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NFL Playoff Scenarios 2022-23 Week 15: Standings and Matchups to Watch

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVDecember 13, 2022

SANTA CLARA, CALIFORNIA - DECEMBER 11: Brock Purdy #13 of the San Francisco 49ers celebrates after scrambling and running for a touchdown during an NFL football game between the San Francisco 49ers and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Levi's Stadium on December 11, 2022 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Michael Owens/Getty Images)
Michael Owens/Getty Images

Get ready for a four-week sprint.

The byes are officially in the rearview mirror, the contenders have started to separate themselves, and there are only four games remaining for teams to make one final postseason push.

With that in mind, here is a look at the updated NFL standings and tiebreaker scenarios following the New England Patriots' win over the Arizona Cardinals on Monday Night Football.


AFC

1. Buffalo Bills, 10-3 (tiebreaker over KC because of head-to-head)

2. Kansas City Chiefs, 10-3

3. Baltimore Ravens, 9-4 (tiebreaker over CIN because of head-to-head)

4. Tennessee Titans, 7-6

5. Cincinnati Bengals, 9-4

6. Miami Dolphins, 8-5

7. New England Patriots, 7-6 (tiebreaker over LAC because of AFC win percentage and NYJ because of head-to-head)

8. Los Angeles Chargers, 7-6 (tiebreaker over NYJ because of AFC win percentage)

9. New York Jets, 7-6

10. Jacksonville Jaguars, 5-8 (tiebreaker over LV and CLE because of AFC win percentage)

11. Las Vegas Raiders, 5-8 (tiebreaker over CLE because of AFC win percentage)

12. Cleveland Browns, 5-8 (tiebreaker over PIT because of head-to-head)

13. Pittsburgh Steelers, 5-8

14. Indianapolis Colts, 4-8-1

15. Denver Broncos, 3-10

16. Houston Texans, 1-11-1


NFC

1. Philadelphia Eagles, 12-1

2. Minnesota Vikings, 10-3

3. San Francisco 49ers, 9-4

4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 6-7

5. Dallas Cowboys, 10-3

6. Washington Commanders, 7-5-1 (tiebreaker over NYG because of win percentage against NFC East)

7. New York Giants, 7-5-1

8. Seattle Seahawks, 7-6

9. Detroit Lions, 6-7

10. Green Bay Packers, 5-8 (tiebreaker over CAR because of strength of victory)

11. Carolina Panthers, 5-8 (tiebreaker over ATL because of win percentage against NFC South)

12. Atlanta Falcons, 5-8

13. Arizona Cardinals, 4-9 (tiebreaker over NO because of head-to-head and LAR because of win percentage in common games)

14. New Orleans Saints, 4-9 (tiebreaker over LAR because of head-to-head)

15. Los Angeles Rams, 4-9

16. Chicago Bears, 3-10


Fans won't have to wait long for one of the games to watch in Week 15.

The San Francisco 49ers hit the road to face the Seattle Seahawks on Thursday night in a critical NFC West showdown for both sides. San Francisco continues to fend off injuries and remain in the Super Bowl picture, while Seattle is just outside of a wild-card spot and in need of a bounce-back win.

While quarterbacks Trey Lance and Jimmy Garoppolo are both sidelined with long-term injuries, Brock Purdy is the man of the hour after guiding the 49ers to victories over the Miami Dolphins and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

The rookie has completed 67.2 percent of his passes for 461 yards, four touchdowns and two interceptions this year and is doing an ideal job of simply getting the ball into the playmakers' hands and letting them work.

One of those weapons will likely be out after Deebo Samuel suffered an ankle injury against Tampa Bay, but Christian McCaffrey, Brandon Aiyuk and George Kittle will look to stretch the visitors' winning streak to seven and hand Seattle a fourth loss in the last five games.

This is close to a must-win for those Seahawks considering they are at the Kansas City Chiefs the following game and now looking up at the New York Giants and Washington Commanders. They also have a chance to gain some ground on those teams since they are playing each other in a key Week 15 rematch.

New York and Washington tied in Week 13 but are headed in opposite directions.

The Giants are an ugly 1-4-1 in their last five games after a 6-1 start, while the Commanders are 6-1-1 in their last seven after a 1-4 start. If Washington can keep that momentum rolling at home, it will have the key head-to-head tiebreaker over its division rival and the inside track on a playoff spot.

Elsewhere, the Dolphins' playoff spot is somewhat more precarious following a loss to the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday.

They are just one game ahead of the Chargers, New York Jets and New England Patriots in a race for the two wild-card spots behind the Cincinnati Bengals and have the unenviable task of facing Josh Allen and the Buffalo Bills on the road in Week 15.

Miami already defeated the Bills in Week 3, but this time could be quite different in potentially snowy conditions against a Super Bowl contender that has won four in a row.

Another loss could have a Miami team with championship hopes of its own fighting for a final postseason spot after such a promising start to the campaign.