2013 NFL Standings, Week 5: Playoff landscape taking shape

John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

The 2013 NFL season is in full throttle at this point and a few teams have emerged as championship caliber. That said, don't be surprised to see a cellar-dweller climb up the standings at some point.

The first quarter of the NFL season is just wrapping up as the shape of league's landscape -- who's a contender and who isn't -- is taking form. There are still five 4-0 teams, tied for the most in NFL history, and all five teams appear strong enough to hold on for playoffs bids.

The 20 teams that are 2-2 or worse still have some hope, too. Of the 276 teams that have made the playoffs since 1990, 100 started the year .500 or worse through four games. A full half of last year's playoff teams were slow starters, though none of the six were worse than 2-2.

Regardless of the numbers from the past, no team should be counted out just yet with the season still relatively young.

Here's a look at the division standings thus far:

AFC East Standings

New England 4 0 0 89 57
Miami 3 1 0 91 91
New York Jets 2 2 0 68 88
Buffalo 2 3 0 112 130

(updated 10.4.2013 at 12:26 AM PDT)

The New England Patriots haven't necessarily looked impressive on their way to 4-0, but no one should be surprised they're undefeated when considering their history. The Miami Dolphins' good start is a little more surprising coming off a 7-9 season. They were just defeated soundly by the New Orleans Saints, but fans should be happy with the progressions of Ryan Tannehill and the defense.

AFC North Standings

Cleveland 3 2 0 101 94
Baltimore 2 2 0 91 87
Cincinnati 2 2 0 81 81
Pittsburgh 0 4 0 69 110

(updated 10.4.2013 at 12:26 AM PDT)

The Cleveland Browns have the advantage of having played their Week 5 matchup already, but they'll take a first-place standing any way they can. The loss of Brian Hoyer puts a damper on things, but at this point why not the Browns? The Baltimore Ravens haven't looked much more impressive (albeit they have a win over Cleveland) and the Browns have already beaten the Cincinnati Bengals.

The Pittsburgh Steelers, meanwhile, are a sad, sad team these days. Perhaps not as sad as the Jacksonville Jaguars, New York Giants or Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but still pretty sad.

AFC South Standings

Indianapolis 3 1 0 105 51
Tennessee 3 1 0 98 69
Houston 2 2 0 90 105
Jacksonville 0 4 0 31 129

(updated 10.4.2013 at 12:26 AM PDT)

The Tennessee Titans will be Jake Locker-less for the time being, but an opportunistic defense seems more than willing to help shoulder the load. The Indianapolis Colts, meanwhile, have confidently filled the void where the Houston Texans once stood atop the conference. The Colts have a pair of impressive consecutive victories over the San Francisco 49ers and the Jaguars in the last two weeks.

AFC West Standings

Denver 4 0 0 179 91
Kansas City 4 0 0 102 41
San Diego 2 2 0 108 102
Oakland 1 3 0 71 91

(updated 10.4.2013 at 12:26 AM PDT)

No one has looked more impressive than the Denver Broncos. They have scored the second-most points through four games in NFL history (the 1966 Dallas Cowboys scored 183) and Peyton Manning has tied an NFL record with 16 consecutive touchdowns passes without an interception.

The Broncos' blistering start has stolen some thunder away from the Kansas City Chiefs who are 4-0 under Andy Reid after winning just two games last season. The Chiefs are allowing a league-low 10.3 points per game this season.

NFC East Standings

Dallas 2 2 0 104 85
Philadelphia 1 3 0 99 138
Washington 1 3 0 91 112
New York Giants 0 4 0 61 146

(updated 10.4.2013 at 12:26 AM PDT)

The NFC East is a very sad place these days. The Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Redskins and New York Giants are all dealing with similar problems: Starting quarterbacks who ought to be playing better and secondaries that are giving up yards and touchdowns by the truck load.

The Cowboys can be somewhat more optimistic. At least Tony Romo is off to a career-best start with a 105.1 passer rating through four games.

NFC North Standings

Detroit 3 1 0 122 101
Chicago 3 1 0 127 114
Green Bay 1 2 0 96 88
Minnesota 1 3 0 115 123

(updated 10.4.2013 at 12:26 AM PDT)

The Detroit Lions have not won a division title since 1993 but, following a win over the Chicago Bears, they are division's top team at the moment. The Lions have an offense that's clicking in the running and passing games and a defensive line that is arguably the best in football.

The Green Bay Packers and the Minnesota Vikings, meanwhile, are looking for answers -- the former for help along the offensive line, the latter at quarterback.

NFC South Standings

New Orleans 4 0 0 108 55
Carolina 1 2 0 68 36
Atlanta 1 3 0 94 104
Tampa Bay 0 4 0 44 70

(updated 10.4.2013 at 12:26 AM PDT)

The New Orleans Saints stand firm atop the heap in the NFC South at the moment, but don't discount the Carolina Panthers or the Atlanta Falcons. The Panthers have a ferocious defense and are coming off a 38-0 drubbing of the Giants. The Falcons are off to a bad start, but their talent cannot be discounted.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers, on the other hand, are a complete mess both on the field and off.

NFC West Standings

Seattle 4 0 0 109 47
San Francisco 2 2 0 79 95
Arizona 2 2 0 69 89
St. Louis 1 3 0 69 121

(updated 10.4.2013 at 12:26 AM PDT)

The NFC West is still arguably one of the league's toughest division but, outside of the Seattle Seahawks, everyone looks mortal. The San Francisco 49ers have already lost two games by double digits, the Arizona Cardinals are offensively challenged and the St. Louis Rams need help in every aspect.

Seattle keeps chugging along, however. There is no glaring weakness on the team, and it's frightening to think that Bruce Irvin and Percy Harvin will be rejoining soon enough.

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