NFL playoff picture: Updated AFC, NFC standings for Week 12

Sporting News

Week 12 is done and with only five weeks remaining in the 2019 regular season, the NFL playoff picture is coming together quickly based on the current AFC and NFC standings.

Here's 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.

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NFL standings for Week 12

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AFC playoff picture

Who would be in?

1. Patriots, first place, AFC East (10-1) — The Patriots, whose only loss this season is to the Ravens, hold a slim one-game lead for the top seed. They also need to keep winning to ensure taking another division title, as they're only up two games and have a tiebreaker on the Bills. Up next: Texans

2. Ravens, first place, AFC North (9-2) — The Ravens are playing like the best team in the AFC but still need to finish at least even with the Patriots to get the top seed and home-field advantage in the playoffs. They are close to running away with the division, three games up on the Steelers and four games up on the Browns. Up next: 49ers

3. Texans, first place, AFC South (7-4) The Texans jumped the Colts by beating them 20-17 to open up Week 12 on Thursday night, also erasing their previous head-to-head tiebreaker. It doesn't get any easier in Week 13, however. Up next: Patriots

4. Chiefs, first place, AFC West (7-4) The Chiefs have a Week 12 bye but already have dropped to No. 4 because they lose the head-to-head tiebreaker with the Texans, who beat them in Arrowhead Stadium earlier in the season. Up next: Raiders

5. Bills, second place, AFC East (8-3) — The Bills have a strong hold on the top wild-card position as they continue to take advantage of a very favorable schedule, but things will get difficult during a key stretch starting in Week 13 with a short-week trip to Dallas on Thanksgiving. Up next: Cowboys

6. Steelers, second place, AFC West (6-5) — The Steelers jumped here after surviving the Bengals on Sunday thanks to the Raiders and Colts losing. They still hold this spot with the Titans also winning, because of a better conference record. Up next: Browns

Who can get there?

7. Raiders (6-5); 8. Colts (6-5); 9. Titans (6-5); 10. Browns (5-6)

The Colts fell here after their key division loss in Houston on Thursday night. The Raiders fell out after temporarily being here after losing to the Jets. The Steelers, who have a superior conference record, jumped them. The Colts lose the head-to-head tiebreakers to both the Raiders and the Steelers. The Titans made it a virtual three-way tie with a win over the Jaguars. The Browns separated themselves from the below category to stay alive and well with the Steelers next

Who's likely out?

11. Jaguars (4-7); 12. Chargers (4-7); 13. Jets (4-7); 14. Broncos (3-8); 15. Dolphins (2-9)

The Broncos and Dolphins stayed cold with losses in Week 12, while the Jets, going through the easiest second-half schedule, have won three straight to save some face with Adam Gase.

Who's out?

16. Bengals (0-11)

The Bengals can't do better than five wins, which isn't good enough. They're bad enough now to go winless and secure the top pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.

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NFC playoff picture

Who would be in?

1. 49ers, first place, NFC West (10-1) — The 49ers maintained both their top seed and division lead by ripping the Packers on Sunday night, staying a game up on the Saints and Seahawks. They still need to play the former, but lost to the latter, so keep that in mind down the line. Up next: Ravens

2. Saints, first place, NFC South (9-2) — The Saints will get their shot at the 49ers soon, but they don't play the Packers. They have wins over the Cowboys and Seahawks. They are on the verge of clinching another division title with a four-game lead coming out of Week 12. Up next: Falcons

3. Packers, first place, NFC North (8-3) — The Packers missed a big chance to jump up to a No. 1 by being throttled by the 49ers, but they are still up a head-to-head tiebreaker on the Vikings for the division lead. Up next: Giants

4. Cowboys, first place, NFC East (6-5) — The Cowboys still have a one-game lead, plus the head-to-head tiebreaker, over the Eagles coming out of Week 12, but on top of being well behind the Packers and Saints, they lost to both teams, so should they hold on and win the division again, they're likely stuck on this seed. Up next: Bills

5. Seahawks, second place, NFC West (9-2) — The Seahawks are looking at the No. 3 seed after beating the Eagles, should the 49ers lose in Week 12, assuming the Saints rally to win as big favorites. Up next: Vikings

6. Vikings, second place, NFC North (8-3) — The Vikings will either stay here during their bye or slide up to No. 5 with a loss by the Seahawks. Guess who they play in Week 13. Up next: Seahawks

Who can get there?

7. Rams (6-5); 8. Bears (6-6); 9. Eagles (5-6); 10. Panthers (5-6); 11. Buccaneers (4-7)

The Rams failed to keep winning in Week 12 after beating the Bears in Week 11, losing the AFC's Ravens badly at home Monday night. and severely hurting their fading chances. The Eagles' best path to the playoffs remains winning the NFC East over the Cowboys.

Who's likely out

12. Cardinals (3-7-1); 14. Falcons (3-8); 15. Giants (2-9),;16. Redskins (2-9)

The Cardinals, Falcons and Giants have shown flashes at times, but the wins haven't added up. The Redskins no longer look like they will finish behind the Bengals.

Who's out

13. Lions (3-8-1)

They were eliminated with their loss to the Bears which keeps the wild-card berths and NFC North out of reach.

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