1 seed, but the offense looks like a non-playoff contender's. Still, the Broncos should make the playoffs, even if they don't win the AFC West.
The Colts are 3-2, and while I have my concerns, they still play in the AFC South. It's their division to lose.
The more I watch this Jets' team, the more I think they are legit. They've got the ground game and defense, they just need average QB play from Ryan Fitzpatrick.
The six seed in the AFC is going to be hotly contested. The Chiefs, Bills, Chargers and Ravens could all make a push. The Steelers just have to weather the storm until Big Ben returns. A win over the Chargers could have huge implications at the end of the season.
Despite their injury issues, the Packers look the best team in the NFC.
The NFC South is quickly shaping up to be a two-team division between the Falcons and the Panthers. The Falcons have Julio Jones and actual weapons for Matt Ryan and that's what gives them the edge. An easy schedule means the Falcons could start the season 9-0.
The Cardinals picked up where they left off last season before Carson Palmer was injured. As long as he stays healthy, Arizona will be one of the best teams in the NFC.
Were it not for Tony Romo's injury, the Cowboys would be a no-brainer. Instead, the NFC East could come down to the wire again. The Giants are taking advantage of Romo's injury, even though it hasn't been pretty.
The Panthers' easy schedule might be enough for them to sneak in as a wildcard. They'll compete with the Falcons for the NFC South crown. Don't be surprised if the No. 5 seed has a better record than the No. 4 in the NFC.
This is the pick I'm least confident in. The Seahawks are 2-3 with issues on the offensive line, but I still think they'll be a playoff team. After all, they have had leads in the fourth quarter in every game this season. I strongly considered the Minnesota Vikings for this spot.
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