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NFL standings, Week 12: Breaking down the NFC South heading toward Week 13

The NFC South is working its way through Week 12. We break down the standings and playoff implications as we move toward Week 13.

Bijan Robinson #7 of the Atlanta Falcons carries the ball for a touchdown in the second quarter of the game against the New Orleans Saints at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on November 26, 2023 in Atlanta, Georgia. Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

The NFC South is going to come down to the wire this season, and Week 12 resulted in a tightening of the race. All four teams played in the 1 p.m. ET window, which means we figured out in a hurry where things stand heading into Week 13.

The big game saw the Atlanta Falcons hosting the New Orleans Saints. The Falcons held off the Saints in spite of a rough game for quarterback Desmond Ridder. He was playing in place of an injured Taylor Heinicke and threw two picks. However, a Falcons pick-six and a big game from Bijan Robinson provided the difference.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers traveled to face the Indianapolis Colts and couldn’t quite get the job done. Indianapolis led most of the game, taking a 17-3 lead in the second quarter and then a ten-point lead in the fourth quarter. The Bucs fought back, but a key strip-sack late secured the Colts win.

The Falcons are tied with the Saints coming out of Week 12 and hold the head-to-head tiebreaker against New Orleans. These two teams face off in Week 18, so there’s a lot still to be sorted out. The Bucs have a win against the Saints and a loss against the Falcons to date.

NFC South standings

  1. Atlanta Falcons, 5-6 (H2H tiebreaker vs. Saints)
  2. New Orleans Saints, 5-6
  3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 4-8
  4. Carolina Panthers, 1-10