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Playoff picture taking shape early

Three-fourths of the playoffs are pretty well set, and the rest is easy to figure out, John Clayton writes.

Originally Published: December 5, 2007
By John Clayton | ESPN.com

Normally, the "if the playoffs would start today" discussion is a waste of time because the playoffs don't start a month early. In the NFL this season, the statement is defining.

Three-fourths of the playoffs are pretty well set, and the rest is easy to figure out. With four games left, each of the eight division winners hold at least two-game leads. The Patriots have clinched the AFC East. The Cowboys, Packers, Seahawks, Buccaneers, Colts, Steelers and Chargers can clinch their ...

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