How in the world are you supposed to know who's actually really good this NFL season? And I mean -- which teams are legitimate Super Bowl contenders? In the AFC, we've got 12 teams .500 or better entering Week 11. Bananas.

In the NFC, four clubs are within one game in the win column of the final playoff spot, and there are four additional teams only two games back.

To solve this riddle, let me introduce to you the predictive powers of point differential. Of course, I'm hardly the first to recognize what point differential strongly suggests, but it's not mentioned nearly enough, and I have some fascinating statistics for you.

But first, I'll explain the thought process behind what I'm about to show you.

It's known, in the NFL, and even in college where the talent difference between clubs is more significant, that one-score games are almost always coin-flip propositions, outings decided by a play or two. The elite teams aren't magically better in tight contests than the lesser teams, they're just much better at blowing out their opponents and, conversely, are rarely blown out.

What that phenomenon indirectly says is that the genuinely great teams are those with large positive point differentials. They're not playing in many one-score games or blowout losses, and a fair amount of their wins are in convincing fashion.

History -- and especially recent history -- very loudly proclaims that, at the end of each regular season, we should all be looking at the top-five teams in point differential as those most likely to get near the Super Bowl, to the Super Bowl, or win the Super Bowl.

The last five Super Bowl winners -- and seven of the last eight -- finished in the top five of regular-season point differential.

Further, 16 of the last 20 conference title participants have hailed from the prestigious top five in point differential the season they advanced to the NFL's final four. That's 80%. Staggering.

Does this indicator check out with a larger sample size? Yessir. Over the last decade, 31 of 40 conference title participants were top five point differential teams that season. That's 77.5%. And 16 of the last 20 Super Bowl participants were, yes, in the top five of point differential.

Of course, point differentials will fluctuate over the last half-ish of the regular season. But right now, the Bills have the league-best point different at +145. Before Thursday Night Football in Week 11, the Patriots and Cardinals are tied for second at +98. After those clubs? The Cowboys at +89, Buccaneers at +67 and Titans at +46.

Those currently hovering near the top five include the Saints and Rams (+44), Colts (+38), and Packers (+36).

The Steelers, Chargers, Browns, and Raiders each have five wins with negative point differentials. On the flip side, the Eagles have a respectable point differential of +26 but are 4-6. Weird.

Unless a team enters the postseason with an all-time great defense and a future first-ballot Hall of Fame quarterback like the 2015 Broncos, or we sincerely believe a quarterback will go on a 2013 Joe Flacco or 2011 Eli Manning type run in the playoffs while receiving fortuitous breaks along the way, we need to look directly at the top-five finishers in regular-season point differential to identify the most likely candidates for the conference title games and Super Bowl.

Teams aren't really what their record says they are. They are what their point differential says they are.