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How the NFL playoff picture looks coming out of Week 14

The NFL is wrapping up Week 14, and a few teams are standing out in the playoff picture heading into Week 15.

Baker Mayfield #6 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers reacts after rushing for a touchdown during the first half against the Atlanta Falcons at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on December 10, 2023 in Atlanta, Georgia. Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

The NFL eliminated the first team from playoff contention in Week 13 and Week 14 brought three opportunities for NFC teams to clinch a playoff berth. The Panthers were formally eliminated last week, while the Eagles, 49ers, and Cowboys could all clinch a playoff berth with a win and some help.

The week opened with the Steelers suffering a critical loss to the Patriots on Thursday Night Football. Pittsburgh remains firmly in the playoff mix, but that was a loss they could not afford to take.

The NFC South remains a disaster as we now have a three-way tie with three teams sitting at 6-7. The Bucs beat the Falcons and the Saints beat the Panthers, leaving Tampa, Atlanta, and New Orleans all at the top of the division. The Bucs get the edge for the time being with the tiebreaker down to common games with the Falcons. The Saints drop to third having lost out to everybody in this group once each.

In the AFC, the Jaguars lost in Cleveland, but the rest of the AFC South lost, so they maintained their one-game lead. More interesting is that with the Bengals beating the Colts, all four AFC North teams would make the playoffs if they started today.

4 p.m. window: The 49ers handled their business against the Seahawks to take a four-game lead in the NFC West with four weeks remaining. They can move into the No. 1 overall spot if the Eagles lose to the Cowboys. In the other 4:05 p.m. game, the Vikings won an ugly one over the Raiders, kicking a field goal with 1:57 remaining to get the win. The Broncos thumped the Chargers and the Colts have moved into the final Wild Card berth for the time being. The Bills got a huge road win over the Chiefs and remain firmly in the wild card race.

The NFL will bring back its annual run of Saturday schedule in Week 15, with an NFL Network tripleheader including Vikings-Bengals, Steelers-Colts, and Broncos-Lions. All six teams are in the playoff chase, offering a fun trio of matchups. The biggest game next Sunday will see the Jaguars hosting the Ravens, with both teams sitting atop their respective divisions.

Here’s a look at what the playoff picture looks like as the NFL works its way through Week 14.

AFC playoff picture

1. Baltimore Ravens, 10-3
2. Miami Dolphins, 9-4
3. Kansas City Chiefs, 8-5
4. Jacksonville Jaguars, 8-5

5. Cleveland Browns, 8-5
6. Pittsburgh Steelers, 7-6
7. Indianapolis Colts, 7-6

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
16. New England Patriots, 3-10 — eliminated

NFC playoff picture

1. San Francisco 49ers, 10-3
2. Dallas Cowboys, 10-3
3. Detroit Lions, 9-4
4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 6-7

5. Philadelphia Eagles, 10-3
6. Minnesota Vikings, 7-6
7. Green Bay Packers, 6-7

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
15. Arizona Cardinals, 3-10
16. Carolina Panthers, 1-12 — eliminated