NFL Playoff Picture Week 12: Packers Enter the Race While 49ers, Cowboys, Dolphins Stand Strong

The NFL playoff picture is in heavy contention, and this week put an exclamation point on that. How does the playoff picture look after Week 12?

The NFL playoff picture is in heavy contention, and Week 12 put an exclamation point on that. In the AFC, the playoff picture is as tight as ever while the NFC leaders are extending their leads.

Below is the entire NFL playoff picture following Week 12’s action.

AFC Playoff Picture:

  1. Baltimore Ravens (8-3)
  2. Kansas City Chiefs (8-3)
  3. Jacksonville Jaguars (8-3)
  4. Miami Dolphins (8-3)
  5. Pittsburgh Steelers (7-4)
  6. Cleveland Browns (7-4)
  7. Indianapolis Colts (6-5)

In the hunt: Houston Texans (6-5), Buffalo Bills (6-6), Denver Broncos (6-5), Las Vegas Raiders (5-7), Cincinnati Bengals (5-6), Los Angeles Chargers (4-7), Tennessee Titans (4-7), New York Jets (4-7), New England Patriots (2-9)

The Jaguars’ victory over the red-hot Texans pushed them into first place in the AFC and cemented a two-game lead inside the AFC South. The game was a battle to the finish, with the 24-21 win coming off of a Matt Ammendola missed 58-yard field goal. The Texans’ loss, however, dropped them out of the playoffs and behind Indianapolis.

Pittsburgh moved into the fifth seed thanks to a divisional victory over the Burrow-less Bengals. The win keeps Pittsburgh’s AFC North hopes alive and keeps them safely in the playoffs for another week.

The Ravens will head into their bye week atop the AFC. They defeated the Los Angeles Chargers thanks to a plethora of turnovers. The loss drops the Chargers all the way down to 13th in the AFC, giving them an unlikely chance to make the playoffs.

The Colts kept their playoff hopes alive in Week 12, defeating the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The win pushed them into the seventh seed and gave them life heading into the final stretch.

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The Dolphins’ victory on Black Friday kept their one-seed aspirations alive. They beat up a struggling Jets team, led by backup Tim Boyle. The Jets’ loss pushed them further down the seeding and made their playoff hopes significantly slimmer.

The Cleveland Browns dropped to the Denver Broncos, dropping back to the sixth seed. In the loss, they got more beat up. Quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson went down with a concussion and superstar defensive end Myles Garrett was seen in a sling post-game. The Broncos, however, continued to stay hot with their fifth win in a row.

The Steelers earned another gritty division win over the Bengals, who are without Joe Burrow for the rest of the season. The win kept them in the AFC North race and kept them in the playoffs for another week. The Bengals’ loss drops them even further back in the standings.

NFC Playoff Picture:

  1. Philadelphia Eagles (10-1)
  2. San Francisco 49ers (8-3)
  3. Detroit Lions (8-3)
  4. Atlanta Falcons (5-6)
  5. Dallas Cowboys (8-3)
  6. Seattle Seahawks (6-5)
  7. Minnesota Vikings (6-6)

In the hunt: Green Bay Packers (5-6), New Orleans Saints (5-6), Los Angeles Rams (5-6), Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-7), New York Giants (4-8), Washington Commanders (4-8), Chicago Bears (4-8), Arizona Cardinals (2-10), Carolina Panthers (1-10)

The 49ers continued their season of dominance when they ran all over the Seahawks on Thanksgiving night. The 18-point win moved them into the NFC’s second seed, thanks to a Lions loss. Additionally, the loss pushed Seattle down to the bottom seed.

The Eagles made it to 10-1 in comeback fashion. After being down 24-14 with 1:40 left in the third, the Eagles rallied back and earned a 37-34 win in overtime over the Bills. The Rams also defeated the Cardinals in dominant fashion, 37-14, to keep their playoff hopes alive, sitting in the nine seed.

The Packers started Thanksgiving with a major victory, defeating the Lions 29-22. The win extended their win streak to three and kept their playoff aspirations alive. They’re the first team out of the playoffs. They’ll face Kansas City next.

The Falcons earned arguably their biggest game of the season in Week 12. They took down the previously division-leading Saints, 24-15. With the win, they moved into first place in the NFC South and sit as the fourth seed. The Buccaneers and Panthers both lost, setting up for a Falcons and Saints race to the finish.

The Cowboys kept their foot on the gas, defeating the Commanders in dominating fashion on Thanksgiving afternoon. The win led to the firing of the Commanders’ defensive coordinator, Jack Del Rio. Additionally, the win kept the Cowboys within range of the Eagles for the NFC East and kept them in the driver’s seat for the fifth seed.

Want to predict the rest of the 2023 season with our FREE NFL Playoff Predictor? Looking for the most up-to-date NFL standings? What about a breakdown of team depth charts or the NFL schedule? Pro Football Network has you covered with that and more!

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