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NFL standings: Updated AFC, NFC playoff picture for Week 12 of 2022 season

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The 2022 NFL season is down to the final six weeks Although the playoff picture for the AFC and NFC won’t be finalized until Week 18, it’s time to keep looking at the updated standings and what teams would be in the playoffs if the season ended in Week 12.

Here’s a breakdown of the NFL’s latest playoff field and seedings, also looking at the contenders on the brink of joining the potential postseason party:

NFL POWER RANKINGS: Cowboys, Bengals, Patriots climb; Vikings, Giants stumble for Week 12

NFL standings for Week 12

AFC playoff picture

1. Kansas City Chiefs (8-2), first place, AFC West. The Chiefs are in cruise control in the division again, up three games and the head-to-head tiebreaker on the Chargers. They are just focused on staying ahead of a crowded field for home-field advantage and the lone bye in the playoffs. No one would be shocked if they ran the table to lock up No. 1, starting with the weakened Rams.

2. Buffalo Bills (8-3), first place, AFC East. The Bills lead the division by a half-game over the Dolphins because of their win over the Lions to open Week 12. The Dolphins, who beat them at home earlier, are likely to take back first place with a win over the Texans. The Bills need to worry about the East first before thinking about home field vs. the Chiefs and Titans, two teams they beat.

3. Tennessee Titans (7-3), first place, AFC South. The Titans will be winning their third consecutive division title under Mike Vrabel as the only above-.500 team again in the South. They will try to chase the top seed, too, but that’s unlikely given they lost to the Chiefs and Bills. They are likely stuck here or No. 4.

4. Baltimore Ravens (7-3), first place, AFC North. The Ravens lead the Bengals by only one game and a head-to-head tiebreaker. If they can maintain that advantage, the Ravens can’t be ruled out for making a run for No. 1. They did lose to the Bills, but they don’t play either the Chiefs or the Titans. They need to build well on a 4-2 conference record.

5. Miami Dolphins (7-3), second place, AFC East. The Dolphins, barring a major upset at home, should beat the Texans to regain first place while the Bills fall down to this top wild-card spot. Either way, it’s looking great for Miami to make the playoffs in the first season under Mike McDaniel.

6. Cincinnati Bengals (6-4), second place, AFC North. The Bengals are working to get hot at the right time to make a 2021-like run into Super Bowl contention. They are hoping to catch the Ravens at some point in the second half but they can’t look ahead with the Titans and Chiefs in back-to-back games.

7. New York Jets (6-4), third place, AFC East. The Jets lost to the Bengals and got swept by the Patriots. They are holding on by a thread for this spot given their wins over the Bills and Dolphins seem to be in the distant past. They hope a QB change to Mike White will provide the spark to reheat their wild-card chances.

Who’s in the hunt?

8. New England Patriots (6-5), third place, AFC East
9. Los Angeles Chargers (5-5), second place, AFC West
10. Indianapolis Colts (4-6-1), second place, AFC South

The Patriots lost to the Vikings on Thursday to slip out of playoff position. That opens the door for the Chargers to push past them and the Jets into a wild-card spot. The Colts are only here because they are a little ahead of a 3-7 logjam.

Who’s likely out?

11. Jacksonville Jaguars (3-7), third place, AFC South
12. Las Vegas Raiders (3-7), third place, AFC West
13. Cleveland Browns (3-7), third place, AFC North
14. Denver Broncos (3-7), last place, AFC West
15. Pittsburgh Steelers (3-7), last place, AFC North
16. Houston Texans (1-8-1), last place, AFC South

The Texans have little competition for the No. 1 overall pick in the 2023 draft here. For any of the 3-7 teams to make the playoffs, they would need to go at least 6-1 down the stretch, an unlikely scenario.

NFL MOCK DRAFT: Texans join 1-2-3 run on QBs; Eagles double up on D; Broncos, Packers add big playmakers

NFC playoff picture

1. Philadelphia Eagles (9-1), first place, NFC East. The Eagles rebounded from their upset loss to the Commanders in Week 10 by beating the Colts in Week 11. They remain in great shape for the No. 1 seed because they beat the Vikings in Week 2, but also need to worry about the division a little with the Cowboys staying hot on their heels, only 1.5 games behind.

2. Minnesota Vikings (9-2), first place, NFC North. The Vikings got a much-needed rebound home win in Week 12 over the Patriots after losing badly there to the Cowboys in Week 11. The Vikings also saw their division lead grow to five games over the Lions, who lost to the Bills to open Week 12.

3. San Francisco 49ers (6-4), first place, NFC West. The 49ers have complete control of this division despite being even with the Seahawks because they beat that team at home in Week 2. They are red-hot offensively with Christian McCaffrey adding to the mix and should keep rolling against the Saints at home.

4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5-5), first place, NFC South. The Buccaneers are also looking great to finish strong in a weak division. Just like the 49ers, catching up to the Eagles and Vikings may be a little out of reach, but expect them to sizzle with Tom Brady leading the way like his old self after the bye.

5. Dallas Cowboys (8-3), second place, NFC East. The Cowboys made sure the Giants didn’t jump them by finishing a season sweep of their division rivals at home in Week 12. They have rebounded well after the upset loss vs. the Packers in Week 10, getting that key win over the Vikings. They will keep pushing the Eagles.

6. New York Giants (7-4), third place, NFC East. The Giants still have two games left with the Eagles and Commanders to try to build their case in the division and wild-card races, but the two losses to the Cowboys hurt. They are still looking good for a playoff berth with limited conference competition.

7. Seattle Seahawks (6-4), second place, NFC West. The surprising Seahawks can’t rest too much after losing the division lead to the 49ers. Their win over the Giants now looms large in the wild-card race, but they did also drop a key game to the Falcons. They will look to get on track post bye against the lowly Raiders at home.

Who’s in the hunt?

8. Washington Commanders (6-5), last place, NFC East
9. Atlanta Falcons (5-6), second place, NFC South
10. Detroit Lions (4-7), second place, NFC North

The Commanders have the schedule to make a run, but it starts with beating the team right behind them, the Falcons. The Lions, shockingly, still have a shot after losing to the Bills as the best 4-7 team.

Who’s likely out?

11. Green Bay Packers (4-7), third place, NFC North
12. New Orleans Saints (4-7), third place, NFC South
13. Arizona Cardinals (4-7), third place, NFC West
14. Los Angeles Rams (3-7), last place, NFC West
15. Carolina Panthers (3-8), last place, NFC South
16. Chicago Bears (3-8), last place, NFC North

The Packers, Cardinals and Rams will be three displaced playoff teams from 2021. The Bears are hoping to dig out of the NFC cellar with the teams in front of them fading further.


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