The NFL playoff picture is beginning to materialize, but there are still plenty of neck-and-neck divisional races to sort out before the 2022 campaign wraps up.
While some teams are closer than others to locking up their respective divisions, none of the eight current leaders has clinched yet. With plenty of drama sure to unfold over the coming weeks, it’s a great time to overview which clubs are in the driver's seat and how they can be dethroned.
With that in mind, here's a look at the most glaring weakness of every division leader heading into Week 13.
AFC East - Miami Dolphins (8-3): Pass Defense
The Miami Dolphins spared little expense to shore up their weak points this offseason and build a Super Bowl contender. The spending spree has paid off, as they are well in the hunt for their first AFC East title since 2008.
While bringing in the likes of wide receiver Tyreek Hill and offensive tackle Terron Armstead have helped Miami jump out to a narrow lead in the division, those moves left the club with little available finances to bolster its secondary.
The Dolphins' already middling pass defense has taken a step back in 2022. After allowing 227.7 yards per game and giving up 23 touchdowns last year, the unit is giving up an average of 233.8 yards and has already allowed 17 touchdowns through the air.
Miami isn't securing as many interceptions either, averaging just 0.5 per game after reeling in 14 across 17 contests in 2021.
Injuries have hurt the Dolphins' ability to field a quality pass defense. Cornerback Byron Jones (Achilles) has yet to make his 2022 debut, while Xavien Howard, Nik Needham and several other defensive backs have all missed time.
With the pass rush also struggling to get home regularly—Miami has a pedestrian 25 sacks this season—this could be an exploitable area for playoff opponents.
AFC North - Baltimore Ravens (7-4): Receiving Corps
The Baltimore Ravens went into the 2022 campaign with one of the league's more questionable receivers rooms, and the situation has only become more concerning.
After jettisoning top wideout Marquise Brown during the opening round of the draft, Baltimore elected not use any of its 11 picks or sign any notable free agents to replace the speedy veteran. The team opted to head into the season with sophomore Rashod Bateman as its No. 1 and several unproven young talents behind him.
While Bateman looked solid early on, he missed five games as a rookie and had injury issues creep up again this season. He was sidelined for a pair of games with a foot issue and returned for a short stretch before he was shut down for the year to undergo Lisfranc surgery.
His departure has left a ragtag crew that includes Devin Duvernay, Demarcus Robinson, James Proche II and DeSean Jackson to run routes for star quarterback Lamar Jackson. While some of these players have had big games this year, none are performing at a consistently high level, which is a large reason why the Ravens average only 193.4 yards per game through the air (a bottom-10 mark).
While Baltimore does have a strong tight end corps led by star Mark Andrews, the position may not be enough to generate offense when the Ravens inevitably face tougher defenses that can shut down the run in the postseason.