The NFL’s 2021 season is in double-digit weeks and closer to the end of its new 17-game schedule. It’s time to recheck the updated standings and what the playoff picture looks like for Week 13.
The league kept its playoff field widened, with 14 of its 32 teams (43.8 percent) set to qualify for the final postseason. That includes 7 each from the AFC and NFC, with only the No. 1 seeds getting free passes on top of home advantage.
Who would be in, who is still in dispute, and who should he be thinking of next season? Here’s a full look:
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NFL standings after week 13
Image of the AFC playoffs
Who would be inside?
1. New England Patriots (8-4), first place, AFC East. The Patriots enter the closing game of Week 13 Monday night at the Bills with a half-game division lead, so a road win in the series would be huge. The Patriots jumped over the Ravens to No. 1 in the conference with a top and stellar record in the AFC game (6-1) Remaining hours: BYE, at IND, vs. BUF, vs. JAX, at MIA
2. Tennessee Titans (8-4), first place, AFC South. The Titans also moved during their 13th week bye as the Ravens lost to the Steelers because they have the next best record in conference games at 5-3, while the Ravens fell to 5-4. They saw the division tighten a bit with the Colts’ victory, but keep in mind that they already swept that team. Remaining hours: vs. JAX, at PIT, vs. SF, vs. MIA, at HOU
3. Baltimore Ravens (8-4), first place, AFC North. The Ravens slipped out of the number one spot but still held the division lead as the Bengals lost and the Browns were down. The Steelers needed the Week 13 game to stay in touch, but Baltimore needs to quickly rebut with three divisional games and another two difficult to play. Remaining hours: in CLE, versus GB, in CIN, versus LAR, versus PIT
4. Kansas City Chiefs (8-4), first place, AFC West. The Chiefs came out of Sunday night’s Week 13 home game against the Broncos with a poor conference record of 3-4, with losses to the Titans, Ravens, Bills and Chargers. The Chiefs won to stay ahead of the division-winning Chargers, with the Raiders and Chargers on the agenda again next. Remaining hours: vs. LV, in LAC, vs. PIT, in CIN, in DEN
5. Buffalo Bills (7-4), second place, AFC East. The Bills were down to a wild card after their win over the Saints because the Patriots responded by looking out for the Titans. They will have a chance to catch and pass the Patriots on Monday night. Aside from New England twice, Buffalo has a big challenge ahead against Tampa Bay. Remaining hours: vs. NE, in TB, vs. CAR, in NE, vs. ATL, NYJ.
6. Los Angeles Chargers (7-5), second, AFC West. The Chargers jumped one spot by guarding the Bengals, the team that used to be ahead of them, on the road in Cincinnati. They look like stronger wild-card contenders with Justin Herbert and Brandon Staley with some key AFC wins. They also put more divisional pressure on the Chiefs, who they beat earlier and are back to play in two weeks. Remaining hours: vs. NYG, vs. KC, in HOU, vs. DEN, in LV
7. Cincinnati Bengals (7-5), second place, AFC North. The Bengals cooled off after their big post-goodbye victories over the Raiders and Steelers as they got sloppy with Joe Burow, Jox Mixon and the offense making too many mistakes against a hungry Chargers defense. It’s not easy at all trying to secure a wild card, but the Broncos’ game in Week 15 can help them a lot. Remaining hours: against SF, in DEN, against BAL, against KC, in CLE
Who can get there?
9. Pittsburgh Steelers (6-5-1)
10. Indianapolis Colts (7-6)
11. Las Vegas Raiders (6-6)
11. Cleveland Browns (6-6)
12. Denver Broncos (6-6)
The Steelers earned a key victory over the Ravens to jump to the top spot of the AFC’s “eliminated” teams. The Colts stayed ahead of the losing Raiders and Broncos and the inactive Browns by smashing the Texans. The Broncos fell among the .500 teams because they lost to the Raiders and Browns earlier in the season.
Who is going out?
