NFL Rankings: AFC and NFC Playoff photo updated after week 13 of the 2021 season
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The 2021 NFL season is in double-digit weeks and closer to the end of its new 17-game schedule. It’s time to check out the updated standings again and what the playoff picture looks like after Week 13.
The league has retained its expanded field of play, with 14 of its 32 teams (43.8%) set to advance to the final playoffs. This includes 7 each from the AFC and NFC, with only the No.1 seeds securing passes in addition to the home court advantage.
Who would be, who is still in contention and who should be thinking about next season? Here’s a full rundown:
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AFC qualifying photo
Who would be in it?
1. New England Patriots (9-4), first place, AFC East. The Patriots have already entered Monday night’s closing Week 13 game against the Bills with the seed in hand following the loss to the Ravens, but with the win there is no breakout situation. tied with them for an outright half-game. The Patriots are also backed by a dazzling AFC in-game record (7-1) before a welcome late goodbye. Remaining time: at IND, against BUF, against JAX, at MIA
2. Tennessee Titans (8-4), first place, AFC South. The Titans have also moved during their Week 13 recess due to the Ravens’ loss to the Steelers as they have the next best conference game record at 5-3 while the Ravens have fallen to 5-4. . They saw the division tighten up a bit with the Colts’ win, but keep in mind they’ve already swept this team. Remaining time: against JAX, at PIT, against SF, against MIA, at HOU
3. Baltimore Ravens (8-4), first place, AFC North. The Ravens slipped out of first place but still hold the division lead as the Bengals lost and the Browns were inactive. The Steelers needed the Week 13 game to stay tied, but Baltimore needs to recover quickly with three Division games and two more tough ones. Remaining time: at the CLE, vs. GB, at CIN, vs. LAR, vs. PIT
4. Kansas City Chiefs (8-4), first place, AFC West. The Chiefs came out of Sunday night’s Week 13 home game against the Broncos with a poor 3-4 conference record, with losses to the Titans, Ravens, Bills and Chargers. The Chiefs won to stay ahead of the division-winning Chargers, with the Raiders and Chargers again on the record. Remaining time: vs. LV, at LAC, vs. PIT, CIN, DEN
5. Los Angeles Chargers (7-5), second place, AFC West. The Chargers jumped up one spot as they took care of the Bengals, the team that once edged them, on the road to Cincinnati. They look like stronger contenders with Justin Herbert and Brandon Staley with some key AFC wins. They also put more divisional pressure on the Chiefs, who they beat earlier and are playing again in two weeks. Remaining time: against NYG, against KC, at HOU, against DEN, at LV
6. Cincinnati Bengals (7-5), second place, AFC North. The Bengals calmed down after their big wins after leaving the Raiders and Steelers as they were sloppy with Joe Burow, Jox Mixon and the offense making too many mistakes against a starving Chargers defense. There’s nothing easy left about trying to get a wild card, but the Broncos game of Week 15 can help them tremendously. Remaining time: against SF, at DEN, against BAL, against KC, at CLE
7. Buffalo Bills (7-5), second place, AFC Est. The Bills were fortunate enough to take the lead in the East on Monday night at home, but lost to the Patriots, keeping New England at No.1 but losing Buffalo by two places in the wild card race due to a weaker conference record (5-5) than the Chargers and Bengals. The Bills aren’t getting a short week’s vacation at all to travel to Tom Brady and the Buccaneers. Remaining time: at TB, against CAR, at NE, against ATL, NYJ.
Who can go there?
9. Indianapolis Colts (7-6)
10. Pittsburgh Steelers (6-6-1)
11. Las Vegas Raiders (6-6)
11. Cleveland Browns (6-6)
12. Denver Broncos (6-6)
The Steelers secured a key victory over the Ravens to climb to the top spot of the “outside” AFC teams. The Colts stayed ahead of the losing Raiders and Broncos and inactive Browns in tearing up the Texans. The Broncos fell among the .500 teams because they lost to the Raiders and Browns earlier in the season.
Who is about to go out?
