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NFL playoff picture 2013: Patriots, Saints slip in Week 15

The playoff picture is coming into focus, and we go around the league to look at all 32 teams.

Dilip Vishwanat

Week 15 is in the books and we're getting a better sense of how the league's playoff races are shaping up. Let's look around the league to see where all 32 teams stand.


AFC East Standings

New England 10 4 0 369 311
Miami 8 6 0 310 296
New York Jets 6 8 0 246 367
Buffalo 5 9 0 300 354

Clinched: None

Eliminated: Buffalo

Still alive: New England, Miami, New York

The AFC East has two teams slated to enter the 2013 playoffs if the postseason began today. The Patriots are holding the division lead, while the Dolphins hold the final wild card.

There is a slim chance New England could be unseated, but that would require the Patriots losing out and the Dolphins winning out. The Jets have not been mathematically eliminated, but it would take a series of unlikely results for them to make the playoffs.

AFC North Standings

Cincinnati 9 5 0 354 274
Baltimore 7 6 0 278 261
Pittsburgh 6 8 0 321 332
Cleveland 4 10 0 288 362

Clinched: None

Eliminated: Cleveland

Still alive: Cincinnati, Baltimore, Pittsburgh

The Steelers kept their playoff hopes alive with a win over Cincinnati on Sunday Night Football. Finding a back door into the postseason will be difficult, but it's still technically possible.

If the Ravens can win on Monday night, they'll have a slim chance of taking over the lead atop the AFC North. Baltimore hasn't looked as threatening in 2013 as it did a year ago, but this remains a dangerous veteran team that knows how to win.

AFC South Standings

Indianapolis 9 5 0 338 319
Tennessee 5 9 0 326 355
Jacksonville 4 10 0 221 399
Houston 2 12 0 253 375

Clinched: Indianapolis (AFC South winner)

Eliminated: Tennessee, Jacksonville, Houston

Still alive: None

The AFC South is the league's only division that's all wrapped up. Tennessee and Jacksonville had a chance to keep their seasons alive with wins in Week 15, but both teams lost and will now wait for the draft.

Indianapolis is waiting to see seeding. The Colts will not get home field advantage through the playoffs, and if the playoffs began today they'd host the Kansas City Chiefs.

AFC West Standings

Denver 11 3 0 535 372
Kansas City 11 3 0 399 255
San Diego 7 7 0 343 311
Oakland 4 10 0 295 393

Clinched: Denver (playoff berth), Kansas City (playoff berth)

Eliminated: Oakland

Still alive: San Diego

The Broncos' loss on Thursday Night Football to the Chargers kept this division up in the air. There's still a chance the Chiefs could surprise and win the West, despite losing twice to Denver. It's an off situation where the winner of this division could either be first in the AFC or fifth.

San Diego kept its playoff chances alive with that win over Denver. They're currently in eighth place in the conference and have a chance.

If the playoffs started today...

1. Denver Broncos (11-3)

2. New England Patriots (10-4)

3. Cincinnati Bengals (9-4)

4. Indianapolis Colts (9-5)

5. Kansas City Chiefs (11-3)

6. Miami Dolphins (8-6)

Key tiebreakers

Denver is ahead of Kansas City based on head-to-head record.


NFC East Standings

Philadelphia 8 6 0 364 349
Dallas 7 7 0 393 385
New York Giants 5 9 0 251 357
Washington 3 11 0 305 434

Clinched: None

Eliminated: New York, Washington

Still alive: Philadelphia, Dallas

The NFL's most disappointing division hinges on the next two weeks. Philadelphia was poised to take control, but lost in Minnesota, while Dallas had an opportunity to force a tie at the top, but a pair of late interceptions turned its fortunes around.

The Giants and Redskins are left to lick their wounds.

NFC North Standings

Chicago 8 6 0 406 391
Detroit 7 6 0 346 321
Green Bay 7 6 1 353 362
Minnesota 4 9 1 363 425

Clinched: None

Eliminated: Minnesota

Still alive: Bears, Lions, Packers

The carousel that is the NFC North continues spinning with a series of surprising results in Week 15. The Bears earned a narrow win over Cleveland and hold control in the division, while the Lions play on Monday Night Football.

Green Bay is the team to watch here. The Packers managed to stay in the hunt despite losing quarterback Aaron Rodgers, now they're poised to get him back in the final critical weeks. There's a chance they can not only take a playoff spot, but win the division -- provided conditions are right.

NFC South Standings

New Orleans 10 4 0 359 270
Carolina 10 4 0 328 208
Tampa Bay 4 10 0 258 324
Atlanta 4 10 0 309 388

Clinched: None

Eliminated: Tampa Bay, Atlanta

Still alive: New Orleans, Carolina

The Saints and Panthers face off in Week 16 to determine the leader of the NFC South, much as they did two weeks ago. Carolina won their game over the Jets, while New Orleans dropped a surprising game in St. Louis.

This division has the strangest range of possibilities. Carolina could still miss the playoffs altogether due to a head-to-head loss against Arizona. There are better opportunities for the Saints to make the playoffs, but they're still vulnerable.

NFC West Standings

Seattle 12 2 0 380 205
San Francisco 10 4 0 349 228
Arizona 9 5 0 342 291
St. Louis 6 8 0 316 324

Clinches: Seattle (playoff berth)

Eliminated: St. Louis

Still alive: San Francisco, Arizona

The NFL's toughest division balances on a razor's edge. Seattle has secured its playoff spot, but could still lose the division if San Francisco wins out and the Seahawks lose their next two.

Arizona has been white hot in recent weeks, and this is set to continue. The Cardinals have won six of their last seven games, and hold the head-to-head edge over Carolina, should a wild card spot come down to a tiebreaker.

If the playoffs started today...

1. Seattle Seahawks (12-2)

2. New Orleans Saints (10-4)

3. Philadelphia Eagles (8-6)

4. Chicago Bears (8-6)

5. Carolina Panthers (10-4)

6. San Francisco 49ers (10-4)

Key tiebreakers

New Orleans is ahead of Carolina based on head-to-head record.

Philadelphia is ahead of Chicago based on conference win-loss record.

Carolina is ahead of San Francisco based on head-to-head record.

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