It has been a strange season, in many ways. Look at the standings. The Saints are a game better than the Broncos, and the Giants and the Eagles two better than the Bills and the Jaguars, respectively. Which is why it's folly to try to predict the playoff seedings and forecast how the postseason will play out. But we're not going to let that stop us.
1. TITANS (13-3)
Any team with Eddie George running and safety Blaine Bishop hitting is a threat to win it all. The schedule in the last six weeks ( Browns twice, Bengals, Jaguars I Cowboys) makes it clear: The AFC road to the Super Bowl goes through Nashville.
2. RAIDERS (12-4)
They finally seem to be off their roller coaster. The one-two punch of Tyrone Wheatley and Napoleon Kaufman is the reason. This team can run on anyone.
3. COLTS (11-5)
Peyton Manning is on pace for a 4,876-yard passing season, which would be the second highest in league history. Imagine what he could do against his own defense.
4. JETS (11-5)
An underrated defense will keep them close every week, but they're doomed if quarterback Vinny Testaverde continues to play at his best for only parts of games.
5. RAVENS (9-7)
Coach Brian Billick may pull out all his hair before the Ravens host the Jets on Christmas Eve in the regular-season finale.
6. CHIEFS (9-7)
They'll go a long way toward locking up a playoff spot by winning two of three on a swing through California (at Oakland, San Francisco and San Diego) in November. The December schedule is soft.
1. MINNESOTA (13-3)
It's a tough road, with two divisional showdowns against Green Bay and road trips in December to St. Louis and Indy, but Daunte Culpepper will be up to it.