13. Miami Dolphins (6-7)
14. New York Jets (3-9)
15. Houston Texans (2-10)
16. Jacksonville Jaguars (2-10)
The Dolphins extended their winning streak to five straight games after a 1-7 start on a climb to respectability, but it’s too little, too late for a playoff push. The Jets parted ways with the last two with a win over the Texans and they still play against the Jaguars as well.
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NFC playoff photo
Who would be in it?
1. Arizona Cardinals (10-2), first place, NFC West. The Cardinals crushed the Bears out of the bye with Kyler Murray leading the offense at great familiar things running and passing. Their defense also reversed with the rush for passes and takeouts to keep Chicago down. The Cardinals are expected to have a two-game lead in a key rematch with the Rams at home. Remaining time: vs LAR, at DET, vs IND, at DAL, vs SEA
2. Green Bay Packers (9-3), first place, NFC North. The Packers went about business against the Rams in Week 12 to move within half a game of the idle Cardinals, whom they beat, for the seed. In the process, they also helped the Cardinals increase their lead in their division. Now they can rest for Week 13 knowing that the Cardinals lead over them is still just a game. They stayed ahead of the winning Buccaneers due to a higher record in the NFC game, Remaining time: against CHI, at BAL, against CLE, against MIN, at DET
3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (9-3), first place, NFC South. The Buccaneers equalized the Packers and also stayed inside a Cardinals game after struggling to deal with the Falcons on the road. Tom Brady is locked and loaded at the right time before the playoffs again. Remaining time: against BUF, against NO, at CAR, at NYJ, against CAR
4. Dallas Cowboys (8-4), first place, NFC Est. The Cowboys will stay here one game behind the Buccaneers, to whom they lost in Week 1 after beating the Saints to open Week 13 on Thursday night. They still have work to do to win the division with Washington on fire and Philadelphia rebounding behind the team. Remaining time: at WAS, at NYG, against WAS, against ARI, at PHI
5. Los Angeles Rams (8-4), second place, NFC West. The Rams entered Week 13 on a three-game losing streak and have had disappointing recent results with more of Matthew Stafford struggling. They remain two full games behind the Cardinals with a win over the Jaguars at home before securing another shot against the Cardinals, whom they lost to at home. The Rams also fell to the team behind them in the division, the 49ers, but now have a two-game lead there. Remaining time: at ARI, vs. SEA, at MIN, at BAL, vs. SF
6. Washington Soccer Team (6-6), second place, NFC Est. Washington won a tough road game against AFC prospect Las Vegas and skipped both San Francisco and Philadelphia in one afternoon. They sizzle with a four-game winning streak under Ron Rivera and Taylor Heinicke. They fixed a few defensive issues and are offensive enough. Somehow, the slate quirk gives them all the remaining division matches. Remaining time: DAL, at PHI, at DAL, against PHI, at NYG
7. San Francisco 49ers (6-6), third place, NFC West. The 49ers were upset by the Seahawks to pull out and come back to .500, but they still remain in the playoff position with an overall score equal to Washington but a much worse conference record. They could afford to stumble with everyone except the Eagles, Seahawks and Lions losing behind them. Remaining time: at CIN, against ATL, at TEN, against HOU, at LAR
Who can go there?
8. Philadelphia Eagles (6-7)
9. Minnesota Vikings (6-7)
10. Carolina Panthers (5-7)
11. Altanta Falcons (5-7)
12. Saints of New Orleans (5-7)
13. New York Giants (4-8)
14. Chicago Bear (4-8)
15. Seattle Seahawks (4-8)
The Eagles, who have a pass in Week 14, stayed ahead of that crowd with a victory over the Jets, staying just behind Washington and losing San Francisco, to whom the team lost earlier in the season. Otherwise, here’s a mess with the Vikings fading away (again) and the irrelevant three-team NFC South jumble.
Who is about to go out?
16. Detroit Lions (1-10-1)
The Lions scored their first victory in spectacular fashion after coming out tight against the Steelers, Browns and Bears. They played a major role against the Vikings and can make it to a few other teams.
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