Week 12 is here and with less than six 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.
NFL standings for Week 12
AFC playoff picture
Who would be in?
1. Patriots, first place, AFC East (9-1) — The Patriots hold a slim one-game lead for the top seed because their only loss came to the Ravens. They also need to keep winning to ensure taking another division title, because they’re only up two games and have a tiebreaker on the Bills. Up next: Cowboys
2. Ravens, first place, AFC North (8-2) — The Ravens are playing like the best team in the entire NFL 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: Rams
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 the 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 (7-3) — The Bills have a semi-comfortable 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: Broncos
6. Raiders, second place, AFC West (6-4) — The Raiders benefitted from the Colts/Texans losing to jump up here. They hold the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Colts, but the Texans have the head-to-head tiebreaker over them. If the Raiders win their long road-trip trap game in Week 12, then they would keep this spot going in Week 13. Up next: Jets
Who can get there?
7. Colts (6-5); 8. Steelers (5-5); 9. Titans (5-5); 10. Browns (4-6); 11. Jaguars (4-6); 12. Chargers (4-7)
The Colts fell here after their key division loss in Houston on Thursday night. The Colts also will fall behind the Steelers, should the latter team beat the Bengals. The Steelers hold the conference-record tiebreaker over the Titans, and the Browns have the same advantage on the Jaguars going into Week 12. The Chargers are hanging on by a thread after losing to the Chiefs before their bye.
Who’s likely out?
13. Broncos (3-7); 14. Jets (3-7); 15. Dolphins (2-8)
The Broncos and Dolphins cooled off with losses in Week 11 while the Jets, going through the easiest second-half schedule, have won two straight to save some face with Adam Gase.
16. Bengals (0-10)
The Bengals can’t do better than six wins, which isn’t good enough. They’re bad enough now to go winless and secure the top pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.
NFC playoff picture
Who would be in?
1. 49ers, first place, NFC West (9-1) — The 49ers don’t have any breathing room for the top seed or the division lead. A loss in Week 12 could drop them down to No. 5 should the Seahawks win. A win means they still need to worry about how to also beat the Ravens and Saints in next two games. Up next: Packers
2. Packers, first place, NFC North (8-2) — The Packers would jump up to No. 1 with a win, no matter what the Saints and Seahawks do, because they’ll hold the strength of victory tiebreaker over both teams. If they lose, they can drop to no lower than No. 3, still up a head-to-head tiebreaker on the Vikings for the division lead. Up next: 49ers
3. Saints, first place, NFC South (8-2) — 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 the clinching another division title with a three-game lead going into Week 12. Up next: Panthers
4. Cowboys, first place, NFC East (6-4) — The Cowboys have a one-game lead, plus the head-to-head tiebreaker, over the Eagles going into Week 12, but on top of being two games back of 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: Patriots
5. Seahawks, second place, NFC West (8-2) — The Seahawks are looking at the No. 3 seed should they win and the 49ers lose in Week 12, assuming the Saints win as big favorites. With a loss, they would fall behind the Vikings, who would have the better conference record. Up next: Eagles
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 (6-4); 8. Eagles (5-5); 9. Panthers (5-5); 10. Bears (4-6); 11. Lions (3-6-1)
The Rams need to keep winning in Week 12 after beating the Bears in Week 11, no easy task with the Ravens coming to town on Monday night. The Eagles’ best path to the playoffs remains winning the NFC East over the Cowboys.
Who’s likely out
12. Cardinals (3-7-1), 13. Falcons (3-7), 14. Buccaneers (3-7), 15. Giants (2-8), 16. Redskins (1-9)
The Cardinals, Falcons, Buccaneers and Giants have shown flashes at times, but the wins haven’t added up. The Redskins can’t be ruled out to finish lower than the Bengals.