NFL Playoff Picture Week 10: San Francisco 49ers Bounce Back and Joshua Dobbs Keeps Minnesota Vikings Ticking

What is the shape of the NFL playoff picture after Week 10 with huge wins for the 49ers, Vikings, and Texans?

We have now passed the halfway point of the 2023 NFL season, and the AFC and NFC playoff pictures are starting to take shape. We are at least a couple of weeks away from any clinching or elimination scenarios, but they will be here before we know it.

Let’s take a look at the latest NFL playoff picture across the AFC and NFC, including huge wins for the Houston Texans, Cleveland Browns, San Francisco 49ers, and Minnesota Vikings.

AFC Playoff Picture

1) Kansas City Chiefs (7-2)
2) Baltimore Ravens (7-3)
3) Jacksonville Jaguars (6-3)
4) Miami Dolphins (6-3)
5) Pittsburgh Steelers (6-3)
6) Cleveland Browns (6-3)
7) Houston Texans (5-4)

In the hunt: Cincinnati Bengals (5-4), Indianapolis Colts (5-5), Buffalo Bills (5-5), Las Vegas Raiders (5-5), Los Angeles Chargers (4-5), New York Jets (4-5), Denver Broncos (4-5), Tennessee Titans (3-6), New England Patriots (2-8)

The AFC playoff picture got almost as major of a shakeup as you could have expected in Week 10, even with two of the top teams on a bye week. The Browns came back to stun the Ravens and prevent them from taking the spot atop the AFC temporarily. That victory leaves the Browns and Steelers just half a game behind the Ravens for the AFC North.

Had the Bengals not lost to the Texans on the final kick of the game, the entire division would be within half a game, but now the Bengals are once again a game adrift from the rest of the division and fighting for air as we hit the second half of the season. Meanwhile, the Texans jumped into the seventh seed and have become a major AFC playoff threat.

MORE: NFL Bye Weeks Schedule 2023

Helping the Texans was the Jaguars’ loss to the 49ers. Jacksonville had opened some daylight atop the AFC South with five straight wins, but coming off their bye, they could not extend that streak. Now, just one game separates the Texans and Jaguars, with Houston having won the first game between the two earlier this season.

Sunday Night Football and Monday Night Football saw the AFC side of the NFL playoff picture further shaken up when the Raiders and Broncos prevailed over the Jets and Bills, respectively. That means we now have 14 teams who are very much in contention for the playoffs, with all of them within one game of the seventh seed. The AFC is set up to be incredibly exciting in the coming weeks.

NFC Playoff Picture

1) Philadelphia Eagles (8-1)
2) Detroit Lions (7-2)
3) San Francisco 49ers (6-3)
4) New Orleans Saints (5-5)
5) Seattle Seahawks (6-3)
6) Dallas Cowboys (6-3)
7) Minnesota Vikings (6-4)

In the hunt: Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-5), Washington Commanders (4-6), Atlanta Falcons (4-6), Green Bay Packers (3-6), Los Angeles Rams (3-6), Chicago Bears (3-7), New York Giants (2-7), Arizona Cardinals (2-8), Carolina Panthers (1-8)

In comparison to the wild ride that the AFC has become on a weekly basis, things felt a little calmer on the NFC side of the NFL playoff picture. The Vikings have been the story of the past couple of weeks, with Joshua Dobbs leading them to two victories that have them at 6-4 and in possession of the seventh seed. The Lions’ victory keeps a 1.5-game gap between the two, but Minnesota refuses to go away despite everything.

The 49ers re-established themselves as a force by snapping their three-game losing streak to stay top of the division. However, the Seahawks beat the Commanders to ensure that the 49ers cannot afford a single mistake in the NFC West race. Both teams sit at 6-3 in a division that is a two-horse race in 2023.

The Cowboys made sure to keep some pressure on the Eagles with a routine win over the Giants. Philadelphia’s schedule is about to get tough, and Dallas sits just two games back, hoping to pounce on any mistakes. The two face each other later in the season in what could be a critical game for the division, the No. 1 seed, and a whole lot more.

In the NFC South, things remain tight after the Saints’ loss and the Buccaneers’ victory. Tampa Bay is now just half a game behind the Saints as New Orleans heads to their bye this week. Tampa has the head-to-head from the first meeting, and their second matchup could be a division decider in Week 17.

Meanwhile, the Falcons missed a chance to enter the bye at .500 against the Cardinals. However, with three games to come against the Saints and Buccaneers in the next eight weeks, their chances of winning the division are far from over.

From the current NFL standings to team depth charts to coverage of every game in the 18-week NFL schedule, we have all the news from around the league to keep you up to speed!

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