The Green Bay Packers had every chance to hang on to their share of first place Sunday afternoon, but a missed two-point conversion. A shanked last-second field goal meant they had done the unthinkable -- they had lost to the Detroit Lions at Lambeau Field.
Detroit's 18-16 win, its first in Green Bay since 1991, opened the door for the Minnesota Vikings to take sole possession of first place in the NFC North, and the Vikings came through with a 30-14 win over the Oakland Raiders. The Packers are still in charge of their divisional chances, because they have both games left with the Vikings.
Still, Green Bay's chances of winning the division have dropped from 90 percent after their 6-0 start, to only 50 percent, according to FiveThirtyEight. Minnesota's one-game lead is still only good for a 46 percent chance, as the computers still aren't convinced that the Green Bay collapse is real.
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While the NFC North got more complicated, three other teams have wrapped up their plays for early January. The New England Patriots, Carolina Panthers and Cincinnati Bengals have all virtually clinched playoff spots, and all three have at least a 91 percent chance of winning their divisions. The Patriots have a 96 percent change of earning a first-round bye, while the Panthers are at 93 percent. The Bengals, following their Monday night loss, are down to 62 percent.
At 7-2, the Broncos are still three games ahead of the Chiefs and Oakland Raiders, who are both at 4-5, so the computers have them with an 84 percent chance of winning the AFC West. However, that doesn't take into account just how badly Peyton Manning played against Kansas City.
The Arizona Cardinals' Sunday night win over the Seattle Seahawks also gave them a three-game lead in the NFC West over Seattle and the St. Louis Rams. They now have an 84 percent chance of winning the division and a 49 percent shot at a first-round bye.
Chaos in the NFC East and AFC South
The only sure thing in the NFC East seems to be that, after losing their seventh game in a row, the Dallas Cowboys are out of contention. The New York Giants currently lead at 5-5 after their loss to the Patriots, a half-game ahead of the Philadelphia Eagles and Washington. FiveThirtyEight gives the Giants a 43 percent chance of winning the division, just ahead of Philadelphia's 40 percent. Washington still hasn't caught the fancy of the electronics, getting only a 15 percent shot.
In the AFC South, following the Texan's Monday night upset of the Bengals, Houston and Indianapolis are tied at 4-5 at the top of the division. The Colts currently hold the tie-breaker due to their Week 5 win in Houston. The two teams will meet again in Week 15, but that game will be in Indianapolis. FiveThirtyEight gives the Colts a 54 percent chance on winning the AFC South, and the Texans a 34 percent shot.
|AFC East Team||W||L||PF||PA||Point Diff.||Div||Conf|
|New England Patriots||9||0||303||169||134||3-0||6-0|
|New York Jets||5||4||217||184||33||1-2||4-3|
|AFC North Team||W||L||PF||PA||Point Diff.||Div||Conf|
|AFC South Team||W||L||PF||PA||Point Diff.||Div||Conf|
|AFC West Team||W||L||PF||PA||Point Diff.||Div||Conf|
|Kansas City Chiefs||4||5||224||195||29||1-1||3-2|
|San Diego Chargers||2||7||210||249||-39||0-1||1-4|
|NFC East Team||W||L||PF||PA||Point Diff.||Div||Conf|
|New York Giants||5||5||273||253||20||2-2||4-4|
|NFC North Team||W||L||PF||PA||Point Diff.||Div||Conf|
|Green Bay Packers||6||3||219||185||34||1-1||4-2|
|NFC South Team||W||L||PF||PA||Point Diff.||Div||Conf|
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers||4||5||191||237||-46||2-1||3-3|
|New Orleans Saints||4||6||255||315||-60||1-2||3-5|
|NFC West Team||W||L||PF||PA||Point Diff.||Div||Conf|
|St. Louis Rams||4||5||166||183||-17||3-0||3-4|
|San Francisco 49ers||3||6||126||223||-97||0-3||2-5|
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