NFL playoff picture: Updated AFC, NFC standings for Week 13Sporting News — (Vinnie Iyer)
Week 13 is complete, and with four weeks remaining in the 2019 regular season, the NFL playoff picture is coming together quickly based on the current AFC and NFC standings.
Here is an updated look at what each conference field would look like now, what teams are still in contention and what teams should already be thinking about the offseason.
NFL standings for Week 13
AFC playoff picture
Who would be in?
1. Ravens, first place, AFC North (10-2) — The Ravens are playing like the best team in the NFL. They jumped the Patriots for the top seed with their win over the 49ers coupled with that team losing at the Texans, thanks to a convincing head-to-head tiebreaker. They already are running away with the division, three games up on the Steelers and four games up on the Browns. Up next: at Bills
2. Patriots, first place, AFC East (10-2) — The Patriots fell here after losing to the Texans on Sunday night. They have now lost two of four games in the toughest stretch of their schedule and they can't afford to lose much more in AFC play or they will play with the fire of dropping out of this bye spot, too. Up next: vs. Chiefs
3. Texans, first place, AFC South (8-4) — The Texans finally solved the riddle of the Patriots at the best possible time, both to maintain this seed over the Chiefs and keep a one-game lead in the division over the Titans, who they still need to play twice. Up next: vs. Broncos
4. Chiefs, first place, AFC West (8-4) — The Chiefs ripped the Raiders after the bye but couldn't move up after the Texans, who beat them earlier this season, upset the Patriots on Sunday night. The Chiefs get their own New England test next week. Up next: at Patriots
5. Bills, second place, AFC East (9-3) — The Bills have a strong hold on the top wild-card position as they continue to take advantage of a favorable schedule. The big win in Dallas on Thanksgiving was huge ahead of a tougher final-month schedule, and they keep pushing the Patriots in the division. Up next: at Ravens
6. Steelers, second place, AFC North (7-5) — The Steelers stayed here after taking care of the Browns at home on Sunday to even their season series. They hold the tiebreaker over the Titans because of a better conference record. Up next: at Cardinals
Who can get there?
7. Titans (7-5); 8. Raiders (6-6); 9. Colts (6-6); 10. Browns (5-7)
The Titans jumped ahead of the Colts by beating them in Indianapolis. The Raiders failed to keep pace with them by losing to the Chiefs and the Steelers dragged the Browns further down.
Who's on their way out?
11. Jaguars (4-8); 12. Broncos (4-8); 13. Chargers (4-8); 14. Jets (4-8)
The Steelers and Titans getting to seven wins hurts all their chances. The Jaguars and Jets suffered bad losses in Week 13, while the Chargers lost to the Broncos.
15. Dolphins (3-9); 16. Bengals (1-11)
The Dolphins were eliminated Sunday despite their win over the Eagles. The Bengals can't do better than five wins, which isn't good enough. They're bad enough now, despite a lone win over the Jets on Sunday, to secure the top pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.
NFC playoff picture
Who would be in?
1. Saints, champions, NFC South (10-2) — The Saints wrapped up the division title by beating the Falcons on Thanksgiving night. They got the bonus of the 49ers losing and the Seahawks winning on Sunday and Monday to jump here because they hold the head-to-head tiebreaker over the new NFC West leaders. Now New Orleaans can further sink San Francisco in Week 14. Up next: vs. 49ers
2. Seahawks, first place, NFC West (10-2) — The Seahawks beat the Vikings on Monday night to jump up from No. 5, holding the head-to-head tiebreaker over the 49ers after also beating them on a Monday night. They can't let up if they want to catch the Saints and stay ahead of the 49ers. Up next: at Rams
3. Packers, first place, NFC North (9-3) — The Packers rebounded from their loss to the 49ers last week by ripping the Giants on the road in Week 13. They saw the Vikings lose on Monday night to increase their lead to a full game in the division. Up next: vs. Redskins
4. Cowboys, first place, NFC East (6-6) — The Cowboys have only a one-game lead plus the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Eagles after losing to the Bills at home on Thanksgiving. They're fortunate the Eagles also lost in Week 13 to the Dolphins. Should the Cowboys hold on and win the division again, they're likely stuck with this seed, fading behind the Saints and Packers and having lost to both teams. Up next: at Bears
5. 49ers, second place, NFC West (10-2) — The 49ers lost an AFC game to the Ravens on Sunday for their second defeat of the season. They fell out of first place with the Seahawks beating the Vikings on Monday night. San Francisco needs to beat New Orleans in Week 15, or it will risk having to be on the road for the playoffs. Up next: at Saints
6. Vikings, second place, NFC North (8-4) — The Vikings stay here after they lost to the Seahawks on Monday night, now a full game and head-to-head tiebreaker behind the winning Packers in the division. They are now only one game up on the Rams for this second wild-card spot. Up next: vs. Lions
Who can get there?
7. Rams (7-5); 8. Bears (6-6); 9. Eagles (5-7); 10. Buccaneers (5-7); 11. Panthers (5-7)
The Rams walked back into the wild-card race with a win over the Cardinals. The Bears stayed semi-hot with a win on Thanksgiving. The Eagles hurt their NFC East chances and the Panthers hurt their slimmer wild-card chances with respective bad losses to bad teams in Week 13.
Who's on their way out?
14. Redskins (3-9)
The Redskins stayed alive in the NFC East race with a win over the Panthers and the Eagles and Cowboys losing, but they remain a real division longshot.
12. Lions (3-8-1); 13. Cardinals (3-8-1); 15. Falcons (3-9); 16. Giants (2-10)
The Lions and Falcons were eliminated with their respective losses to the Bears and Saints on Thursday. The Giants and Cardinals were eliminated with their respective losses to the Packers and Rams on Sunday.