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NFL playoff picture 2013: Ravens control their fate in the AFC North

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With "Monday Night Football" in the books, the NFL playoff picture is beginning to take shape.

Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Monday Night Football is always in the spotlight, but this week, the game had massive playoff implications. With the Ravens knocking off the Lions, thanks to the right foot of Justin Tucker, Baltimore now controls its own destiny in the AFC North. On the other side, the Lions now likely need to win out and hope the Bears falter.

Here's a look at where things stand, with Week 15 now in the books.

NFC playoff standings

(X) - clinched playoff berth (Y) - clinched division

No. 1 (X) Seattle - 12-2

No. 2 New Orleans - 10-4

No. 3 Philadelphia - 8-6

No. 4 Chicago - 8-6

No. 5 Carolina - 10-4

No. 6 San Francisco - 10-4

In the hunt: Arizona (9-5), Green Bay (7-6-1), Detroit (7-7), Dallas (7-7)

Detroit had an opportunity to retake the NFC North lead, but the loss to Baltimore drops the Lions one game behind Chicago. Detroit does own the tiebreaker, thanks to two head-to-head wins against Chicago, but will now need the Bears to lose a game. Detroit finishes the season by hosting the Giants before traveling to play the Vikings. It will likely need to win both games to even have a chance. Chicago will go on the road to face Philadelphia before hosting the Packers to end the regular season.

With a win next week and losses by Detroit and Green Bay, the Bears would clinch the NFC North.

AFC playoff standings

No. 1 (X) Denver - 11-3

No. 2 New England - 10-4

No. 3 Cincinnati - 9-5

No. 4 (Y) Indianapolis - 9-5

No. 5 (X) Kansas City - 11-3

No. 6 Baltimore - 8-6

In the hunt: Miami (8-6), San Diego (7-7), Pittsburgh (6-8), New York Jets (6-8)

Baltimore's comeback win against Detroit gives its playoff chances a massive boost. The Ravens leaped over Miami for the final wild-card spot and are still in contention for the AFC North title. In fact, Baltimore controls its own destiny in the division. Although the Ravens are currently one game behind the Bengals, the teams will play in Week 17 and the Ravens own the tiebreaker. If Baltimore wins out, the Ravens will win the AFC North.

In order to do that, the Ravens will first need to beat New England in Baltimore next week. The Ravens are also in good shape in the wild-card race as they own the tiebreaker over Miami thanks to a head-to-head win.

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