In the NFL, week 12 is coming to a close and the NFL’s playoff picture is slowly but surely coming into fruition. In the AFC, the Oakland Raiders and the New England Patriots both secured their ninth wins today to move to 9-2. On the NFC side, the 10-1 Dallas Cowboys furthered their stance as the number one seed with a win against the Washington Redskins on Thursday night (November 24). The Seattle Seahawks, who currently sit as the second best team in the NFC, lost to the red-hot Tampa Bay Buccaneers 14-5 on Sunday, November 27, to drop to 7-3-1. As of now, here are the NFL playoff standings if they ended today.
Patriots (9-2, AFC East)
Raiders (9-2, AFC West)
Ravens (6-5, AFC North)
Texans (6-5, AFC South)
Chiefs (7-3, Wild Card)
Broncos (7-3, Wild Card)
Cowboys (10-1, NFC East)
Seahawks (7-3-1, NFC West)
Lions (7-4, NFC North)
Falcons (7-4, NFC South)
Giants (8-3, Wild Card)
Washington (6-4-1, Wild Card)
Here are the NFL teams who are currently still alive in the playoff picture to become possible wild cards.
The AFC is at the top, while the NFC is at the bottom.
On the AFC side, the Miami Dolphins have been the surprise of the season, winning their sixth straight after starting their NFL season a dismal 1-4. The Pittsburgh Steelers also have a fighting chance, slugging through injuries among key players to still stay alive in the playoff race with a 6-5 record. The Tennessee Titans, led by second-year quarterback Marcus Mariota and veteran running back DeMarco Murray, have also surprised NFL fans and the media alike with their play, too. They currently sit 6-6, just a few spots away from becoming an NFL playoff team.For the NFC, disappointment brews mostly. The Carolina Panthers, Arizona Cardinals, and the Green Bay Packers, whom all three have been NFL playoff mainstays the past few years, are all in the hunt. But, they have each had such disappointing seasons that perhaps their fans would just rather watch the teams not make the playoffs rather than continue to try to make it. The two NFL teams that have the best chance to become an NFL wild card team are the Buccaneers, who are winners of three straight and hold the best record of all the non-playoff teams and the Minnesota Vikings, who are tied with the Bucs at 6-5.SB Nation‘s Adam Stites talks about the Bucs’ win today over perennial NFL power, the Seattle Seahawks.
Buccaneers 14, Seahawks 5
“It’s the biggest win of the year for the Buccaneers and sends the team over.500 for the first time since,and a win would mean the Buccaneers are in both races. The Seahawks are still ahead in the NFC West, due to every other team losing Sunday, but the Cowboys are all that much closer to clinching the top seed in the conference.”
He also spoke on the Dolphins huge win against the San Francisco 49ers, which gives them the edge to become the sixth seed in the AFC-pending whomever loses the Denver-Kansas City game Sunday night (November 27).
Dolphins 31, 49ers 24
“Six in a row for Miami will be enough to bump the Dolphins into one of the wild card spots — they just have to wait a few hours. Thanks to the conference record tiebreaker, the 7-4 Dolphins will slide ahead of the Broncos if they lose on Sunday Night Football, and take over the No. 6 seed. If the Chiefs lose, the Dolphins will still grab the No. 6 seed this week, thanks to their win against the Steelers, a team the Chiefs lost to earlier this season.”
With four more weeks in the NFL season, there is still a lot of football left and plenty of time for scenarios, whether good or bad, to play out to a team’s advantage or disadvantage.