NFL Playoff Picture 2021-22 Week 14: Updated Standings, Matchups to Watch

Doric SamDecember 7, 2021

Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray (1) celebrates with wide receiver Rondale Moore (4) after scoring a touchdown against the Chicago Bears during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 5, 2021, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Kamil Krzaczynski)
AP Photo/Kamil Krzaczynski

It was business as usual in the NFC during Week 13. The Arizona Cardinals returned from their bye week with a 33-22 win over the Chicago Bears to maintain the best record in the NFL at 10-2. The top five teams in the conference remained unchanged.

Things were much more eventful in the AFC. After the Baltimore Ravens lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday, the New England Patriots moved into the top spot and solidified it with a win over the Buffalo Bills on Monday night to move to 9-4.

Here's a look at how things stand as we head into Week 14.

AFC Playoff Picture

1. New England Patriots (9-4)

2. Tennessee Titans (8-4)

3. Baltimore Ravens (8-4)

4. Kansas City Chiefs (8-4)

5. Los Angeles Chargers (7-5)

6. Cincinnati Bengals (7-5)

7. Buffalo Bills (7-5)

8. Pittsburgh Steelers (6-5-1)

9. Indianapolis Colts (7-6)

10. Las Vegas Raiders (6-6)

11. Cleveland Browns (6-6)

12. Denver Broncos (6-6)

13. Miami Dolphins (6-7)

14. New York Jets (3-9)

15. Jacksonville Jaguars (2-10)

16. Houston Texans (2-10) - eliminated from playoff contention

Projected First-Round Matchups

No. 2 Tennessee Titans vs. No. 7 Buffalo Bills

No. 3 Baltimore Ravens vs. No. 6 Cincinnati Bengals

No. 4 Kansas City Chiefs vs. No. 5 Los Angeles Chargers

NFC Playoff Picture

1. Arizona Cardinals (10-2)

2. Green Bay Packers (9-3)

3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (9-3)

4. Dallas Cowboys (8-4)

5. Los Angeles Rams (8-4)

6. Washington Football Team (6-6)

7. San Francisco 49ers (6-6)

8. Philadelphia Eagles (6-7)

9. Minnesota Vikings (5-7)

10. Carolina Panthers (5-7)

11. Atlanta Falcons (5-7)

12. New Orleans Saints (5-7)

13. New York Giants (4-8)

14. Chicago Bears (4-8)

15. Seattle Seahawks (4-8)

16. Detroit Lions (1-10-1)

Projected First-Round Matchups

No. 2 Green Bay Packers vs. No. 7 San Francisco 49ers

No. 3 Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. No. 6 Washington Football Team

No. 4 Dallas Cowboys vs. No. 5 Los Angeles Rams

There hasn't been much separation in the playoff race, as 19 of 32 teams have a record of .500 or better. But there are a few key matchups and various scenarios in Week 14 that could have an impact on the seedings.

The Cardinals are set to face the Los Angeles Rams on Monday Night Football. Arizona won the first matchup 37-20 in Week 4. The Rams ended a three-game losing skid with Sunday's win over the Jacksonville Jaguars.

A win for Arizona is crucial for its chances to hold on to first place in the NFC. The second-place Green Bay Packers have an easy matchup on Sunday night against the 4-8 Chicago Bears and would jump the Cardinals with a win and an Arizona loss. The Packers own the tiebreaker after defeating the Cardinals in Week 8.

An interconference game between the Bills and Tampa Bay Buccaneers is the second marquee matchup of the week. After Monday's loss, the Bills desperately need a win to keep pace in the AFC.

In a matchup between top-seven teams, the San Francisco 49ers and Cincinnati Bengals will be looking to maintain their positions in their respective conferences.

There are also a few intriguing division games in Week 14. The Washington Football Team will be seeking its fifth straight win when it hosts the NFC East-leading Dallas Cowboys. The Kansas City Chiefs will put their five-game win streak on the line when they welcome the Las Vegas Raiders to Arrowhead Stadium. The Ravens will be looking to bounce back from their loss to Pittsburgh in a road matchup against the Cleveland Browns.