The 10-0 Saints and Colts can be the first teams to clinch their division titles this weekend, and that would set off celebrations in New Orleans and Indianapolis. But maybe it shouldn't.
Of the three teams who have clinched as early as the 11th game of the season since the playoffs expanded to 12 teams in 1990, none of them have ridden that wave all the way to a Super Bowl crown.
The 1997 49ers won the NFC West by six games, but lost the NFC title game at home against Green Bay. The 2004 Eagles won the NFC East by seven games, but lost the Super Bowl to New England. And the 2007 Patriots, they of the 16-0 regular season, won the AFC East by nine games, but of course lost to the Giants in the Super Bowl.
And need we remind you that the whole idea of the all-important top seed is way, way overrated? The only No. 1 seed to win the Super Bowl this decade was the 2003 Patriots. Five out of the past eight top seeds (2005-08) haven't even won their playoff openers that season.
So party at your own peril, Saints and Colts. Even after the clinching, there's plenty of work that remains undone. Now to this week's rankings...
NFL Power Rankings