Which NFL Teams Are Eliminated From the Playoffs in 2023? Colts, Falcons First Week 18 Casualties

The NFL regular season is near the end and the playoff picture is taking shape. Where do things stand, and who could soon be eliminated?

The NFL regular season is nearing its conclusion, and clear tiers are forming between the contenders and bottom-feeder teams that will soon be eliminated from the playoff race. Here’s where things stand thus far and which teams are closest to being officially out of postseason contention.

Update: This story was updated Sunday, Jan. 7 with the latest information.

NFL Teams Eliminated From Playoffs

Carolina Panthers

Record when eliminated: 1-11

The Panthers have boasted the league’s worst record for much of the season after opening with six straight losses before their first win. They took five more defeats in a row following Week 12’s 21-18 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Carolina has officially clinched the worst record in the NFL after its Week 17 loss and was the first team to be officially eliminated from the NFL after falling to the Buccaneers.

The franchise’s prospects for the near future do not look great, either, as they dealt their 2024 first-round pick to the Chicago Bears when they traded up to select QB Bryce Young with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft. It’s been a rough rookie campaign for Young — one that has not exactly instilled much faith that he is Carolina’s long-term solution at quarterback.

Time will tell on that front, but it’s clear that significant change is needed this season and going forward for the Panthers to work their way out of the NFL’s cellar.

New England Patriots

Record when eliminated: 3-10

The Patriots are not typically a part of such a list this time of year, but they suffered playoff elimination in Week 14 amid a rough run that saw them lose eight of their last 10 games.

New England did what it could to survive by taking a surprising 21-18 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers on Thursday Night Football, but they did not have complete control of its fate. The Cincinnati Bengals’ 34-14 win over the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday officially knocked the Patriots out of playoff contention.

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That result eliminated New England with four weeks left in the season — their earliest elimination since 2000. It’s a new reality for the franchise under HC Bill Belichick, who has guided it to historic successes. Struggles have mounted recently, however, as the Patriots will now miss the playoffs in back-to-back seasons for the first time under Belichick.

It all fell apart for New England down the stretch, as they lost four straight games by six or fewer points, including three in a row while allowing 10 or fewer points, before that win. Even with the upset of the Denver Broncos, the Pats are still out of the race at 4-11.

New York Jets

Record when eliminated: 5-9

The Jets were officially eliminated from playoff contention in Week 15, putting an end to their ambitions of making the most out of a season that got out to a tough start.

New York has now lost six of its seven games after falling 30-0 to the Miami Dolphins on Sunday — a defeat that ultimately did in the Jets’ playoff hopes, alongside other results.

Not much has gone right for New York this season, starting from its first series of the year when star free agent acquisition QB Aaron Rodgers was sidelined with a torn Achilles tendon. The Jets have since turned to Zach Wilson and other options at quarterback, but no one has quite been able to get the offense rolling at a high enough level to reach the playoffs.

Instead, New York will have to look forward to next year and aim to make improvements while getting Rodgers back in the mix.

Tennessee Titans

Record when eliminated: 5-9

The Titans also saw their playoff hopes come to an end in Week 15, as they took a tough overtime loss to the Houston Texans on Sunday.

Tennessee has experienced plenty of ups and downs on the year behind inconsistent play at quarterback. QB Ryan Tannehill struggled between injuries and poor play, while rookie QB Will Levis has seen plenty of ups and downs of his own after taking over.

The Titans lost five of their seven games leading up to their elimination, including each of their last two defeats coming in overtime to the Indianapolis Colts and Texans — a pair of divisional rivals. Those two defeats, combined with other results not going Tennessee’s way, ultimately will leave them on the outside looking in at this year’s postseason.

The Titans will have to aim for better in 2024 after a disappointing season.

Arizona Cardinals

Record when eliminated: 3-11

Arizona was officially eliminated from the playoffs after their blowout loss to the San Francisco 49ers in Week 15.

