November 10th, 2010
02:00 PM ET

No breathing room for NFL leaders

The Steelers got away from the Bengals on Monday, but Pittsburgh has the Ravens attached to its hip at the top of the AFC North.

It seems like just yesterday we were mulling over the many division races leading up to the MLB postseason.

But SI.com's Don Banks shifts our focus to the numerous division races shaping up around the NFL just halfway through the season. In fact, as Banks points out, there is a razor-thin margin in each of the eight divisions through Week 9.

The biggest cushion for any division leader is, remarkably, just one game. Four divisions feature two teams tied for first place, and the leaders in three other divisions are up by a mere half game.

After doing some research, Banks writes 2010 is the first time all races have been this close after Week 9 since the NFL went to eight divisions in 2002. In other words, parity is at an all-time high in the NFL, with 21 clubs sitting at .500 or better.

Banks writes that only five of 32 teams are genuinely out of the playoff race (yes, Dallas is one of them) and that 24 teams are at least within two games of first place in their division.

With the races so tight, the playoff picture remains too muddled to project. But the good news is, NFL fans should enjoy exciting division races until the end of the season, much like MLB fans did this year.

Here’s the action going on around the sporting world today (all times Eastern):

Utah Jazz at Orlando Magic (7 p.m., ESPN): One night after a thrilling overtime victory over the Heat (see below), the Jazz travel to Orlando to take on Dwight Howard and the Magic.

Miami (Ohio) at Bowling Green (8 p.m., ESPN2): The RedHawks (5-4) seek payback tonight when they go against the Falcons (2-7), who clobbered them 35-14 last season.

BY THE NUMBERS

54 – Points the Indiana Pacers scored in the third quarter of their 144-113 blowout over the Nuggets on Tuesday. The total marked the highest-scoring quarter in team history and the fourth-highest in NBA history.

3 – Three-pointers Utah Jazz forward Paul Millsap hit in the final 28 seconds of regulation to help Utah notch a 116-114 overtime win over the Miami Heat. Entering the game, Millsap had hit 2-of-20 3-point shots over his four-year career. SI.com’s Lee Jenkins discusses Millsap’s breakout night.

soundoff (5 Responses)
  1. SnakeEyes

    Bush and Kanye are both puppets of Satan and their purpose is to divide the people with trivial matters. This tactic prevents humans from reaching their full potential and hinders progress across the globe. I can't wait for the day I'm put into the ground.

    November 10, 2010 at 2:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jeff

      That makes 2 of us.

      November 10, 2010 at 3:38 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Jim Brieske

    The NFL is fixed. Team records do not matter toward gambling winnings.
    Obama is the Satan. Former President Bush writing a book has nothing to do with the Iranians achieving their goal of reaching nuclear weapons building capability.
    Obama lied and once the Iranians succeed Obama will be the Satan not Bush.
    Snakeeyes and Jeff, you two are fools. The Iranians build a second weapon and they can choose which country to strike after Israel that will have the highest probability of starting a world nuclear war.
    jim

    November 10, 2010 at 3:50 pm | Report abuse |
  3. John Galt

    What is the value in what you have said Jim, or for that matter Snakeeyes? Look at what you have written. Really please look at it. Everyone is guaranteed the right to his or her own opinion but why do you choose to express it in this manner. It is malicious, and it makes me physically sick that you would write something like this. Regardless of your views there are better ways to express them, and better places. Your comments are irrelevant and I hope that they are removed.

    November 10, 2010 at 5:47 pm | Report abuse |
  4. K jacktown michigan

    just let isreal nuke back, satan is everywhere, look around you

    November 11, 2010 at 9:49 am | Report abuse |