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NFL Playoff Picture: NFC teams begin to settle but AFC remains relatively open

Entering Week 13, all thirty two NFL teams were still alive for the playoffs, but two weeks later, and that number has definitely shrunk. Th


Entering Week 13, all thirty two NFL teams were still alive for the playoffs, but two weeks later, and that number has definitely shrunk. The Browns were eliminated by the end of Week 13, but yesterday’s slate of games sees several teams in both conferences joining Cleveland as teams mathematically eliminated from the playoffs. Yes, the Titans, Chargers and Ravens in the AFC, and the 49ers and the Lions in the NFC, are all now officially eliminated from postseason contention. They’ll be joined by the Dolphins if they lose to the Giants on Monday Night Football tonight. At the same time, the Jaguars and the Cowboys are now eliminated from being able to make it to the playoffs as wild card teams – they’ll have to win their divisions if they want to keep playing into January. On the other end of the scale, the Patriots reclaim the #1 seed in the AFC, while the Panthers have managed to clinch themselves a first-round bye. The NFC wild card race may have just wrapped up – with only three games left, both the Vikings and the Seahawks are two games clear of the nominal ‘#7 seed’, the Bucs, so it’ll be a hard task for either of those teams to be dislodged before the end of the season. Over in the AFC, the Chiefs, Jets and Steelers are still all neck-and-neck for the wild card spots, so for those three teams, all of whom won yesterday, there’s still everything to play for. Check out the full current playoff seedings below!  

AFC

In the picture

#1 – New England Patriots (.846) #2 – Cincinnati Bengals (.769) #3 – Denver Broncos (.769) The Bengals have a better record within the conference (.800) than the Broncos (.667). #4 – Indianapolis Colts (.462) The Colts own the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Texans, who have the same record as the Colts. #5 – Kansas City Chiefs (.615) #6 – New York Jets (.615)

In the hunt

#7 – Pittsburgh Steelers (.615) The Chiefs have a better record within the conference (.778) than the Jets (.600) or the Steelers (.556). The Jets have a better record within the conference than the Steelers. #8 – Oakland Raiders (.462) #9 – Buffalo Bills (.462) #10 – Houston Texans (.462) The Raiders have a better record within the conference (.600) than the Bills (.545) or the Texans (.444). The Bills own the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Texans. #11 – Miami Dolphins (.417) #12 – Jacksonville Jaguars (.385)

Already eliminated

#13 – Baltimore Ravens (.308) #14 – San Diego Chargers (.231) #15 – Cleveland Browns (.231) #16 – Tennessee Titans (.231) The Chargers have a better record within the conference (.222) than the Browns (.200) or the Titans (.111). The Browns own the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Titans.  

NFC

In the picture

#1 – Carolina Panthers (1.000) clinched NFC South; first-round bye #2 – Arizona Cardinals (.846) clinched playoff berth #3 – Green Bay Packers (.692) #4 – Washington Redskins (.462) Washington own the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Eagles, who have the same record as Washington #5 – Seattle Seahawks (.615) #6 – Minnesota Vikings (.615) The Seahawks own the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Vikings

In the hunt

#7 – Tampa Bay Buccaneers (.462) #8 – Atlanta Falcons (.462) #9 – Philadelphia Eagles (.462) As there are two teams from the same division, one must be eliminated from the initial three-way tie. The Bucs own the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Falcons. The Falcons own the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Eagles. #10 – New York Giants (.417) #11 –  St Louis Rams (.385) #12 – New Orleans Saints (.385) #13 – Chicago Bears (.385) The Rams have a better record within the conference (.444) than the Saints (.400) or the Bears (.222). The Saints have a better record within the conference than the Bears. #16 – Dallas Cowboys (.308) Even though the Cowboys are the nominal #16 seed in the NFC on tiebreakers, they remain ‘in the hunt’ as they are still alive for the NFC East, even though they have been eliminated from Wild Card contention

Already eliminated

#14 – Detroit Lions (.308) #15 – San Francisco 49ers (.308) The Lions have a better record within the conference (.400) than the 49ers (.300) or the Cowboys (.273). The 49ers have a better record within the conference than the Cowboys.


Gur Samuel

Hi! I'm Gur and I'm RealSport's Editor-in-Chief. I'm also currently the site's tennis editor, and contribute to our NFL, wrestling and Formula 1 coverage as well. I'm also an NFL analyst for CNN International and contributor to SB Nation, and have contributed to, or been interviewed by, various print, broadcast and online media, including the BBC, Mail Online, ABC, NBC, CBS, the Boston Globe, and Yahoo! Sports.

NFL Playoff Picture: NFC teams begin to settle but AFC remains relatively open

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