13. Miami Dolphins (6-7)
14. New York Jets (3-9)
15. Houston Texans (2-10)
16. Jacksonville Jaguars (2-10)
The Dolphins extended their winning streak to five straight games after a 1-7 start on a climb to respectability, but it’s too little, too late for a push to the playoffs. The Jets parted ways with the bottom two with a win over the Texans and still play the Jaguars.
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NFC playoff image
Who would be inside?
1. Arizona Cardinals (10-2), first place, NFC West. The Cardinals crushed the Bears as they came out of the bye with Kyler Murray leading the offense into big known things running and passing. His defense also threw down again with the passing run and saves to keep Chicago down. The Cardinals are going to hold a two-game lead in a key rematch with the Rams at home. Remaining hours: vs. LAR, in DET, vs. IND, in DAL, vs. BE
2. Green Bay Packers (9-3), first place, NFC North. The Packers took care of business against the Rams in Week 12 to move into the midgame of the inactive Cardinals, whom they beat, for first place. In the process, they also helped the Cardinals build a bigger advantage in their division. Now they can rest for week 13 goodbye knowing that the Cardinals’ lead over them is still just one game. They stayed ahead of the winning Buccaneers due to a superior record in the NFC game, Remaining hours: vs. CHI, in BAL, vs. CLE, vs. MIN, in DET
3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (9-3), first place, NFC South. The Buccaneers were even with the Packers and also held to one game from the Cardinals after having little trouble looking after the Falcons on the road. Tom Brady is locked and loaded at the right time before the playoffs again. Remaining hours: vs. BUF, vs. NO, in CAR, in NYJ, vs. CAR
4. Dallas Cowboys (8-4), first place, NFC East. The Cowboys will stay here one game behind the Buccaneers, to whom they lost in Week 1 after beating the Saints to open Week 13 on Thursday night. They will still have work to do to win the division with Washington red hot and Philadelphia rebounding behind the team. Remaining hours: at WAS, at NYG, versus WAS, versus ARI, at PHI
5. Los Angeles Rams (8-4), second place, NFC West. The Rams entered Week 13 on a three-game losing streak and had disappointing results recently with more than Matthew Stafford struggling. They fall two full games behind the Cardinals with a win over the Jaguars at home before getting another shot at the Cardinals, to whom they lost at home. The Rams also fell to the team that was right behind them in the division, the 49ers, but now they have a two-game lead there. Remaining hours: in ARI, versus SEA, in MIN, in BAL, versus SF
6. Washington football team (6-6), second place, NFC East. Washington won a tough road game against AFC wild-card hopeful Las Vegas and edged out both San Francisco and Philadelphia over the course of an afternoon. They are on fire with a four-game winning streak under Ron Rivera and Taylor Heinicke. They have fixed some defensive problems and are showing enough offense. Somehow the quirk of the board gives them all the division games that are left. Remaining hours: DAL, in PHI, in DAL, vs. PHI, in NYG
7. San Francisco 49ers (6-6), third place, NFC West. The 49ers got mad at the Seahawks by crashing down to .500, but they still remain in the playoff position with a uniform overall record for Washington but a far worse conference record. They could afford the stumble with everyone except the Eagles, Seahawks, Lions losing behind them. Remaining hours: in CIN, against ATL, in TEN, against HOU, in LAR
Who can get there?
8. Philadelphia Eagles (6-7)
9. New Orleans Saints (5-7)
10. Minnesota Vikings (5-7)
11. Carolina Panthers (5-7)
12. Atlanta Falcons (5-7)
13. New York Giants (4-8)
14. Chicago Bears (4-8)
15. Seattle Seahawks (4-8)
The Eagles, who have a break in Week 14, stayed ahead of this crowd with a win over the Jets, falling just behind Washington and losing San Francisco, to whom the team lost earlier in the season. Otherwise, here’s a mess with the fading Vikings (again) and the mess of three NFC South teams.
Who is going out?
16. Detroit Lions (1-10-1)
The Lions scored their first win in dramatic fashion after being close to the Steelers, Browns and Bears. They played a major spooiler for the Vikings and may do so with a few more teams.