The Cardinals had been trending in that direction for a while after opening the season with a 1-8 record, but a couple of recent wins helped keep them afloat for a bit longer.

Ultimately, losing three of their last four games proved too much to overcome and officially put an end to any fleeting hopes they had of making the postseason.

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Not having star QB Kyler Murray for much of the season certainly contributed to Arizona’s issues, but they ultimately succumbed to bigger issues across the board that will need to be addressed this offseason.

The good news for the Cardinals is they are currently in line to earn a top-three selection in the upcoming NFL Draft — a valuable asset to help continue reshaping the team.

Washington Commanders

Record when eliminated: 4-10

The Commanders saw their playoff hopes finally meet an official end in Week 15 after suffering a tough 28-20 loss to the Los Angeles Rams.

The loss continued a brutal trend for Washington, which has now lost five games in a row and 10 of its last 12 games overall after getting out to a promising 2-0 start, albeit with those wins coming over the Arizona Cardinals and Denver Broncos. Washington has been competitive in some key games but overwhelmed in others on its way to a tough year.

QB Sam Howell has put up a productive campaign, aside from high turnover numbers, and looks to at least be a serviceable option for the position. His cheap contract moving forward could make keeping him around all the more palatable, too.

Washington has plenty of issues to address across the board, though, and will hope to do so with a potential top-four pick in the upcoming draft.

New York Giants

Record when eliminated: 5-10

It’s been a tough 2023 season for the Giants, as well. They had won three straight games before last week’s 24-6 loss to the New Orleans Saints. New York fell to 5-10 after failing in its comeback attempt to the Philadelphia Eagles, officially eliminating them from the playoff hunt.

Los Angeles Chargers

Record when eliminated: 5-10

The Los Angeles Chargers’ loss to the Buffalo Bills in Week 16 saw them eliminated officially from the playoffs. After their loss to the Las Vegas Raiders in Week 15, the Chargers’ hopes hung by a thread, and the bare minimum they needed to achieve was a win against the Bills. They were unable to do so and will instead turn their focus to 2024.

An aging core could make things tough for the next head coach and general manager to right the ship next season, despite the talent the Chargers boast all over the field. All of that puts the franchise in a tough spot moving forward.

Las Vegas Raiders

Record when eliminated: 7-9

The Raiders have gone through plenty of ups and downs in the 2023 season, but improbably hung around in the playoff race into Week 17 thanks to wins over the Los Angeles Chargers and Kansas City Chiefs. Las Vegas was finally eliminated in Week 17 after taking a 23-20 loss to the Indianapolis Colts.

The Raiders seemed to find a new energy under interim head coach Antonio Pierce, however, and could look to build on that heading into 2024.

Denver Broncos

Record when eliminated: 8-8

The Broncos have done well to hang around this long amid a rough 2023 season, but were knocked out of playoff contention in Week 17 despite their win over the Chargers as the Kansas City Chiefs and Pittsburgh Steelers won their matchups.

Despite a very poor start to the season, the midseason win streak nearly gave Denver a 50% chance to make the playoffs just a few weeks back. The offseason holds a lot of questions as Russell Wilson’s benching has hinted that the Broncos will move on from the veteran star quarterback.

Cincinnati Bengals

Record when eliminated: 8-8

The 8-8 Cincinnati Bengals were eliminated from playoff contention with Sunday’s Week 17 loss to the AFC rival Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium.

The season was all but over when quarterback Joe Burrow suffered a season-ending wrist injury in Week 11. The Bengals had made the postseason the past two years. Now, all that is left is looking forward to 2024 and the return of Burrow.

Chicago Bears

Record when eliminated: 7-9

The Bears have gone through plenty of struggles throughout the 2023 campaign, but they were solid of late with wins in five of their last seven games to briefly stay alive in the playoff picture.

