NFL Playoff Picture 2021-22 Week 11: Updated Standings, Projected Matchups to Watch

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVNovember 16, 2021

GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN - NOVEMBER 14: A.J. Dillon #28 of the Green Bay Packers celebates with fans after scoring a touchdown against the Seattle Seahawks during the fourth quarter at Lambeau Field on November 14, 2021 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
Stacy Revere/Getty Images

With 10 weeks in the books, the Green Bay Packers own the first seed in the NFC, while the Tennessee Titans continue to occupy the top position in the AFC. 

Green Bay shut out the Seattle Seahawks 17-0 on Sunday to improve to 8-2. The Arizona Cardinals, on the other hand, suffered a 34-10 defeat to the Carolina Panthers. Thanks to the Packers' Week 8 victory over Arizona, they own the head-to-head tiebreaker.

The Titans won their second game in a row without Derrick Henry to maintain a slim edge on the Buffalo Bills and Baltimore Ravens.

Here's how things stand heading into Week 11.

AFC Playoff Picture

  • 1. Tennessee Titans, 8-2 (1st in AFC South) 
  • 2. Buffalo Bills, 6-3 (1st in AFC East) 
  • 3. Baltimore Ravens, 6-3 (1st in AFC North 
  • 4. Kansas City Chiefs, 6-4 (1st in AFC West) 
  • 5. Pittsburgh Steelers, 5-3-1 (wild card) 
  • 6. New England Patriots, 6-4 (wild card) 
  • 7. Los Angeles Chargers, 5-4 (wild card) 
  • 8. Cincinnati Bengals, 5-4 
  • 9. Las Vegas Raiders, 5-4 
  • 10. Indianapolis Colts, 5-5 
  • 11. Cleveland Browns, 5-5 
  • 12. Denver Broncos, 5-5 
  • 13. Miami Dolphins, 3-7 
  • 14. New York Jets, 2-7 
  • 15. Jacksonville Jaguars, 2-7 
  • 16. Houston Texans, 1-8

Projected First-Round Matchups

No. 2 Buffalo Bills vs. No. 7 Los Angeles Chargers

No. 3 Baltimore Ravens vs. No. 6 New England Patriots

No. 4 Kansas City Chiefs vs. No. 5 Pittsburgh Steelers

NFC Playoff Picture

  • 1. Green Bay Packers, 8-2 (1st in NFC North) 
  • 2. Arizona Cardinals, 8-2 (1st in NFC West) 
  • 3. Dallas Cowboys, 7-2 (1st in NFC East) 
  • 4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 6-3 (1st in NFC South) 
  • 5. Los Angeles Rams, 7-3 (wild card) 
  • 6. New Orleans Saints, 5-4 (wild card) 
  • 7. Carolina Panthers, 5-5 (wild card) 
  • 8. Minnesota Vikings, 4-5 
  • 9. San Francisco 49ers, 4-5 
  • 10. Atlanta Falcons, 4-5 
  • 11. Philadelphia Eagles, 4-6 
  • 12. Washington Football Team, 3-6 
  • 13. New York Giants, 3-6 
  • 14. Seattle Seahawks, 3-6 
  • 15. Chicago Bears, 3-6 
  • 16. Detroit Lions, 0-8-1

First-Round Matchups

No. 2 Arizona Cardinals vs. No. 7 Carolina Panthers

No. 3 Dallas Cowboys vs. No. 6 New Orleans Saints

No. 4 Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. No. 5 Los Angeles Rams

Even by the NFL's typical standards, parity seems to be rife this season. The addition of a 17th game and carrying over the playoff expansion from 2020 to a seventh team has served to keep the postseason races interesting for even longer, too.

The Detroit Lions might be 0-8-1, but even they still have a mathematical chance of climbing into the seven-team field in the NFC.

Looking ahead to this week's slate of games, it's too early for anybody to clinch a playoff berth. Some teams in the middle of the pack could at least open up some breathing room.

The Las Vegas Raiders and Cincinnati Bengals are the first two teams out in the AFC's wild-card battle and own identical 5-4 records. Las Vegas hosts Cincinnati at 4:05 p.m. ET in a good test for both sides.

The San Francisco 49ers have fallen short of expectations but are coming off an emphatic 31-10 victory over the Los Angeles Rams. A date with the Jacksonville Jaguars sets up a straightforward path back to .500, which could be good enough to overtake the Carolina Panthers for seventh in the NFC.

The Kansas City Chiefs faced a lot of skepticism for a two-time reigning conference champion following a 3-4 start, and the doubts weren't totally unjustified. Since then, the Chiefs have reeled off three straight wins.


Chiefs in 2019:<br>Through 10 games: 6-4<br>Finish: Super Bowl win<br><br>Chiefs in 2021:<br>Through 10 games: 6-4<br>Finish: ??? <a href="https://t.co/GxAEajQP7E">pic.twitter.com/GxAEajQP7E</a>

Kansas City hosts the Dallas Cowboys, who responded to a lifeless Week 9 defeat to the Denver Broncos by dropping 36 first-half points on the Atlanta Falcons. This will serve as a good barometer for whether the Chiefs' hot streak was a bit of a mirage.

On the other side, taking down K.C. would strengthen the Cowboys' contender credentials.