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49ers, Patriots get key wins, Browns suddenly in the wild card mix

The NFL is moving along through Week 12 of the 2019 regular season. We’ve got the latest look at the playoff picture heading into a big inter-conference matchup on Monday Night Football.

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers is sacked by San Francisco 49ers middle linebacker Fred Warner creating a fumble during the first quarter at Levi’s Stadium. Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL wrapped up Week 12 Sunday of the 2019 season, and we close out Week 12 with a big inter-conference matchup on Monday Night Football. The 6-4 Rams host the 8-2 Ravens. It is an unlikely Super Bowl preview, but both teams need a win. The Rams would like to move to two games back of Minnesota in the wild card, while Ravens want to maintain pace with the top-seeded Patriots.

Week 12 Sunday brought with it a pair of huge matchups for the top seed in each conference. The Patriots hosted the Cowboys, while the 49ers hosted the Packers. New England barely held off Dallas, while San Francisco thoroughly blasted Green Bay. It doesn’t get any easier for either team in Week 13. The Patriots travel to face the Texans while the 49ers travel to face the Ravens. No rest for the weary!

The most stunning result on Sunday saw the Jets pummel the Raiders. Oakland was on a roll and then thoroughly stubbed their toe in this one. They have to travel to face the Chiefs in Week 13 and suddenly could be looking at a two-game deficit and a lost tiebreaker. Add in a clump of teams in the AFC wild card race, and the Raiders situation just got more difficult.

Speaking of the AFC wild card clump, don’t look now, but the Browns are fast approaching in the rear view mirror. They beat Miami to improve to 5-6 and are a game back of the Steelers, Raiders, Colts, and Titans. That’s a big group to climb over, but the Browns seem to be gaining some confidence. This coming week at Pittsburgh could make or break their season.

Below is a full rundown of the playoff picture followed by key matchups in Week 13 for each conference.

NFC playoff picture

1. San Francisco 49ers: 10-1 (beat Packers 37-8)
2. New Orleans Saints: 9-2 (beat Panthers 34-31)
3. Green Bay Packers: 8-3 (lost to 49ers 37-8)
4. Dallas Cowboys: 6-5 (lost to Patriots 13-9)

5. Seattle Seahawks: 9-2 (beat Eagles 17-9)
6. Minnesota Vikings: 8-3 (BYE)

In the hunt: Los Angeles Rams (6-4), Chicago Bears (5-6), Philadelphia Eagles (5-4), Carolina Panthers (5-6)

Week 13 NFC matchups of note

Bills (8-3) @ Cowboys (6-5)
49ers (9-1) @ Ravens (8-2)
Vikings (8-3) @ Seahawks (9-2)

AFC playoff picture

1. New England Patriots: 10-1 (beat Cowboys 13-9)
2. Baltimore Ravens: 8-2 (@ Rams, MNF)
3. Houston Texans: 7-4 (beat Colts 20-17)
4. Kansas City Chiefs: 7-4 (BYE)

5. Buffalo Bills: 8-3 (beat Broncos 20-3)
6. Pittsburgh Steelers: 6-5 (beat Bengals 16-10)

In the hunt: Oakland Raiders (6-5), Indianapolis Colts (6-5), Tennessee Titans (6-5), Cleveland Browns (5-6), Jacksonville Jaguars (4-7), Los Angeles Chargers (4-7)

Week 13 AFC matchups of note

Bills (8-3) @ Cowboys (6-5)
49ers (9-1) @ Ravens (8-2)
Titans (6-5) @ Colts (6-5)
Browns (5-6) @ Steelers (6-5)
Raiders (6-5) @ Chiefs (7-4)
Patriots (10-1) @ Texans (7-4)