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Week 9 NFL Playoff Picture: Patriots Sitting in Second Place

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The season is nearly half over and it's time to start focusing on the playoff push.

Thomas J. Russo-USA TODAY Sports

AFC

1. Denver Broncos (7-0): With the victory over Green Bay, the Broncos jump to the top due to winning the tiebreaker on strength of victory.

2. New England Patriots (7-0): The Patriots also stay ahead of the Bengals due to strength of victory.

3. Cincinnati Bengals (7-0): The top three teams have pretty much locked up their divisions and the 1-3 seeds in the AFC.

4. Indianapolis Colts (3-5): The de facto leader of the AFC South, they in charge of the division due to their head-to-head victory over the rest of their division (3-0 against the AFC South, 0-5 versus everyone else).

5. Oakland Raiders (4-3): The Raiders just defeated the Jets and sit as a wild card team.

6. New York Jets (4-3): New York is the only other team in the AFC with a record above .500. That's sad.

Pack: Pittsburgh Steelers (4-4), Buffalo Bills (3-4), Miami Dolphins (3-4)

NFC

1. Carolina Panthers (7-0): The last remaining undefeated team in the NFC.

2. Green Bay Packers (6-1): The only one-loss team in the NFL.

3. Arizona Cardinals (6-2): The Cardinals have a fairly substantial lead in the suddenly questionable NFC West.

4. New York Giants (4-4): Someone has to lead the NFC East. Washington is in 2nd place at 3-4.

5. Atlanta Falcons (6-2): The Falcons trail the Panthers in the NFC South and are coming off a headscratching defeat by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

6. Minnesota Vikings (5-2): They've beaten the bad teams and lost to the good ones. There aren't many good teams.

Pack: St. Louis Rams (4-3), Seattle Seahawks (4-4), New Orleans Saints (4-4)