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NFL playoff picture 2016: Raiders take over AFC West, Cowboys solidify top spot in NFC

The Cowboys improved to 7-1, while the Broncos are still in the wild card hunt after their loss to the Raiders.

Dallas Cowboys v Cleveland Browns Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images

Some thought the Dallas Cowboys could be walking into a trap game against the Cleveland Browns, but Ezekiel Elliott quickly dismissed any worries about that and the Cowboys dominated in a 35-10 victory.

With the win, the Cowboys improved to 7-1 and now have a two-game lead over the rest of the NFC after an overtime loss by the Minnesota Vikings.

In the AFC, an awful performance by the Pittsburgh Steelers dropped the team to 4-4 and in a tie with the Baltimore Ravens for the lead in the AFC North. Thanks to the head-to-head victory, the Ravens are currently the leaders with the 3-4-1 Cincinnati Bengals just behind.

On Sunday Night Football, the Oakland Raiders’ 30-20 victory over the Denver Broncos means that there’s a new team on top of the AFC West. The Raiders improved to 7-2, but the Broncos are hardly out of the division race at 6-3. The Kansas City Chiefs are 6-2, giving the AFC West three teams in the top six spots in the playoff picture.

On Monday night, the Seattle Seahawks took over the No. 2 spot in the NFC with a wild win over the Buffalo Bills.

Here are the full playoff standings after Week 9:

AFC

  1. New England Patriots (7-1)
  2. Oakland Raiders (7-2)
  3. Houston Texans (5-3)
  4. Baltimore Ravens (4-4)
  5. Kansas City Chiefs (6-2)
  6. Denver Broncos (6-3)

The Patriots had a bye and couldn’t be caught this week, but the Raiders are just a half-game behind them.

With the loss, the Broncos fell behind the Chiefs, who picked up a win over the Jacksonville Jaguars.

In the AFC North, there is no team with a winning record after the Steelers dropped to 4-4. It’s the only division with every team at .500 or worse. Currently, the Ravens are still in line for a playoff spot.

NFC

  1. Dallas Cowboys (7-1)
  2. Seattle Seahawks (5-2-1)
  3. Atlanta Falcons (6-3)
  4. Minnesota Vikings (5-3)
  5. New York Giants (5-3)
  6. Washington (4-3-1)

The Falcons got things started in Week 9 by solidifying their spot at the top of the NFC South, putting some distance between themselves and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Falcons inherited the No. 2 seed in the NFC behind the Cowboys, until the Seahawks won on Monday night.

Minnesota is still the leader in the NFC North with a 5-3 record, but its 5-0 start has been spoiled and the 4-4 Green Bay Packers and 5-4 Detroit Lions are hot on their heels.

The Packers had a chance to tie the Vikings at the top of NFC North, but lost to the Indianapolis Colts and fell out of the second wild card spot. Washington scooted up to take Green Bay’s place in the final playoff spot in the NFC, despite a bye week.