With three weeks left, 27 teams are still alive
For only the fourth time ever, 27 teams remain alive for the playoffs with only three weeks left in the season.
As noted by James Palmer of NFL Media, only five teams have a fork stuck in them: the Jaguars, Texans, Lions, Jets, and Bears.
It previously happened in 1982, 1995, and 2004. In ’82, 16 teams qualified due to a strike that limited the season to nine games. This year, the second of the 14-team playoff field, there are more seats and thus more teams in position to get them.
The Giants at 4-10 and the Panthers and Seahawks, each 5-9, are the closest to falling off the cliff officially. Two teams are 6-8, the Panthers and Falcons.
That leaves 22 teams at 7-7 or better. In other words, 68 percent of the league has won at least half of its games. In the AFC, 13 of 16 teams are 7-7 or better, possibly setting up one of the craziest games of musical chairs the NFL has ever seen as the final 48 games of the season are played.