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NFL Playoff Picture 2022-23 Week 13: Standings, Scenarios After Bills vs. Patriots

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVDecember 2, 2022

FOXBOROUGH, MASSACHUSETTS - DECEMBER 01: Quarterback Josh Allen #17 of the Buffalo Bills drops back to pass in the first quarter against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium on December 01, 2022 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Billie Weiss/Getty Images)
Billie Weiss/Getty Images

Every team in the AFC East was above .500 coming into Week 13, but the Buffalo Bills changed that Thursday.

Buffalo defeated the New England Patriots 24-10 and moved into first place in the division and the No. 2 seed in the conference, at least temporarily. The Miami Dolphins, who defeated the Bills and would have the tiebreaker as things stand, could retake those positions with a win over the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday.

Here is a look at the playoff picture and the different tiebreaker scenarios following the Bills' win over New England:


AFC

1. Kansas City Chiefs, 9-2

2. Buffalo Bills, 9-3

3. Tennessee Titans, 7-4 (tiebreaker over BAL because of win percentage in AFC games)

4. Baltimore Ravens, 7-4 (tiebreaker over CIN because of head-to-head)

5. Miami Dolphins, 8-3

6. Cincinnati Bengals, 7-4 (tiebreaker over NYJ because of head-to-head)

7. New York Jets, 7-4

8. Los Angeles Chargers, 6-5

9. New England Patriots, 6-6

10. Indianapolis Colts, 4-7-1

11. Jacksonville Jaguars, 4-7 (tiebreaker over CLE and LV because of win percentage in AFC games)

12. Las Vegas Raiders, 4-7 (tiebreaker over CLE because of win percentage in AFC games)

13. Cleveland Browns, 4-7 (tiebreaker over PIT because of head-to-head)

14. Pittsburgh Steelers, 4-7

15. Denver Broncos, 3-8

16. Houston Texans, 1-9-1


NFC

1. Philadelphia Eagles, 10-1

2. Minnesota Vikings, 9-2

3. San Francisco 49ers, 7-4

4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 5-6

5. Dallas Cowboys, 8-3

6. New York Giants, 7-4

7. Washington Commanders, 7-5

8. Seattle Seahawks, 6-5

9. Atlanta Falcons, 5-7

10. Detroit Lions, 4-7

11. Green Bay Packers, 4-8 (tiebreaker over CAR because of strength of victory; tiebreaker over AZ because of win percentage in NFC games)

12. Arizona Cardinals, 4-8 (tiebreaker over CAR because of head-to-head)

13. Carolina Panthers, 4-8 (tiebreaker over NO because of head-to-head)

14. New Orleans Saints, 4-8

15. Los Angeles Rams, 3-8

16. Chicago Bears, 3-9


While there are other games that stand out more, such as the playoff rematch between the Kansas City Chiefs and Cincinnati Bengals and the showdown between the Dolphins and 49ers, the most important matchup of Week 13 from a standings perspective may be the one between the New York Giants and Washington Commanders.

Neither team is going to win its division, as the Philadelphia Eagles have seized firm control of the NFC East with a blazing 10-1 start, but the NFC's wild-card spots will be directly impacted by the result of Sunday's contest.

New York and Washington are trending in opposite directions, as the Giants have lost three of four following a 6-1 start while the Commanders have won six of the last seven after stumbling to a 1-4 start.

The two division rivals also play each other twice in the next three weeks, so the head-to-head tiebreaker will be hanging in the balance. If the 8-3 Dallas Cowboys are going to take one of the NFC's three wild-card spots, the last two will likely come down to the Giants, Commanders and Seattle Seahawks, making that tiebreaker all the more important.

Washington's defense has set the tone during the recent stretch of impressive play, allowing just 15.4 points per game in the last seven.

The unit has done that without star pass-rusher Chase Young, who could return for the first time this season from a torn ACL he suffered during the 2021 campaign. If he can resemble the player he was as the 2020 Defensive Rookie of the Year with 7.5 sacks, four forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries and a defensive touchdown in 15 games, a Commanders defense that has already been dominant will be even more formidable.

That would be unwelcome news for a Giants offense that was so reliant on running back Saquon Barkley early in the season just to see him run for 53 or fewer yards in three of the last four contests.

If Washington can make New York one-dimensional and then unleash a pass rush at Daniel Jones that gets Young back, it could mean a long day for the Giants and an inside track at a playoff spot for the Commanders.