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NFL Playoff Scenarios 2022-23 Week 14: Standings and Matchups to Watch

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVDecember 6, 2022

PHILADELPHIA, PA - DECEMBER 04: Jalen Hurts #1 and DeVonta Smith #6 of the Philadelphia Eagles look on against the Tennessee Titans at Lincoln Financial Field on December 4, 2022 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

The NFC South was under the spotlight during Monday Night Football, which wasn't exactly ideal for NFL fans.

After all, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers entered play with a 5-6 record and would remain in first place with a win or a loss against the Saints. Tampa Bay ended up winning 17-16 in dramatic fashion with two Tom Brady touchdown passes in the last three minutes, but that mere fact underscores just how poorly the entire division has played this year.

By comparison, every team in the NFC East is above .500 and in position to challenge for the playoffs.

Here is a look at the standings and tiebreaker scenarios following the Buccaneers' win:


NFC

1. Philadelphia Eagles, 11-1

2. Minnesota Vikings, 10-2

3. San Francisco 49ers, 8-4

4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 6-6

5. Dallas Cowboys, 9-3

6. New York Giants, 7-4-1

7. Seattle Seahawks, 7-5

8. Washington Commanders, 7-5-1

9. Detroit Lions, 5-7

10. Atlanta Falcons, 5-8 (wins tiebreaker over GB because of strength of victory)

11. Green Bay Packers, 5-8

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

13. Carolina Panthers, 4-8

14. New Orleans Saints, 4-9

15. Los Angeles Rams, 3-9

16. Chicago Bears, 3-10 (eliminated)


AFC

1. Buffalo Bills, 9-3 (wins tiebreaker over KC because of head-to-head victory)

2. Kansas City Chiefs, 9-3

3. Baltimore Ravens, 8-4 (wins tiebreaker over CIN because of head-to-head victory)

4. Tennessee Titans, 7-5

5. Cincinnati Bengals, 8-4 (wins tiebreaker over MIA because of head-to-head victory)

6. Miami Dolphins, 8-4

7. New York Jets, 7-5

8. New England Patriots, 6-6 (wins tiebreaker over LAC because of win percentage against AFC)

9. Los Angeles Chargers, 6-6

10. Las Vegas Raiders, 5-7 (wins tiebreaker over CLE because of win percentage against AFC)

11. Cleveland Browns, 5-7 (wins tiebreaker over PIT because of head-to-head victory)

12. Pittsburgh Steelers, 5-7

13. Indianapolis Colts, 4-8-1

14. Jacksonville Jaguars, 4-8

15. Denver Broncos, 3-9

16. Houston Texans, 1-10-1 (eliminated)


There are a handful of matchups to watch in Week 14, starting with the AFC East showdown between the Buffalo Bills and New York Jets.

While Buffalo is in first place in the division and conference following three straight wins, the Jets got the better of Josh Allen and Co. during their Week 9 matchup in New York and are hanging on to a playoff spot heading into the rematch.

Things may go differently this time, as it is in Buffalo, and the Bills are playing with plenty of momentum. Mike White figures to be the quarterback for the Jets as well instead of the since-benched Zach Wilson.

Elsewhere in the AFC East, the Miami Dolphins will travel to face the Los Angeles Chargers in a game with plenty of playoff implications.

Miami is still within striking distance of a Buffalo team it already defeated once and plays again in Week 15, but it is also just two games ahead of the Chargers in the race for a wild-card spot. A loss to the Chargers would mean the Dolphins would hit the road to face the Bills with two consecutive defeats and suddenly in danger of falling out of playoff position.

They finish with division matchups against the New England Patriots and Jets, so any cushion they can build will help before the stretch run.

This is also a showdown between Tua Tagovailoa, who was the No. 5 overall pick of the 2020 NFL draft, and Justin Herbert, who was the No. 6 overall pick of that draft. Herbert is an established star, but Tagovailoa is playing the best football of his career and could make some noise in the playoffs with Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle.

His former teammate at Alabama, Jalen Hurts, will also be in a featured game in Week 14 when the Philadelphia Eagles hit the road to face the New York Giants.

Philadelphia has the inside track on the No. 1 seed and the first-round bye in the NFC, while the Giants are trending in the wrong direction with a 1-3-1 record in the last five games. With the Seattle Seahawks and Washington Commanders right behind them in the standings, they cannot afford to drop many more if they are going to get a wild-card spot.

Unfortunately for Daniel Jones and Co., that is much easier said than done against the dominant Eagles.