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NFL playoff picture after Week 14: Eagles clinch first berth, Chargers take over as wild card… for the time being.

With Week 14’s Sunday games completed, here’s how the NFL playoff picture looks:


x – 1. Philadelphia Eagles (12-1), NFC East leaders: The Eagles were the first to punch their playoff ticket for 2022, making it two years in a row under coach Nick Sirianni. Because of Minnesota’s loss, Philadelphia gained breathing room in its bid for a bye and home-field advantage. The remaining schedule includes games against the Bears, the Cowboys, the Saints, and the Giants.

  1. Minnesota Vikings (10-3), leaders of the NFC North: They didn’t win their division on Sunday, but they only need one more win (or a Detroit loss) to do so. However, any hope of stealing the NFC’s top seed is quickly fading. The remaining games are against the Colts, the Giants, the Packers, and the Bears.
  2. San Francisco 49ers (9-4), leaders of the NFC West: They have another victory, but they are hoping that WR Deebo can help them. Despite being carted off the field on Sunday, Samuel’s ankle injury is not serious. However, Seattle, the Niners’ opponent on Thursday, also lost, giving San Francisco a commanding divisional lead. The remaining games are against the Seahawks, the Commanders, the Raiders, and the Cardinals.
  3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-7), leaders of the NFC South: Despite an embarrassing loss to the 49ers on Sunday, they remain atop this dreadful division. But keep an eye out for objects in the rearview mirror: the Atlanta Falcons and Carolina Panthers, both 5-8, are now just a game behind the Bucs for first place. The remaining schedule includes games against the Bengals, the Cardinals, the Panthers, and the Falcons.
  4. Dallas Cowboys (10-3), wild card No. 1: Even if they overlooked Houston, they made it. They can’t do the same thing next weekend in Jacksonville if they want their Week 16 matchup with Philadelphia to be meaningful in terms of NFC East implications. The remaining schedule includes games against the Jaguars, the Eagles, the Titans, and the Commanders.

6. Wild card No. 2: Washington Commanders (7-5-1). Sunday was a rather productive day for a team that didn’t play. During their bye week, the Commanders, who have won six of their last eight games, jumped from eighth to sixth place in the NFC, thanks to losses by the Giants and Seahawks. The remaining schedule includes games against the Giants, the 49ers, the Browns, and the Cowboys.

  1. New York Giants (7-5-1), third wild card: With only one win in their last six games, they’re sinking like a stone. The Commanders’ superior record in NFC East games puts them ahead of the Giants heading into their crucial Week 15 rematch. The remaining games are against the Commanders, the Vikings, the Colts, and the Eagles.
  2. Seattle Seahawks (7-6), out of playoff field: The Seahawks blew their home-field advantage by losing to the Panthers, dropping them out of the projected playoff field. The Seahawks host the 49ers on Thursday in a game that, if San Francisco wins, will effectively eliminate Seattle from NFC West contention. The remaining schedule includes games against the 49ers, the Chiefs, the Jets, and the Rams.
  3. Detroit Lions (6-7), out of playoff contention: Despite Sunday’s victory over the Vikings, there is no room for error for a long-shot run at the NFC North throne. However, the chances of them becoming the first team since 1990 to overcome a 1-6 start and make the playoffs are increasing. The remaining games are against the Jets, the Panthers, the Bears, and the Packers.


  1. Buffalo Bills (10-3), leaders of the AFC East: Sunday’s ugly win over the Jets in bad Western New York weather means this team has the inside track to stay in Orchard Park throughout January. The remaining games on the schedule are against the Dolphins, the Bears, the Bengals, and the Patriots.
  2. Kansas City Chiefs (10-3), leaders of the AFC West: Their Week 6 loss to the Bills means the road to the AFC title now passes through Buffalo. On the plus side, with one more win or loss by the Chargers, whom the Chiefs have already swept, Kansas City will win its seventh consecutive divisional title. And the upcoming schedule suggests that if the Bills falter, the No. 1 seed remains a distinct possibility. The remaining games are against the Texans, the Seahawks, the Broncos, and the Raiders.
  3. Baltimore Ravens (9-4), leaders of the AFC North: Despite having to go with QB3 Anthony Brown in Sunday’s win at Pittsburgh, they remain atop the division thanks to a tiebreaker – Week 5’s victory over Cincinnati, which Baltimore will face again – However, the short-term schedule remains favourable. The remaining schedule includes games against the Browns, Falcons, Steelers, and Bengals.
  4. Tennessee Titans (7-6), leaders of the AFC South: Unusually blown out two weeks in a row – and now losers of three straight – they appear to be a one-and-done postseason squad for the third consecutive year – assuming they even make it that far, with Jacksonville (5-8) steadily closing in on them in the division. The remaining schedule includes games against the Chargers, Texans, Cowboys, and Jaguars.

Wild card: Cincinnati Bengals (9-4). No. 1: The defending AFC champions are keeping pace with the battered Ravens, but they face a much more difficult schedule ahead of a potentially pivotal rematch with Baltimore in Week 18. The remaining games are against the Buccaneers, the Patriots, the Bills, and the Ravens.

  1. Miami Dolphins (8-5), wild card No. 2: Despite a loss to the Bolts on Sunday night, the Fins have locked up this spot. They are now returning to the East Coast in preparation for a high-stakes game against Buffalo on Saturday night. The remaining games are against the Bills, the Packers, the Patriots, and the Jets.
  2. Los Angeles Chargers (7-6), wild card No. 3: Surviving the Dolphins allowed the Bolts to leapfrog the Patriots and Jets into the final wild-card spot (due to their superior record in AFC games), but they may not be able to keep it for long. The remaining games are against the Titans, at the Colts, at the Rams, and at the Broncos.
  3. New York Jets (7-6), out of playoff contention: They couldn’t keep up in Buffalo on Sunday, dropping NYJ to ninth place in the AFC by the end of Monday night. The remaining games are against the Lions, the Jaguars, the Seahawks, and the Dolphins.
  4. New England Patriots (6-6), out of playoff contention: A season sweep of the Jets would be critical if the Patriots are to catch New York. If they win in Arizona on Monday night, they will have a better record in AFC games than the Chargers. The remaining schedule includes games against the Cardinals, Raiders, Bengals, Dolphins, and Bills.

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