NFL standings: Updated AFC, NFC playoff picture for Week 12 of 2023 season

The NFL playoff race is heating up as the weather gets colder and the calendar creeps toward December, the penultimate month of the 2023 regular season. With only seven 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, much is in flux with seeding and potential entrants.

Here’s a look at the updated NFL playoff picture during a full slate of games in Week 12:

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;49ers, Cowboys, Broncos keep rising; Seahawks, Steelers slip for Week 12

NFL standings for Week 12

AFC playoff picture

Trevor Lawrence, Calvin Ridley, Christian Kirk

(Getty Images)

1. Jacksonville Jaguars (8-3), first place, AFC South. The Jaguars got a huge win toward winning a second consecutive division title by earning a season split with the Texans in Houston in Week 12. For the time being, with the tiebrakers, the Jaguars own the AFC’s top seed along with home-field advantage and the lone 

2. Miami Dolphins (8-3), first place, AFC East. The Dolphins jumped up from No. 3 with their Week 12 win over the Jets on “Black Friday”, waiting to see what the Ravens, Chiefs and Jaguars do on Sunday. With the victory, they opened up a two-game lead on the Bills, who must play at the Eagles on Sunday.

3. Baltimore Ravens (8-3), first place, AFC North. The Ravens ldd the race for home-field advantage and the lone conference playoff bye by a half-game after their Week 11 opening win over the Bengals and the Chiefs’ Week 11 closing loss to the Eagles. They will get their regular-season bye after facing the Chargers on Sunday night, needing a win to get back ahead of the Dolphins.

4. Kansas City Chiefs (7-3), first place, AFC West. The Chiefs dropped here with their loss to the Eagles and so they will try to get right back on track with road wins over the Raiders and Packers in consecutive weeks. The key is getting Patrick Mahomes and the offense to do a little more with fewer mistakes.

5. Cleveland Browns (7-3), second place, AFC North. The Browns are a half-game short of the Ravens and face a tough matchup against the Broncos on the road without Deshaun Watson again in Week 12. That’s huge for their wild-card chance and trying to keep pace with the Ravens.

6. Pittsburgh Steelers (7-4), third place, AFC North. The Steelers’ new offense didn’t exactly explode against the Bengals, but it looked more together and competent passing and running to move the ball well tc compleement the defense. With the physical road win over rivals, Pittsburgh bumped up its overall playoff chances through division or wild card.

7. Indianapolis Colts (6-5) second place, AFC South. xThe Colts are in playoff position after taking over the No. 2 spot ahead of the Texans in the same division behind the Jaguars. Indianapolis gets here for now before the end of Week 12 with the conference record tiebreaker its favor over Houston and Buffalo.

Who’s in the hunt?

8. Houston Texans (6-5)

9. Buffalo Bills (6-5)

10. Denver Broncos (5-5)

11. Las Vegas Raiders (5-6)

12. Cincinnati Bengals (5-6)

13. Los Angeles Chargers (4-6)

14. Tennessee Titans (4-7)

15. New York Jets (4-7)

The Texans’ loss dropped them out of the last wild card on top of seeing them slide two full games back of the Jaguars. The Bills can now snag the No. 7 spot with a win over the Eagles late on Sunday.

NFC playoff picture

1. Philadelphia Eagles (9-1), first place, NFC East. The Eagles got a huge win over the Chiefs to close Week 11 on the road ahead of another tough matchup at home vs. the Bills. They also host the 49ers in Week 13.

3. San Francisco 49ers (8-3), first place, NFC West. The 49ers opened up a two-game division lead by routing the Seahawks on Thanksgiving night in Week 12. They also jumped the losing Lions because of having a superior conference record. They have a huge shot to move up more when playing the Eagles in Week 13.

3. Detroit Lions (8-3), first place, NFC North. The Lions kept up their losing tradition on Thanksgiving by getting upset by the Packers at home. That opened the door for the Eagles, 49ers and Vikings to make up some ground.

4. Atlanta Falcons (5-6), first place, NFC South. The Falcons took control of the NFL’s worst division with a losing record because their win over the Saints also gave them the head-to-head tiebreaker. They also went up a game on the losing Buccaneers.

5. Dallas Cowboys (8-3), second place, NFC East. The Cowboys still have ground to make up on the Eagles after losing them in Philadelphia. They will get that opportunity in Week 14 at home after routing the Commanders at home in Week 12 and hosting the Seahawks for another Thursday game in Week 13.

6. Minnesota Vikings (6-5), second place, NFC North. The Vikings also are trying to cling to playoff hopes with Josh Dobbs. They will get a big chance to rebound from the loss in Denver with the Bears at home on Monday night.

7. Seattle Seahawks (6-5), second place, NFC West. The Seahawks dropped another division game to the 49ers in Week 12 and fell behind the Vikings with a worse conference record. The Packers, who won earlier on Thanksgiving, gained a big game right behind them.

Who’s in the hunt?

8. Green Bay Packers (5-6)

9. New Orleans Saints (5-6)

10. Los Angeles Rams (4-6)

11. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-7)

12. Washington Commanders (4-8)

13. Chicago Bears (3-8)

The Saints dropped here after losing to the Falcons and falling into second place in the South, plus they also lost to the Packers early in the season.

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