NFL standings: Updated AFC, NFC playoff picture for Week 13 of 2021 season



The 2021 NFL season is into double-digit weeks and closer to the end of its new 17-game schedule. It’s time again to check in on the updated standings and what the playoff picture is looking like for Week 13.

The league kept its expanded playoff field, with 14 of its 32 teams (43.8 percent) set to qualify for the latest postseason. That includes 7 each from the AFC and NFC, with only the No. 1 seeds getting byes on top of home-field advantage.

Who would be in, who’s still in contention, and who should be thinking about next season? Here’s a comprehensive look:

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NFL standings for Week 13

(Getty Images)

AFC playoff picture

Who would be in?

1. Baltimore Ravens (8-3), first place, AFC North. The Ravens made sure to stay ahead of the Patriots in the race for the No. 1 seed and the Bengals for the division lead by beating the Browns at home on Sunday night. Baltimore still has a tough slate ahead but is finding ways to win even when not at its best on either side of the ball. The Ravens still have four division games left and two daunting NFC foes awaiting. Remaining schedule: at PIT, at CLE, vs. GB, at CIN, vs. LAR, vs. PIT

2. New England Patriots (8-4), first place, AFC East. The Patriots matched the Bills’ result of Week 12 to jump back on top in the division by a half-game. They are behind the Ravens with a lesser winning percentage having played more two games. Their win over the Titans gave them the tiebreaker for No, 2, too. Remaining schedule: vs. BUF, BYE, at IND, vs. BUF, vs. JAX, at MIA

3. Tennessee Titans (8-4), first place, AFC South. The Titans slipped from No. 1 with their loss to the Patriots, falling a full game behind the Ravens and and staying only a half-game ahead of the Chiefs, whom they beat earlier in the season, along with the Bills. The Titans still don’t need to worry about the Remaining schedule: BYE, vs. JAX, at PIT, vs. SF, vs. MIA, at HOU

4. Kansas City Chiefs (7-4), first place, AFC West. The Chiefs stayed here after beating the Cowboys because they lost to both the Titans and Ravens and the Patriots have the superior conference record, too. A win was huge to keep staying ahead of the Chargers. The Chiefs get a much-needed bye in Week 12. Remaining schedule: vs.DEN, vs. LV, at LAC, vs. PIT, at CIN, at DEN

5. Buffalo Bills (7-4), second place, AFC East. The Bills dropped down to a wild card after their win over the Saints because the Patriots responded by taking care of the Titans. They will get their shot to catch and pass the Patriots on Monday night. Other than New England twice, Buffalo has a big challenge left against Tampa Bay. Remaining schedule: vs. NE, at TB, vs. CAR, at NE, vs. ATL, NYJ.

6. Los Angeles Chargers (7-5), second place, AFC West. The Chargers jumped up a spot by taking care of the Bengals, the team ahead of them, on the road in Cincinnati. They look like stronger wild-card contenders with Justin Herbert and Brandon Staley with some key AFC wins. They also put more division pressure on the Chiefs, whom they beat earlier and play again in two weeks. Remaining schedule: vs. NYG, vs. KC, at HOU, vs. DEN, at LV

7. Cincinnati Bengals (7-5), second place, AFC North. The Bengals cooled off after their big post-bye wins over the Raiders and Steelers as they got sloppy with Joe Burow, Jox Mixon and the offense making too many mistakes against a hungry Chargers defense. There’s nothing easy left to try to secure a wild card, but the Broncos game in Week 15 can help them a ton. Remaining schedule: vs. SF, at DEN, vs. BAL, vs. KC, at CLE

Who can get there?

8. Denver Broncos (6-5)
9. Las Vegas Raiders (6-5)
10. Indianapolis Colts (7-6)
11. Cleveland Browns (6-6)
12. Pittsburgh Steelers (5-5-1)

The Broncos and Raiders will need to keep up with the winning Chargers and Colts in Week 13. The Browns have a much-needed bye to reset for a final-stretch surge toward the playoffs, while the Steelers have their hands full against the Ravens at home.

Who’s set to be out?

