NFL Playoff Picture 2016: Week 9 Standings, Wild-Card Info and Super Bowl Odds

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The 2016 NFL season is at its virtual halfway point, and there isn’t as much separation as some might have expected.

While the New England Patriots are obviously in great shape in the AFC East after their excellent start, including their 41-25 win over the Buffalo Bills on Sunday, the rest of the NFL features highly contested battles in just about every divisional race.

Here is a look at the complete NFL standings through most of Week 9, heading into Monday’s battle between the Minnesota Vikings and Chicago Bears.

NFL Standings As of Oct. 30

AFC EAST W L T PCT New England Patriots 7 1 0 .875 Buffalo Bills 4 4 0 .500 Miami Dolphins 3 4 0 .429 New York Jets 3 5 0 .375 AFC NORTH W L T PCT Pittsburgh Steelers 4 3 0 .571 Cincinnati Bengals 3 4 1 .438 Baltimore Ravens 3 4 0 .429 Cleveland Browns 0 8 0 .000 AFC SOUTH W L T PCT Houston Texans 5 3 0 .625 Tennessee Titans 4 4 0 .500 Indianapolis Colts 3 5 0 .375 Jacksonville Jaguars 2 5 0 .286 AFC WEST W L T PCT Oakland Raiders 6 2 0 .750 Denver Broncos 6 2 0 .750 Kansas City Chiefs 5 2 0 .714 San Diego Chargers 3 5 0 .375 NFC EAST W L T PCT Dallas Cowboys 6 1 0 .857 New York Giants 4 3 0 .571 Philadelphia Eagles 4 3 0 .571 Washington Redskins 4 3 1 .563 NFC NORTH W L T PCT Minnesota Vikings 5 1 0 .833 Green Bay Packers 4 3 0 .571 Detroit Lions 4 4 0 .500 Chicago Bears 1 6 0 .143 NFC SOUTH W L T PCT Atlanta Falcons 5 3 0 .625 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 3 4 0 .429 New Orleans Saints 3 4 0 .429 Carolina Panthers 2 5 0 .286 NFC WEST W L T PCT Seattle Seahawks 4 2 1 .643 Arizona Cardinals 3 4 1 .438 Los Angeles Rams 3 4 0 .429 San Francisco 49ers 1 6 0 .143

The Patriots are the big story through the first half of the season. Despite being without Tom Brady for the first four games, the team is flying high at 7-1 with the quarterback looking as good as ever.

Even Bills coach Rex Ryan has given up on a first-place finish, per Ben Volin of the Boston Globe:

Rex concedes the AFC East to the Patriots and says Bills are playing for a Wild Card. “That team’s 3 games up on us … and No. 12 is back.”

— Ben Volin (@BenVolin) October 30, 2016

"Winning the division, I think that’s pretty much shot," the coach explained after the game, per Jay Skurski of the Buffalo News.

Although this doesn’t officially give New England the division, it’s pretty safe to start penciling the squad into the postseason.

The Patriots’ overwhelming success—16.25 average margin of victory with Brady in the lineup—also makes them the favorites to win the Super Bowl in the latest odds:

Odds to Win Super Bowl LI (As of Oct. 30)

Team Odds Arizona Cardinals 16-1 Atlanta Falcons 20-1 Baltimore Ravens 100-1 Buffalo Bills 40-1 Carolina Panthers 80-1 Chicago Bears 1500-1 Cincinnati Bengals 50-1 Cleveland Browns 5000-1 Dallas Cowboys 12-1 Denver Broncos 14-1 Detroit Lions 80-1 Green Bay Packers 10-1 Houston Texans 50-1 Indianapolis Colts 33-1 Jacksonville Jaguars 250-1 Kansas City Chiefs 16-1 Los Angeles Rams 150-1 Miami Dolphins 150-1 Minnesota Vikings 17-2 New England Patriots 12-5 New Orleans Saints 150-1 New York Giants 33-1 New York Jets 200-1 Oakland Raiders 28-1 Philadelphia Eagles 28-1 Pittsburgh Steelers 12-1 San Diego Chargers 55-1 San Francisco 49ers 2500-1 Seattle Seahawks 13-2 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 100-1 Tennessee Titans 100-1 Washington Redskins 66-1

One team that is heading in the right direction after Sunday is the Carolina Panthers. The Super Bowl runners-up were 1-5 to start the season with the defense looking simply awful, allowing over 40 points in two of the last three games.

Fortunately, the bye week seemed to do wonders, as the unit looked as good as ever against the Arizona Cardinals. Cam Newton and Jonathan Stewart took care of the rest, and the Panthers earned a 30-20 win in a rematch of last year’s NFC Championship Game.

Although Carolina is still in last place in the NFC South, the division is within reach, and a wild-card spot is absolutely their for the taking.

On the other hand, the whole NFC West has serious question marks after the Cardinals and Seattle Seahawks lost in Week 8. These teams tied each other a week earlier in an ugly 6-6 contest, and all of a sudden, this looks like a division that will only be sending one team to the playoffs.

The AFC West shouldn’t have that issue as arguably the most competitive division to this point in the season.

Even those on the Oakland Raiders bandwagon to start the year likely couldn’t have predicted the team’s 6-2 start, including a 5-0 record on the road. Tim Kawakami of the Mercury News had high praise for Derek Carr after the team’s 30-24 overtime win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers:

One of the greatest performances ever by a Raiders QB. That’s without looking at stats, just watching every play of this game.

— Tim Kawakami (@timkawakami) October 30, 2016

Carr finished with 513 passing yards, four touchdowns and zero interceptions in a dramatic win to stay in a tie for first place.

The Kansas City Chiefs and Denver Broncos remain right on Oakland’s heels, however, making it tough for any other team in the AFC to earn a wild-card spot.

With all of this said, we still have more than half of a football season remaining to settle all the divisional and conference battles.

Follow Rob Goldberg on Twitter.