The three Week 12 games played on Thanksgiving had a big impact on the NFL playoff picture before Sunday's games…
The three Week 12 games played on Thanksgiving had a big impact on the NFL playoff picture before Sunday’s games arrived. Og as the week continued Sunday, even more changes were made to the postseason outlook. Of course, at this point in the season, almost all game results have playoff implications.
Based below on the results of the Thursday and Sunday games (not including the Sunday Night game between Green Bay and Minnesota), below is the current NFL playoff picture.
MORE: NFL standings | Week 12 scoreboard
Who would be in:
. Chiefs (9-2), first in AFC West
Because they lost to the Patriots and because the Steelers are hot, the Chiefs can not rest easy in the quest for home-field advantage. Fortunately they have a relatively manageable remaining schedule, with the Week 15 showdown against the Chargers, as the toughest game left. What’s left: that OAK, vs. BAL, vs. LAC, that SEA, vs. OAK
2nd Patriots (8-3), first in AFC East
Sunday’s win over the Jets was a big step for the Patriots in terms of the division standings, but the Steelers’ loss to the Broncos was even bigger for New England’s overall AFC outlook. Next week’s game against the Vikings – and the Steelers game, of course – will play a big part in the playoff seeding. New England will be pretty if it can beat Minnesota. What’s left: vs. MIN, that MIA, that PIT, vs. BUF, vs. NYJ
3rd Texans (7-3), first in AFC South
The Texans, who also gained a spot in the standings with the Steelers’ loss, still have a comfortable lead in their division with six games left to play, but The Colts are starting to put some pressure on the South leaders. Riding a seven-game winning streak, Houston can set its goals higher for one of the top two seeds. Sorry, one of its early losses was to New England. What’s left: vs. TEN, vs. CLE, vs. IND, that NY, that PHI, vs. JAX
4th Steelers (7-3-1), first in AFC North
Pittsburgh needed a win in Denver to keep the No. 2 seed ahead of a tough stretch that includes games against the Chargers, Patriots and Saints. The Steelers did not get it. That aforementioned New England game could determine whether the Steelers will have a first-round bye. What’s left: vs. LAC, that OAK, vs. NE, that NO, CIN
5. Chargers (8-3), wildcard
With their win over the Cardinals on Sunday, the Chargers padded their cushion over a big pack for one of the AFC wildcards. They also kept alive and well their chances of catching the first-place Chiefs with that Week 15 game looming. Philip Rivers is hot. Joey Bosa is back. LA is in good shape ahead of a big game in Pittsburgh. The only downer is Melvin Gordon’s latest knee injury. What’s left: at PIT, vs. CIN, that KC, vs. BAL that DEN
6. Ravens (6-5), wildcard
The Ravens has no breathing room with this spot, so they desperately needed to pull away from the Raiders in the second half of Sunday. The Steelers’ loss also pulled the Ravens a game closer in the division standings. Joe Flacco is gesond genoeg om te spelen, vooral met twee toughe AFC-games (Chiefs and Chargers), die op de agenda staan. What’s left: ATL that KC, vs. TB that LAC, vs. CLE.
Who’s knocking on the door:
7. Colts (6-5)
8. Titans (5-5)
9. Bengals (5-6)
10. Broncos (5-6)
11. Dolphins (5-6)
The Colts last-second win over the Dolphins was huge for both teams; Miami’s loss dropped it several spots in the playoff picture. The Titans should not be worried about division standings when they travel to Houston to play the Texans on Monday night; they need to be more concerned about their standing among other AFC wild-card hopefuls. The Bengals are close to being just about out.
Who’s just about out:
12. Browns (4-6-1)
13. Bills (4-7)
14. Jaguars (3-8)
15. Jets (3-8)
16th Raiders (2-9)
Buffalo buried Jacksonville with a win over the Jags on Sunday as the Jets and Raiders further buried themselves. At least the Browns have some promise for the future with Baker Mayfield.
Who would be in:
1. Saints (10-1), first in NFC South
Even with tough games remaining against the Cowboys, Panthers (twice) and Steelers, the Saints are in great shape thanks to their win over the Rams a few weeks ago . The rest of the NFC will have to hope somebody can play spoiler over the next five weeks, because no team wants to go to New Orleans for a playoff game. What’s left: that DAL, that TB, that CAR, vs. PIT, vs. CAR
2nd Rams (10-1), first in NFC West
Seattle beat Carolina on Sunday, meaning LA needs to wait at least one more week to win the NFC West. Regardless, the Rams are sitting pretty with a manageable schedule, including two freebies in the division. What’s left: IT, that CHI, vs. PHI, that ARI, vs. SF, at MIN
3. Bears (8-3), first in NFC North
The Bears got the big, Mitchell Trubisky-less win over the Lions they needed Thursday to keep their comfortable lead in the division. Nu, antar at de kan ta vare på forretninger mot de giganter, kan bjørnene sigte for det. 2 seed and a first-round bye when they play the Rams in a couple of weeks. What’s left: at NYG, vs. LAR, vs. GB, at SF, at MIN
4. Cowboys (6-5), first in NFC East
Dallas took the lead in the division when it beat Washington on Thursday, and the Cowboys suddenly look like the most complete team in the East. Their defense will get its toughest test yet next week when they host the Saints, easily their toughest game remaining. Regardless, Dallas needs to take care of its business in the final four games to make the playoffs. What’s left: vs. NO, vs. PHI, that IND, vs. TB, that NYG
5. Vikings (5-4-1), wildcard
With so many teams fighting for the two NFC wild-card spots and after a crushing loss to the Bears last week, the Vikings have little room for error. The push starts Sunday night at home against another wild-card hopeful in the division-rival Packers. Nu ville det være en god tid for Kirk Cousins å utvikle noen prime-time magi. What’s left: vs. GB that NE that SEA, vs. MIA, THAT IT, vs. CHI
6th Redskins (6-5), wildcard
Washington is in for now thanks to Seattle’s win in Carolina, as the Redskins have the tiebreaker over the Seahawks via conference record. The bad news for Washington is the fact that it has so much competition for a wild card spot and is dealing with injuries. The good news is the schedule is manageable. What’s left: at PHI, vs. NYG, that JAX, that TEN, vs. PHI
Who’s knocking on the door:
7. Seahawks (6-5)
8th Panthers (6-5)
9. Eagles (5-6)
10. Packers (4-5-1)
The Panthers suffered a crushing loss to the Seahawks on Sunday. Not only did they drop out of the No. 5 seed and fall behind Seattle, but they fell behind Washington the playoff picture, too. (Washington beat Carolina earlier this season.) The Eagles, on the other hand, essentially saved their season with a last minute win over the Giants.
Who’s just about out:
11. Falcons (4-7)
12. Buccaneers (4-7)
13. Lions (4-7)
14. Giants (3-8)
15. Cardinals (2-9)
16. 49ers (2-9)
Atlanta, Detroit, New York, San Francisco and Arizona sunk further down after losing this week. Tampa Bay got a win with Jameis Winson, for whatever is worth when decision time on his future with the franchise arrives.