For some fans, it's already time to stop dreaming about the playoffs and start thinking about the 2010 draft.
With the help of AccuScore's projections for the number of victories each NFL team will have (a complex computerized process, not merely multiplying the midseason record by two), I have broken down which teams are tracking for the playoffs, and the draft order for everyone else.
At this year's NFL owners' meeting, new rules were adopted to determine the draft order. Clubs that make the playoffs now will draft after those who don't get in. Teams that go deeper into the tournament will draft even later, with the champion getting the 32nd pick.
In the past, the first 30 picks were based on regular-season records. For example, the San Diego Chargers won the AFC West but received the 16th pick, while the New England Patriots didn't go to the postseason and were slotted 23rd.
With that in mind and AccuScore's guidance, I put together the projection for how the season will sort out.
For the record, AccuScore pegs the New York Jets' chances of qualifying for the postseason at 10.8 percent and winning the AFC East at 2.3 percent. The Miami Dolphins are at 9.7 percent and 2.6 percent. The Buffalo Bills are given a 1.1 percent chance at the playoffs and 0.3 percent at the division.
Projected AFC playoff field
AFC South: Indianapolis Colts 14-2
AFC North: Pittsburgh Steelers 12-4
AFC East: New England Patriots 12-4
AFC West: Denver Broncos 10-6
AFC wild cards: Cincinnati Bengals 11-5, San Diego Chargers 10-6
Projected NFC playoff field
NFC South: New Orleans Saints 14-2
NFC North: Minnesota Vikings 13-3
NFC East: Dallas Cowboys 11-5
NFC West: Arizona Cardinals 10-6
Projected draft order
New York Jets