NFL Rankings: AFC and NFC Playoff photo updated after week 12 of the 2021 season
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 week 12 playoff picture looks like.
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 playoff photo
Who would be in it?
1. Baltimore Ravens (8-3), first place, AFC North. The Ravens made sure to stay ahead of the Patriots in the race for the No. 1 seed and the Bengals for the division lead by beating the Browns at home on Sunday night. Balitmore still has a tough list to make, but finds ways to win even when he’s not at his best on either side of the ball. The Ravens still have four division games to play and two formidable NFC enemies pending. Remaining time: at PIT, at CLE, vs GB, at CIN, vs. LAR, vs. PIT
2. New England Patriots (8-4), first place, AFC East. The Patriots tied the Week 12 Bills’ result to return to the top of the division by half a game. They are behind the Ravens with a lower winning percentage after playing more than two games. Their victory over the Titans also gave them the tiebreaker for the No.2. Remaining time: against BUF, BYE, at IND, against BUF, against JAX, at MIA
3. Tennessee Titans (8-4), first place, AFC South. The Titans slipped from No.1 with their loss to the Patriots, losing a full game behind the Ravens and staying just a half game ahead of the Chiefs, whom they beat earlier in the season, with the Bills. The Titans still don’t have to worry about the Remaining time: BYE, against JAX, at PIT, against SF, against MIA, at HOU
4. Kansas City Chiefs (7-4), first place, AFC West. The Chiefs stayed here after beating the Cowboys because they lost to the Titans and Ravens and the Patriots also have the top conference record. A win was huge to stay ahead of the Chargers. The Chiefs get a well-deserved goodbye in Week 12. Remaining time: vs. Den, vs. LV, at LAC, vs. PIT, at CIN, at DEN
5. Cincinnati Bengals (7-4), second place, AFC North. The Bengals returned to the wilds and divisional playoffs with key back-to-back wins over the Raiders and Steelers after the bye. They beat the Ravens on the road earlier and can finish in first place if the Ravens lose to the Browns. They hold the tiebreaker for that spot on the Bills with a better conference record. Nothing easy remains on the slate, however. Remaining time: against LAC, against SF, at DEN, against BAL, against KC, at CLE
6. Buffalo Bills (7-4), second place, AFC Est. The Bills fell here after their victory over the Saints because the Patriots responded by taking care of the Titans. They’ll get their shot to catch and pass the Patriots next Monday night. Other than twice New England, Buffalo has a big challenge against Tampa Bay. Remaining time: against NE, against TB, against CAR, against NE, against ATL, NYJ.
7. Los Angeles Chargers (6-5), second place, AFC West. The Chargers lost badly to the Broncos on the road to grab a big opportunity to keep up the pace with the victory for the Bengals, Raiders and Bills. They get a one-on-one with the Bengals with a chance to progress in Week 13. Remaining time: at CIN, against NYG, against KC, at HOU, against DEN, at LV
Who can go there?
8. Denver Broncos (6-5)
9. Las Vegas Adventurers (6-5)
10. Indianapol Colts (6-6)
11. Cleveland Browns (6-6)
12. Pittsburgh Steelers (5-5-1)
The Raiders won to help themselves in Week 12, while the Steelers and Colts lost to fall behind. The Browns wasted a big opportunity against the Ravnes on Sunday night, while the Broncos took advantage of theirs against the Chargers.
Who is about to go out?
13. Miami Dolphins (5-7)
14. New York Jets (3-8)
15. Houston Texans (2-9)
16. Jacksonville Jaguars (2-9)
The Dolphins have won four 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 (9-2), first place, NFC West. The Cardinals did their best to score an impressive road victory in Seattle once again without Kyler Murray and DeAndre Hopkins. They’ve already returned here after the Packers lost to the Vikings in Week 11. The Cardinals are getting a pass in Week 12. Remaining time: at CHI, 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 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. and I hope the Cardinals get upset with the bears in week 13. Remaining time: BYE, against CHI, at BAL, against CLE, against MIN, at DET
3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (8-3), first place, NFC South. The Buccaneers took advantage of Week 12’s win over the Colts to move closer to the seed. They jumped on the lost Cowboys again and are behind the Packers for No. 2 with a lesser conference record. Tampa Bay badly needed the second straight win after losing two straight games around a pass with Tom Brady having rare interception issues. Remaining time: at ATL, against BUF, against NO, at CAR, at NYJ, against CAR
4. Dallas Cowboys (7-4), first place, NFC Est. The Cowboys failed to stay ahead of the Packers by losing hard to the Chiefs in Week 12. They fell to No.4 after the Buccaneers won, who beat them in Week 1. The Cowboys no. Don’t have to worry about falling into the wilds, as the division is a foregone conclusion with everyone in the East still under .500. The loss to the Raiders in the opening of Week 12 kept them here. Remaining time: to NO, to WAS, to NYG, vs. WAS, vs. ARI, at PHI
5. Los Angeles Rams (7-4), second place, NFC West. The Rams lost their third straight game and they had a disappointing result with over Matthew Stafford struggling after a pass at Green Bay. They now have two full games behind the Cardinals and only one game ahead of the 49ers, who Remaining time: against JAX, at ARI, against SEA, at MIN, at BAL, against SF
6.San Francisco 49ers (6-5), third place, NFC West. The 49ers beat the Vikings for their third straight victory and four in the last five games, going from a slow start to a strong playoff position for Kyle Shanahan despite playing in a tough division. They jumped on the Vikings and put more pressure on the Rams for the best wild card in the West. They get another break with the Seahawks in last place before a key inter-conference game against the Bengals. Remaining time: at SEA, at CIN, against ATL, at TEN, against HOU, at LAR
7. Minnesota Vikings (5-6), second place, NFC North. The Vikings fell to the 49ers and only lost one spot because despite having the same record as the winning Falcons and losing Saints, they have a superior conference record against both teams. They will try to use their free Lions bingo space in week 13. Remaining time: in DET, vs. PIT, at CHI, vs. LAR, in the UK, vs. CHI
Who can go there?
8. Altanta Falcons (5-6)
9. Saints of New Orleans (5-6)
10. Philadelphia Eagles (5-7)
11. Carolina Panthers (5-7)
12. Washington Football Team (4-6)
13. New York Giants (4-7)
14. Chicago Bear (4-7)
15. Seattle Seahawks (3-7)
The Falcons beat the Jaguars to skip the Saints, whom they beat earlier on the road. The Eagles lost to the Giants, giving them the same record as the loss to the Panthers. The Giants’ victory saw them blast off the Bears, who beat the Lions on Thanksgiving. Washington has the opportunity to get close to a wild card and sink Seattle on Monday night.
Who is about to go out?
16. Detroit Lions (0-10-1)
The Lions started losing frustratingly again in Week 11 after securing a post-farewell tie in Week 10. This only increased with their last close teenage loss to the Lions. Bears at home on Thanksgiving.