Teams that we fork are not mathematically out of the race at the time of forking. We've just decided they have no chance.
A few listeners asked if we could compile all our forked teams in one place, and now this place exists. You are reading it.
Here are the team's we've forked this season, in order of forking. If we are wrong about any team, we'll discontinue the segment forever.
14. Pittsburgh Steelers: We finally tossed the Steelers overboard in our latest episode. With a peaking quarterback and an easy schedule after this week, you could actually make the case for Pittsburgh finishing with an 8-8 record. And you could certainly make the case for an 8-8 team making the AFC playoffs.
It's just hard to imagine that team being the Steelers because of their head-to-head loss to Miami. You know that Pittsburgh's defense is old and slow when Daniel Thomas and Ryan Tannehill are popping off gains of 40-plus yards.
13. New York Jets: We rode the GenoCoaster long enough. New York remains in the mix at 6-7 because of an outstanding defensive line, but the secondary has serious problems. The offense is a collection of guys for whom former general manager Mike Tannenbaum once passed up Alshon Jeffery. (Note: This is only partially true.)
12. New York Giants: I was ready to get rid of the Giants after their 0-6 start, but others disagreed. Those "others" looked pretty smart after the Giants ripped off five consecutive wins, but it wasn't enough. There isn't anything that this team does particularly well, especially on offense. The Giants have made the playoffs once in the last five seasons, and they won only nine regular-season games that time.
11. Buffalo Bills: The schedule was set up for Buffalo to potentially close the season strong. And then they lost to Atlanta in Toronto and got destroyed in Tampa Bay. It seems like a long time ago when everyone was writing about EJ Manuel's "poise."
9. Houston Texans: We waited too long to get rid of the Texans because we just couldn't believe they were this bad (and unlucky). No team in NFL history has ever lost more games in a row by one score or less.
8. Cleveland Browns: It was all over after Brian Hoyer tore his ACL. That was a strange sentence to write.
7. Tennessee Titans: This wouldn't necessarily be a playoff team with Jake Locker under center, even though Locker was surprisingly impressive this season. The Titans' Gregg Williams-inflected defense has steadily grown worse.
6. Oakland Raiders: Chris Wesseling promised to eat his softball pants if the Raiders won six games this season. Dennis Allen made it interesting, but we can stick a fork in the chances of Oakland getting two more victories this season.
5. Atlanta Falcons: We stuck a fork in Atlanta after only seven games, and they've proceeded to win only one game since. Julio Jones is valuable, but he shouldn't be this valuable. Atlanta's defense has problems at every level.
4. Minnesota Vikings: They are stubbornly competitive for a three-win team, but this feels like an organization adrift because of its lack of a franchise quarterback and a coach likely headed out the door.
3. St. Louis Rams: It's a shame that we didn't get to see how competitive this team would be with Sam Bradford. Then again, they haven't looked that different under Kellen Clemens. Considering what Jeff Fisher took over, a couple of seven-win seasons is pretty impressive.
2. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: They nearly won in Seattle and have won four out of five games since then. I'd take them on a neutral field over the Indianapolis Colts, right now, and whatever team makes the No. 6 seed in the AFC.
1. Jacksonville Jaguars: They once looked like one of the worst teams in NFL history. Now, they might not even draft in the top five.