Chicago defeated the Atlanta Falcons on New Year’s Eve to stay in the playoff hunt, but they were ultimately eliminated as the Green Bay Packers defeated the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday night.

Indianapolis Colts

Record when eliminated: 9-8

The Colts saw their playoff hopes officially come to a close on the second-to-last day of the regular season as they lost a win-and-in game to the Houston Texans.

Indianapolis found ways to succeed on the year despite losing quarterback Anthony Richardson to a season-ending injury early in the year along with seeing running back Jonathan Taylor sidelined for the early part of the season. A turbulent end to the season left the Colts one game short of their first playoff berth since 2020.

Atlanta Falcons

Record when eliminated: 7-10

The Falcons saw their playoff hopes officially come to a close in Week 18 as they fell to the New Orleans Saints in a lopsided affair. Atlanta looked well-positioned to make the postseason after getting out to a 6-6 start, but four losses in their last five games were ultimately too much to overcome despite the NFC South’s collective woes.

Jacksonville Jaguars

Record when eliminated: 9-8

The Jaguars went from a chance at winning the AFC South and taking the conference’s No. 4 seed to out of the playoffs entirely following their surprising Week 18 loss to the Tennessee Titans, which had nothing left to play for other than pride. Jacksonville thus missed out on making consecutive trips to the postseason for just the second time in franchise history and will look to rebound in 2024.

Minnesota Vikings

Record when eliminated: 7-10

The Vikings’ playoff odds were always long coming into Week 18’s contests, but they officially came to an end after a tough 30-20 loss to the Detroit Lions. Minnesota has some big decisions to make in the offseason, namely at quarterback with Kirk Cousins slated for free agency coming off a season-ending injury this year.

Seattle Seahawks

Record when eliminated: 9-8

Along with a Packers loss, Seattle needed to beat the Arizona Cardinals to keep its playoff hopes alive. With the Packers’ win, the Seattle Seahawks were officially eliminated from the playoffs in Week 18. The Seahawks will look back at some close losses this season that ultimately made the difference in them missing out on the playoffs. Seattle came up just short in losses to the Dallas Cowboys, Cincinnati Bengals and Rams.

New Orleans Saints

Record when eliminated: 9-8

Although they won their Week 18 matchup against the Falcons 48-17, the Saints didn’t get the help they needed from the Chicago Bears, who lost to the Green Bay Packers, securing the seventh and final NFC playoff seed for Green Bay. Additionally, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers beat the Carolina Panthers to win the division for the third year in a row.

Updated Week 18 NFL Standings

AFC

  1. Baltimore Ravens (13-4)
  2. Miami Dolphins (11-5)
  3. Kansas City Chiefs (11-6)
  4. Houston Texans (10-7)
  5. Cleveland Browns (11-6)
  6. Buffalo Bills (10-6)
  7. Pittsburgh Steelers (10-7)
  8. Cincinnati Bengals (9-8)
  9. Jacksonville Jaguars (9-8)
  10. Indianapolis Colts (9-8)
  11. Denver Broncos (8-9)
  12. Las Vegas Raiders (8-9)
  13. New York Jets (7-10)
  14. Tennessee Titans (6-11)
  15. Los Angeles Chargers (5-12)
  16. New England Patriots (4-13)

NFC

  1. San Francisco 49ers (12-5)
  2. Dallas Cowboys (12-5)
  3. Detroit Lions (12-5)
  4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (9-8)
  5. Philadelphia Eagles (11-6)
  6. Los Angeles Rams (10-7)
  7. Green Bay Packers (9-8)
  8. Seattle Seahawks (9-8)
  9. New Orleans Saints (9-8)
  10. Minnesota Vikings (7-10)
  11. Chicago Bears (7-10)
  12. Atlanta Falcons (7-10)
  13. New York Giants (6-11)
  14. Washington Commanders (4-13)
  15. Arizona Cardinals (4-13)
  16. Carolina Panthers (2-15)

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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