Updated 2017 NFL Playoff Picture Heading Into Week 7

Here's what the field would look like if the 2017 NFL Playoffs were to begin today.

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Believe it or not, we’re already six weeks into the NFL season. Now that we’re getting into the heart of the 2017 campaign, the men are beginning to distance themselves from the boys. As we can see by the current NFL playoff picture, though, there are still some unexpected contenders pushing for a trip to the postseason.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at what the playoff field would look like if the NFL playoffs kicked off today. We’re only in Week 7, but there’s a lot we’ve already learned this season and plenty more to learn with 11 weeks of action still on the docket.

Just Missed the Cut: AFC No. 8 Jacksonville Jaguars (3-3)
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So far this season, the Jacksonville Jaguars have been a story of two teams. One week, they’ll look like a serious contender for the AFC South crown — and potentially a run at the AFC Championship. The next week, they’ll look like the laughable Jaguars were all used to watching. We need to see more consistency from this team before we can consider them a real postseason squad.

Just Missed the Cut: AFC No. 7 Denver Broncos (3-2)
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Another elite defense complemented by an inconsistent offense, the Denver Broncos were looking like a true contender prior to their two-game slide. After a loss to the then-winless New York Giants, they’re now on the outside looking in, hoping that Trevor Siemian will get his act together and give this defense some scoring support on the offensive end.

AFC No. 6 Miami Dolphins (3-2)
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I’ll admit I’m a bit baffled at the fact the Miami Dolphins are in the playoff picture right now. They’re one of the worst 3-2 teams we’ve seen in some time, as they currently boast the NFL’s worst offense. Despite that, they’re finding ways to win. Unfortunately for them, I don’t think that trend will continue for long.

AFC No. 5 Buffalo Bills (3-2)
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Unlike the Dolphins, the Buffalo Bills have actually looked like a quality club this season. They haven’t exactly excelled on offense, but their defense is getting the job done and helping them put wins on the board. As long as players such as Tyrod Taylor and LeSean McCoy continue to make plays and keep pressure on opposing offenses, the Bills will stay in the race for a Wild Card spot.

AFC No. 4 Tennessee Titans (3-3)
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Much like their AFC South rivals (the Jaguars), the Tennessee Titans have been wildly inconsistent in 2017. They win the ones they shouldn’t, but drop the ones in which they seem like the clear-cut favorites. It’s been a long year already, and the injury to Marcus Mariota didn’t help. With their star quarterback healthy again, though, I would guess they’ll start to gain some momentum.

AFC No. 3 New England Patriots (4-2)
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Tom Brady is going to keep this thing going until the wheels fall off. It’s all the more impressive that the New England Patriots are 4-2 when you consider that they are fielding a defense that’s verging on historically awful levels of play. As long as Brady is healthy and he’s got his danger arsenal of weapons to work with, the Patriots will be the favorites in the AFC East.

AFC No. 2 Pittsburgh Steelers (4-2)
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For the most part, the Pittsburgh Steelers have been outstanding this season. Their Week 6 win against the Kansas City Chiefs was further evidence of this. Unfortunately, they also boast two losses, one against a subpar Chicago Bears team and the other against the Jaguars in blowout fashion. The hope should be that Ben Roethlisberger got his ugly game out of the way, but this team has shown the potential to collapse.

AFC No. 1 Kansas City Chiefs (5-1)
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The first loss is on the board, as the Kansas City Chiefs are the final team to fall from the ranks of the undefeated. It was a humbling loss for one of the NFL’s most efficient offenses, but it gets what was likely an inevitable first L out of the way. Now the Chiefs can move forward without the pressure of the 0-16 speculation, and figure to stay hot as we work our way through October.

Just Missed the Cut: NFC No. 8 Washington Redskins (3-2)
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Right now, the Washington Redskins are just a good team. They aren’t spectacular or exceptional, they’re just a solid team that happens to have a 3-2 record. The offense is strong, and the defense is strong. Kirk Cousins has been doing his thing, using his weapons like Chris Thompson and Terrelle Pryor to keep opposing defenses in check. Right now, though, I’m not sure there’s enough potential on this roster to make a legitimate playoff push.

Just Missed the Cut: NFC No. 7 Atlanta Falcons (3-2)
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After their disastrous second-half meltdown against the Dolphins in Week 6, the Atlanta Falcons deserve to be on the outside looking in right now. They’ve looked good this year, but two straight losses has sobered this team heading into the meat of the season. If the Falcons are going to get back on track, Matt Ryan and Co. need to get their act together in a hurry.

NFC No. 6 New Orleans Saints (3-2)
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I’ve been pleasantly surprised by this New Orleans Saints team, which has played better than expected through six weeks of action. The offense has been on fire with Drew Brees doing his normal thing and the running duo of Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara wreaking havoc on opposing defenses. Tie in the fact that the New Orleans defense is making plays in the clutch, and you’ve got a potential contender.

NFC No. 5 Green Bay Packers (4-2)
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This could be the beginning of the end for the Green Bay Packers, who have been riding the arm of Aaron Rodgers all season. Unfortunately, with their star quarterback potentially out for the year with a broken collarbone, the coaching staff has gone back to the drawing board. I’m not sure Brett Hundley can carry this offense, which is why the Packers could soon be out of the playoff picture.

NFC No. 4 Los Angeles Rams (4-2)
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Another one of the 2017 campaign’s pleasant surprises, the Los Angeles Rams have looked great through six weeks. Jared Goff is quieting critics who already labeled him a bust, Todd Gurley is running like a man possessed and the defense is feasting on opposing passers. As long as this young roster doesn’t hit a wall at some point this season, they’ll be in the mix for the NFC West crown.

NFC No. 3 Carolina Panthers (4-2)
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Honestly, I’m a bit shocked to see the Carolina Panthers at 4-2 through six weeks. While their defense has done its usual damage, a usually electric offense has stalled for much of the season. Cam Newton hasn’t been himself, and it’s allowed the Panthers’ bevy of offensive weapons to go underutilized. Still, the talent is there for this team to make waves during the playoffs — if they get there.

NFC No. 2 Minnesota Vikings (4-2)
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After knocking off the Packers and securing their fourth win of the season, the Minnesota Vikings jumped from the No. 8 seed to No. 2 seed. Not only would they be making the playoffs in this hypothetical scenario, but they’d be enjoying a first-round bye. It’s a terrific development for a team that just got Teddy Bridgewater back to practice.

NFC No. 1 Philadelphia Eagles (5-1)
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The Carson Wentz show is on this season, and it’s been quite the hit. The sophomore quarterback is leading one of the NFL’s most explosive offenses, with the help of a revamped (and re-energized) receiving corps. While the Philadelphia Eagles don’t boast the best defense in the land, that group has done a great job of capitalizing on mistakes and creating plenty of turnovers. Right now, the Eagles are the team to beat in the NFC.