NFL playoff picture: Steelers keep sliding; Seahawks, Vikings jump Redskins

first_imgUPDATE: NFL playoff picture for Week 14What is the NFL playoff picture looking like after the Thursday and Sunday games of Week 13? Who improved their positions and seeding with positive results, and who is headed in the wrong direction during the stretch run?Here’s the update with four more weeks left in the 2018 regular season. MORE: NFL standings | Week 13 scoreboardNFL playoff pictureAFCWho would be in:1. Chiefs (10-2), first in AFC WestThe Chiefs stay here after beating the Raiders, with a full game lead on both the Texans and Patriots. They have the tiebreaker for now over Houston, but they would lose it to New England based on a head-to-head loss. The schedule isn’t the easiest to mantain home-field advantage. What’s left: vs. BAL, vs. LAC, at SEA, vs. OAK2. Patriots (9-3), first in AFC EastThe Patriots beat the Vikings to jump back over the Texans (whom they beat earlier in the season) and keep pace with the Chiefs (whom they also beat). What’s left: at MIA, at PIT, vs. BUF, vs. NYJ3. Texans (9-3), first in AFC SouthThe Texans stayed hot by beating the Browns, and they put more pressure on the Chiefs and Patriots. They lose the tiebreakers for the moment to both the Chiefs and Patriots but have a favorable schedule ahead.  What’s left: vs. IND, at NYJ, at PHI, vs. JAX4. Steelers (7-4-1), first in AFC NorthThe Steelers will have a hard time finishing higher than the No. 4 seed after losing to the Chargers on Sunday night. They are staring at a rematch with the Chargers or the Chiefs in the playoffs, two teams, like the 2017 Jaguars, who beat them in Pittsburgh during the regular season. At the same time, the Ravens are suddenly only a half-game behind them in the division. What’s left: at OAK, vs. NE, at NO, vs. CIN5. Chargers (9-3), wild cardThe Chargers made a big AFC wild-card statement by coming back strong and beating the Steelers on Sunday night. They are a legitimate threat to steal the West from the Chiefs, whom they play again in Week 15. What’s left: vs. CIN, at KC, vs. BAL, at DEN6. Ravens (7-5), wild cardThe Ravens went into a toss-up game on the road against the Falcons and maintained this position with a strong all-around victory fueled by their defense and running game. They will take the bonus of the Colts losing behind them, as they now hold a full game lead for the wild card. It’s not crazy to think they can take the AFC North lead back from the Steelers. The remaining schedule is tough, though. What’s left: at KC, vs. TB, at LAC, vs. CLEWho’s knocking on the door:7. Titans (7-6)8. Dolphins (6-6)9. Colts (6-6)10. Broncos (6-6)11. Bengals (5-7)The Titans jumped up here after winning on Thursday night. The Colts hurt themselves with a brutal road loss to the Jaguars in which they failed to score a single point. The Dolphins beat the Bills and have the conference-record tiebreaker in that .500 group of three.Who’s just about out:12. Browns (4-7-1)13. Bills (4-8)14. Jaguars (4-9)15. Jets (3-9)16. Raiders (2-10)The Browns and Bills lost Sunday to fall further back, while the Jaguars played spoiler against the Colts. The Jets and Raiders failed do the same against their AFC opponents despite valiant efforts.NFL playoff pictureNFCWho would be in:1. Rams (11-1), NFC West championsThe Rams survived a tough game against the Lions and strengthened their chase for the No. 1 seed with the Saints and Bears being upset by NFC East teams. Los Angeles is looking very good for home-field advantage if it can win at Chicago, too, next week, with an easy slate otherwise. What’s left: at CHI, vs. PHI, at ARI, vs. SF2. Saints (10-2), first in NFC SouthThe Saints were shocked by the Cowboys on Thursday night, and they lost their control on the top seed, where they still hold the tiebreaker should they finish even with the Rams. What’s left:  at TB, at CAR, vs. PIT, vs. CAR3. Bears (8-4), first in NFC NorthThe Bears blew a chance to keep their momentum, as they couldn’t win again with Chase Daniel on the road in a frustrating loss to the lowly Giants. They fell further behind the Rams, whom they play next week, and missed a chance to get closer to the Saints. They also made the Cowboys feel like they can reach this spot. What’s left: vs. LAR, vs. GB, at SF, at MIN4. Cowboys (7-5), first in NFC EastThe Cowboys know they’ll be in first place all by themselves after Week 13, as their victory over the Saints followed their wins over the Eagles and Redskins. If they beat the Eagles again next week, they will be a near-lock to pull away in the division. The Cowboys probably are a long shot to catch the Bears and move up, though. What’s left: vs. PHI, at IND, vs. TB, at NYG5. Seahawks (7-5), wild cardThe Seahawks took care of business against the 49ers to rise two spots with both the Vikings and Panthers losing. At worst, they would fall to No. 6 should the Redskins win Monday night. They are well positioned with the Vikings next at home and a favorable schedule, save for the Chiefs at home in Week 16. What’s left: vs. MIN, at SF, vs, KC, vs. ARI6. Vikings (6-5-1), wild cardThe Vikings lost to the Patriots but stay in position thanks to that tie and the Redskins falling on Monday night. With the weaknesses of the teams behind them in the wake of tough schedule, they can probably get in by going 3-1, even if they lose to the Seahawks on the road in Week 14. What’s left: at SEA, vs. MIA, at DET, vs. CHIWho’s knocking on the door:7. Redskins (6-6)8. Panthers (6-6)9. Eagles (6-6) The Panthers lost a much-needed game against the Buccaneers, their fourth straight defeat to continue their free-fall out of once-strong playoff consideration. The Eagles pulled even with the Redskins a game behind the Cowboys on Monday night. Washington holds the slim conference-record tiebreaker here. The Panthers beat the Eagles but lost to the Redskins.Who’s just about out:10. Buccaneers (5-7)11. Packers (4-7-1)12. Falcons (4-8)13. Lions (4-8)14. Giants (4-8)15. Cardinals (3-9)16. 49ers (2-10)The Buccaneers and Cardinals scored big upset wins in Week 13 over the Panthers and Packers, respectively, to play spoilers. The Giants topped that by toppling the Bears in overtime.last_img read more