13. Miami Dolphins (6-7)
14. New York Jets (3-9)
15. Jacksonville Jaguars (2-9)
16. Houston Texans (2-10)

The Dolphins extended their winning streak to five consecutive games after a 1-7 start in a climb toward respectability, but it’s too little, too late for a playoff push. The Jets separated themselves from the bottom two with a win over the Texans and they still also play the Jaguars.

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NFC playoff picture

Who would be in?

1. Arizona Cardinals (10-2), first place, NFC West. The Cardinals smashed the Bears coming out of the bye with Kyler Murray leading the offense to familiar big things running and passing. Their defense also threw down again with the pass rush and takeaways to keep Chicago down. The Cardinals are set to have a two-game lead going into a key rematch with the Rams at home. Remaining schedule: vs. LAR, at DET, vs. IND, at DAL, vs. SEA

2. Green Bay Packers (9-3), first place, NFC North. The Packers took care of business against the Rams in Week 12 to move within a half-game of the idle Cardinals, whom they beat, for the top seed. In the process, they also helped the Cardinals grow a bigger lead in their division. Now they can rest up during the Week 13 bye knowing the Cardinals’ lead over them is still only one game. They stayed ahead of the winning Buccaneers because of a superior record in NFC play, Remaining schedule: vs. CHI, at BAL, vs. CLE, vs. MIN, at DET

3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (9-3), first place, NFC South. The Buccaneers pulled even with the Packers and also stayed within a game of the Cardinals after having little trouble taking care of the Falcons on the road. Tom Brady is getting locked and loaded at the right time before the playoffs again. Remaining schedule: vs. BUF, vs. NO, at CAR, at NYJ, vs. CAR

4. Dallas Cowboys (8-4), first place, NFC East. The Cowboys will stay here a game behind the Buccaneers, to whom they lost in Week 1 after they beat the Saints to open up Week 13 on Thursday night. They stll have work to do to win the division with red-hot Washington and rebounding Philadelphia lurking behind the team. Remaining schedule: at WAS, at NYG, vs. WAS, vs. ARI, at PHI

5. Los Angeles Rams (7-4), second place, NFC West. The Rams went into Week 13 on a three-game losing streak and had disappointing recent results with more of struggling Matthew Stafford. They will stay two full gamess behind the Cardinals with a win over the Jaguars at home before getting a another shot at the Cardinals, to whom they lost at home. The Rams also fell to the team right behind them in the division, the 49ers. Remaining schedule: at ARI, vs. SEA, at MIN, at BAL, vs SF

6. San Francisco 49ers (6-5), third place, NFC West. The 49ers beat the Vikings for their third consecutive victory in Week 12 and four in the past five games, surging from a slow start into solid playoff position for Kyle Shanahan despite playing in a tough division. They jumped the Vikings and put more pressure on the Rams for the top wild card from the West. They get another break with the reeling last place Seahawks before a key interconference road game against the Bengals. Remaining schedule: at CIN, vs. ATL, at TEN, vs. HOU,  at LAR

7. Philadelphia Eagles (6-7), second place, NFC East. The Eagles have a slightly better winning percentage than division rival Washington, after beating the Jets in the early window of Week 13. They will either stay here in the final NFC wild-card spot or slide down one spot behind Washington, the next opponent in Week 15 after a late Week 14 bye  Remaining schedule: BYE, vs. WSH, vs. NYG, at WSH, vs. DAL

Who can get there?

8. Washington Football Team (5-6)
9. New Orleans Saints (5-7)
10. Minnesota Vikings (5-7)
11. Carolina Panthers (5-7)
12. Atlanta Falcons (5-7)
13. New York Giants (4-8)
14. Chicago Bears (4-8)
15. Seattle Seahawks (3-8)

Washington can take advantage of the Saints, Vikings and Falcons losing with a win over the Radiers. The Football Team also beat the Panthers, who are on a bye. New Orleans, Minnesota, Carolina and Atlanta alll have taken their turns in playoff position but Washington looks like the most reliable for a return, especially if it wins in Las Vegas.

Who’s set to be out?

16. Detroit Lions (1-10-1)

The Lions got their first win in dramatic fashion after being close against the Steelers, Browns and Bears. They played major spooiler to the Vikings and can do that to a few more teams.


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