NFL Playoff Picture Week 13: 49ers Tighten NFC Title Race, AFC Remains Hotly-Contested

Plenty remains up for grabs heading into Sunday's Week 13 games. Let's take a look at where everything stands in the NFL playoff picture.

Plenty remains up for grabs in the NFL playoff picture heading into Sunday’s Week 13 games. The AFC remains uber-competitive among the top four and below, while the NFC’s top three could tighten up as well, depending on how the day’s games play out.

Below is the current NFL playoff picture following Week 13.

AFC Playoff Picture

  1. Miami Dolphins (9-3)
  2. Baltimore Ravens (9-3)
  3. Kansas City Chiefs (8-4)
  4. Jacksonville Jaguars (8-4)
  5. Kansas City Chiefs (8-4)
  6. Pittsburgh Steelers (7-5)
  7. Cleveland Browns (7-5)
  8. Indianapolis Colts (7-5)

In the hunt: Houston Texans (7-5), Denver Broncos (6-6), Buffalo Bills (6-6), Cincinnati Bengals (6-6), Los Angeles Chargers (5-7), Las Vegas Raiders (5-7), New York Jets (4-8), Tennessee Titans (4-8), New England Patriots (2-10)

The Ravens took a half-game lead atop the AFC into Sunday’s games, but their bye provided an opportunity for the Chiefs, Jaguars, and Dolphins to force a four-way tie at the top this week.

Miami did its part in that regard as it rolled to a 45-15 win over the Commanders, which vaulted it into first place above Baltimore due to holding a better winning percentage in AFC games.

The Texans pulled out a narrow 22-17 win over the Broncos as they intercepted a Russell Wilson pass attempt in the end zone late in the fourth quarter. The win temporarily moved them up to the AFC’s final Wild Card spot before the Colts rallied to take a 31-28 overtime win over the Titans and maintain the spot they held entering the day behind a game-winning touchdown pass from Gardner Minshew to Michael Pittman.

Pittsburgh’s surprising loss to the Cardinals dropped them down one spot in the AFC standings and could make life tougher in its pursuit of a playoff berth. The Steelers moved back up a spot in the playoff race despite the defeat, though, after the Browns also lost to the Rams and fell one spot.

The Chiefs fell to the Packers, meaning they dropped all the way to the fourth seed in the AFC at 8-4. They are still handily winning their division, but they are now looking up at the Jaguars, Ravens, and Dolphins ahead of them.

With Pittsburgh’s loss, the Patriots survived official elimination from the postseason race for at least another week despite losing to the Chargers.

On Monday Night Football, the Jaguars lost to the Bengals which ruined their chances at the top spot in the AFC. Unfortunately, Trevor Lawrence was also injured during the game. They now sit in the fourth spot. Don’t look now, but the Bengals are now 6-6 after an impressive Jake Browning showing.

NFC Playoff Picture

  1. Philadelphia Eagles (10-2)
  2. San Francisco 49ers (9-3)
  3. Detroit Lions (9-3)
  4. Atlanta Falcons (6-6)
  5. Dallas Cowboys (9-3)
  6. Minnesota Vikings (6-6)
  7. Green Bay Packers (6-6)

In the hunt: Seattle Seahawks (6-6), Green Bay Packers (5-6), Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5-7), New Orleans Saints (5-7), New York Giants (4-8), Chicago Bears (4-8), Washington Commanders (4-9), Arizona Cardinals (3-10)

Eliminated: Carolina Panthers (1-11)

The Eagles entered Sunday with a solid two-game lead in the NFC, but saw that edge narrow to just a single game after the 49ers took a dominant 42-19 win over them on Sunday.

It could prove to be a crucial head-to-head victory as a potential tiebreaker between the two teams if they end up tied for the NFC lead at the end of the regular season. Philadelphia had a chance to pull three games clear of San Francisco with just five games to play if it had won. Instead, the race for the conference’s top playoff seed just got much more interesting.

Dallas, meanwhile, extended its lead for the NFC’s top Wild Card spot and remained in both the division and conference title hunts with their narrow Thursday Night Football win over the Seahawks earlier in the week.

The Lions further solidified themselves among the NFC’s top three with their narrow 33-28 win over the Saints, which saw their playoff hopes narrow after the loss. Detroit still sits third in the conference, though, due to having a worse win percentage in conference games than San Francisco.

With the Packers beating the Cheifs, they have now put themselves at 6-6, right on the bubble to make the playoffs. They can also compete with the Lions for the division, but that one seems pretty unlikely at this point.

MORE: Green Bay Packers Playoff Scenarios and Chances

The Falcons also took a one-game lead atop the NFC West after eking out a 13-8 win over the Jets while also getting help from Detroit’s win over New Orleans. Atlanta already has one head-to-head win over the Saints and could earn a second in Week 18 for a potentially crucial head-to-head tiebreaker.

The Seahawks fell out of a current playoff spot after the Rams’ surprising win over the Browns instead vaulted them into currently sitting seventh in the NFC by virtue of a head-to-head tiebreaker over Seattle.

After suffering a 21-18 loss to the Buccaneers, the Panthers became the first NFL team to be officially eliminated from the playoff race at 1-11.

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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