NFL Playoff Standings 2012: AFC and NFC Rankings, Bubble Teams, Tiebreakers
With only two weeks of regular-season action remaining, the NFL playoff picture is beginning to take a defined shape. But even with more and more teams beginning to clinch postseason berths, there are still a number of spots in flux.
Here's an up-to-the-minute look at each conference's playoff race:
NFC PLAYOFF PICTURE
| No. 1 Seed Atlanta Falcons (13-2) Clinched NFC South; Home-Field Advantage|
|No. 2 Seed San Francisco 49ers (10-4-1) Lead NFC West; Clinched Playoff Berth|
|No. 3 Seed Green Bay Packers (11-4) Clinched NFC North|
|No. 4 Seed Washington Redskins (9-6) Lead NFC East|
|WILD CARD LEADERS|
| No. 5 Seed Seattle Seahawks (10-5) Clinched Playoff Berth|
|No. 6 Seed Minnesota Vikings (9-6)|
|IN THE HUNT|
|Chicago Bears (9-6)|
|Dallas Cowboys (8-7)|
|New York Giants (8-7)|
(1) The winner of the Redskins and Cowboys game will win the NFC East and be the NFC's fourth seed. Washington can still earn a wild-card berth with a loss, if they wind up tied with the Bears and Vikings at 9-7.
(2) Minnesota earns a wild-card berth if they defeat Green Bay in Week 17. If the Giants, Cowboys and Bears all lose, the Vikings are also in.
Chicago needs to beat the Lions and for Green Bay to defeat the Vikings. The Giants must beat the Eagles and see the Vikings, Bears and Cowboys all lose.
AFC PLAYOFF PICTURE
|No. 1 Seed Houston Texans (12-3) Clinched AFC South|
|No. 2 Seed Denver Broncos (12-3) Clinched AFC West|
|No. 3 Seed New England Patriots (11-4) Clinched AFC East|
| No. 4 Seed Baltimore Ravens (10-5) Clinched AFC North|
|WILD CARD LEADERS|
| No. 5 Seed Indianapolis Colts (10-5) Clinched Playoff Berth|
| No. 6 Seed Cincinnati Bengals (9-6) Clinched Playoff Berth|
The AFC playoff picture is set, but here are a couple observations in terms of seeding:
(1) The Texans will have home-field advantage throughout the playoffs if they defeat the Colts in Week 17, or if both the Patriots and Broncos lose.
On the other hand, if Denver wins and Houston loses, the Broncos will have home-field advantage throughout the postseason. If they win and Houston wins, Denver will earn the No. 2 seed.
New England needs a win and a loss for both Denver and Houston to earn the No. 1 seed, but a win and a loss for one of those two teams will earn the Patriots the No. 2 seed.
(2) Baltimore leads the teams that aren't vying for a No. 1 seed. If the Ravens beat the Bengals in Week 17 and the Patriots lose, Baltimore will be the No. 3 seed. Anything else lands them in the No. 4 hole.
Indianapolis is a lock as the No. 5 seed, and Cincinnati is set as the No. 6 seed.
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