NFL standings: Updated AFC, NFC playoff picture for Week 14 of 2023 season

The NFL playoff race is heating up as the calendar flips to mid December, the penultimate month of the 2023 regular season. With only five weeks of games left through Week 18, 14 teams are looking to position themselves well as either division leaders or wild-card hopefuls.

Although there are some dominant teams headed to a return to the playoffs, most scenarios are in flux with seeding and potential entrants.

Here’s a look at the updated NFL playoff picture during a 15-game slate with only two teams on bye for Week 14:

POWER RANKINGS: Cowboys overtake Eagles, Ravens; Steelers, Texans, Colts slip for Week 15

NFL standings for Week 14

AFC playoff picture

1. Baltimore Ravens (10-3), first place, AFC North. The Ravens hold a two-game division lead over the Browns and saw their edge over the Steelers grow to three games after the latter team lost to open Week 14 on Thursday night. The Ravens rallied to beat another NFC foe, the Rams in overtime, and were rewarded with gaining games on both the losing Dolphins and Chiefs behind them.

2. Miami Dolphins (9-4), first place, AFC East. The Dolphins now hold only a two-game lead in the division over the Bills and blew a big chance to reclaim the No. 1 seed as they were shocked by the Titans at home on Monday night. They also could have separated a little more from the Chiefs. The Dolphins already lost to the Bills once in Week 4 and the East tile may come down to their Week 18 rematch in Miami.

3. Kansas City Chiefs (8-5), first place, AFC West. The Chiefs dropped a two games behind the Ravens and 1.5  after losing again at home in Week 14 to the Bills. They have only a one-game division lead on the Broncos and don’t have the head-to-head tiebreaker there, either. They are ahead of the Jaguars still because they beat them.

4. Jacksonville Jaguars (8-5), first place, AFC South. The Jaguars dodged a bullet with Trevor Lawrence being able to play through his ankle injury but they fell shot in winning a wild shootout in Cleveland. They still hold a full-game division lead over the Colts and Texans, however, as both also lost behind them in Week 14.

5. Cleveland Browns (8-5), second place, AFC North. The Browns took over second place in the division by a full game while two behind the Ravens with their win over the Jaguars as the Steelers opened Week 14 with a home loss to the Patriots. They also separated from the wild-card pack behind them by a game.

6. Pittsburgh Steelers (7-6) third place, AFC North. The Steelers lost to another bad team at home, the eliminated Patriots, to open Week 14 on Monday night. But they got a huge break on Sunday with the Colts and Texans losing behind them to get back into playoff position thanks to the conference-record tiebreaker. Pittsburgh goes to Indianapolis, the team just behind it, next.

7. Indianapolis Colts (7-6), second place, AFC South. The Colts maintained the second wild card despite losing to the Bengals because they hold the next conference tiebreaker after the Steelers. Indianapolis hosts Pittsburgh, the team just ahead of it, next. The Colts remain a game behind the Jaguars in the divison and even with the Texans.

Who’s in the hunt?

8. Houston Texans (7-6)

9. Denver Broncos (7-6)

10. Cincinnati Bengals (7-6)

11. Buffalo Bills (7-6)

12. Los Angeles Chargers (5-8)

13. Las Vegas Raiders (5-8)

14. New York Jets (5-8)

15. Tennessee Titans (5-8)

The Texans fell into this mix after their loss to the Jets. The Broncos, Bengals and Bills, meanwhile, got key wins over the Chargers, Colts and Chiefs, respectively, to make this a six-team logjam behind the Steelers and Colts. The Chargers and Raiders are on the brink of joining the Jets in fading out after their losses. The Patriots were eliminated despite beating the Steelers.

Dak Prescott, Brock Purdy

NFC playoff picture

1. San Francisco 49ers (10-3), first place, NFC West. The 49ers got a massive road win over the Eagles in Week 13, building on their previous blowout win over the Cowboys. They took over the No. 1 seed by beating the Seahawks and seeing the Eagles lose again to the Cowboys. The 49ers also saw their division lead increase to an insurmountable four games.

2. Dallas Cowboys (10-3), first place, NFC East. The Cowboys came through at home to split their season series with the Eagles, jumping up here thanks to holding the division-record tiebreaker. They lose the head-to-head tiebreaker with the 49ers and do play the game-behind Lions in Week 17.

3. Detroit Lions (9-4), first place, NFC North. The Lions saw their lead in the division over the Vikings and Packers fall to 2.5 games each after their shocking road loss to the Bears in Week 14. They are fading out of the race for the top seed and likely will be locked in here should they hold on to take the North.

4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-7), first place, NFC South. The Buccaneers rallied late to get a huge win over the Falcons on the road in Week 14 after it looked like they would fall in devastating fashion. They get the tiebreaker over the same-record Falcons and Saints thanks to superior combined division and conference records.

5. Philadelphia Eagles (10-3), second place, NFC East. The Eagles dropped from No. 1 down here based on having a inferior division record to Dallas. With the toughest part of the schedule finished, they’ll try to finish one better than the Cowboys down the stretch.

6. Minnesota Vikings (7-6), second place, NFC North. The Vikings didn’t win pretty in Las Vegas, but they improved their wild-card chances with the Seahawks and Rams losing behind them. They also moved within two games of the losing Lions and they still play them twice down the stretch, so strangely, the division is suddenly within reach.

7. Green Bay Packers (6-6), third place, NFC North. The Packers kept this spot despite their shocking loss to the Giants by having the same standout conference record (4-4) as the Rams and having also beaten the Rams to separate from four other 6-7 teams. Green Bay missed a big chance to stay a full game ahead with only four weeks to play.

Who’s in the hunt?

8. Los Angeles Rams (6-7)

9. Seattle Seahawks (6-7)

10. Atlanta Falcons (6-7)

11. New Orleans Saints (6-7)

12. New York Giants (5-8)

13. Chicago Bears (5-8)

14. Washington Commanders (4-9)

The Rams and Seahawks, who both lost, have more a lot more work to do to displace the Vikings and Packers as a wild card. The Falcons and Saints both need to focus more on winning the division from the Buccaneers. It’s likely too little, too late for the Bears and Giants, but they can still play major spoilers.

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