Only five teams in the NFL have at least seven wins, and three of them are in the AFC West. Indeed, Kansas City and Oakland are both 7-2, while Denver is 7-3.
All three are legitimate playoff contenders, especially given how weak the rest of the conference looks.
“I think (all) three of them are going to go to the playoffs if you look at the AFC picture,” NFL Network analyst Steve Wyche said on CBS Sports Radio’s Ferrall on the Bench. “Where else is there a wild card team? There’s not really one in the North. You’ve got a five-win team leading that division in Baltimore. Then you’ve got the South. After Houston, Tennessee it’s the next best team at 5-5. There’s going to be three teams from the AFC West that go to the playoffs the way things are going. Now they’re going to hurt each other at the end of the season because they all square off. But Oakland looks very good. Oakland’s won a lot of close games this year. Jack Del Rio is going for it on fourth down all the time. Derek Carr (is) making these late plays. Denver looks shaky. As good as they’re playing, their quarterback situation, Trevor Siemian – you just don’t know about him. The defense has got some leaks in it. And Kansas city, it’s like they don’t do anything great – expect win. Those are dangerous football teams. Teams that don’t beat themselves in today’s NFL, those are the teams to really be scared of. Now do any of them get by the Patriots? Hard to say. But I think Seattle showed a formula. If you go and be physical with them, you got a shot.”
In the NFC, meanwhile, Wyche believes that Dallas (8-1) and Seattle (6-2-1) are on a collision course to meet in the NFC Championship.
“It looks that way to me,” he said. “First off for Seattle, more than anything, they’re getting healthy. You saw Russell Wilson play better than he’s played all season. He’s been bothered by that knee, bothered by a bad ankle and a back injury. He’s coming around. I covered their game a couple weeks ago in New Orleans, and their coaches told me he’s about two or three weeks away from being 100 percent – as much as 100 percent is at this point in the season. You see that happening. They’re getting Thomas Rawls back. They got Kam Chancellor back. This is a team – look at their record in the Russell Wilson era in the back half of the season. After the first six games, they are 32-8. In the final 10 games of every season, they are 32-8. This is when they start hitting their stride. They look like a legitimate Super Bowl type of team. It looks like Dallas and Seattle (are the best teams in the NFC).”