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NFL Playoff Picture 2022-23: Updated AFC, NFC Standings After Week 15 SNF

Maurice Bobb@@ReeseReportFeatured Columnist IDecember 18, 2022

MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA - DECEMBER 17: Justin Jefferson #18 of the Minnesota Vikings scores a touchdown against the Indianapolis Colts during the fourth quarter of the game at U.S. Bank Stadium on December 17, 2022 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images)
Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

It's been said that history repeats itself.

Unfortunately, that includes dubious history.

That's where Matt Ryan enters the chat.

On Saturday night, Ryan found himself on the wrong end of the largest comeback in NFL history.

The Indianapolis Colts blew a 33-0 lead to the Minnesota Vikings, ultimately losing 39-36.

That kind of collapse is tough on its surface, but for Ryan, it's a bit of déjà vu because he was also the quarterback for the Atlanta Falcons when they fumbled a 28-3 lead over the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LI and lost.

NFL @NFL

THE <a href="https://twitter.com/Vikings?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@VIKINGS</a> CAP OFF THE LARGEST COMEBACK IN NFL HISTORY.<br><br>FROM 33-0 DOWN TO 39-36. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/INDvsMIN?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#INDvsMIN</a> <a href="https://t.co/p4vtjhuPY7">pic.twitter.com/p4vtjhuPY7</a>

Fast forward to Saturday night and Ryan witnessed another historic comeback by an opponent.

With that, the Colts fell further in the standings in the AFC South, where the Tennessee Titans rank No. 1.

Elsewhere, the Cleveland Browns beat the Baltimore Ravens 13-3, giving room for the Cincinnati Bengals to move to No. 1 in the AFC North, while the Buffalo Bills clinched the playoffs and the Vikings and San Francisco 49ers clinched the playoffs and their divisions.

Week 15, as it does most of the time, provided clarity for the NFL's playoff picture, so here's a look at how things stand in the AFC and NFC after Sunday's slate of games.


AFC Standings

1. Buffalo Bills (11-3)

2. Kansas City Chiefs (11-3)

3. Cincinnati Bengals (10-4)

4. Tennessee Titans (7-7)

5. Baltimore Ravens (9-5)

6. Los Angeles Chargers (8-6)

7. Miami Dolphins (8-6)

8. New England Patriots (7-7)

9. New York Jets (7-7)

10. Jacksonville Jaguars (6-8)

11. Las Vegas Raiders (6-8)

12. Cleveland Browns (6-8)

13. Pittsburgh Steelers (6-8)

14. Indianapolis Colts (4-9-1)

15. Denver Broncos (4-10)*

16. Houston Texans (1-12-1)*

* denotes team that has been eliminated from playoff contention


NFC Standings

1. Philadelphia Eagles (13-1)

2. Minnesota Vikings (11-3)

3. San Francisco 49ers (10-4)

4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-8)

5. Dallas Cowboys (10-4)

6. New York Giants (9-5-1)

7. Washington Commanders (7-7-1)

8. Seattle Seahawks (7-7)

9. Detroit Lions (7-7)

10. Green Bay Packers (5-8)

11. Carolina Panthers (5-9)

12. New Orleans Saints (5-9)

13. Atlanta Falcons (5-9)

14. Los Angeles Rams (4-9)

15.Arizona Cardinals (4-9)*

16. Chicago Bears (3-10)*

* denotes team that has been eliminated from playoff contention

NFL @NFL

Guess who's back ... again 😤 For the 7th consecutive season, the <a href="https://twitter.com/Chiefs?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Chiefs</a> are your AFC West Champs! <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/NFLPlayoffs?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#NFLPlayoffs</a><a href="https://twitter.com/budlight?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@budlight</a> | <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/CellyClinched?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#CellyClinched</a> <a href="https://t.co/ZvZQF6UcPV">pic.twitter.com/ZvZQF6UcPV</a>

After the four big early games on Sunday's NFL schedule featuring the Philadelphia Eagles, Kansas City Chiefs, Dallas Cowboys and New York Jets, the playoffs are starting to take focus.

On the table before the action started Sunday was the opportunity for the Chiefs to clinch the AFC West and the Cowboys' chance to clinch a playoff berth.

The Chiefs were tested by the Houston Texans and had to go to overtime to get the 30-24 win, but that victory moved them to 11-3 and effectively clinched the AFC West.

That's seven straight AFC West titles for the Chiefs and eight consecutive playoff berths.

They are rolling just in time for the playoffs and look to be solid Super Bowl contenders, despite losing Tyreek Hill to the Miami Dolphins in the offseason.

Dallas, however, lost 40-34 to the Jacksonville Jaguars in OT.

Trevor Lawrence's performance (318 passing yards, four passing TDs) to overcome a 27-10 deficit kept the Jags alive in the AFC South race.

NFL @NFL

MADNESS IN JACKSONVILLE. WALKOFF PICK-6 FOR THE <a href="https://twitter.com/Jaguars?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@JAGUARS</a>. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/DALvsJAX?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#DALvsJAX</a> <a href="https://t.co/ZQrhOLRuIW">pic.twitter.com/ZQrhOLRuIW</a>

For their part, the Cowboys were still able to secure a playoff berth, so it will be interesting to see how that could affect the desire or need to sign Odell Beckham Jr. in the very near future.

Philly took care of business in its 25-20 win over the Chicago Bears. The Eagles already clinched with their win over the New York Giants, but now it doesn't look like anyone's catching them for No. 1 in the NFC and there's a great chance that they finish with the best record in the league.

The Buffalo Bills beat the Miami Dolphins 32-29 on Saturday, but with the win, they clinched their fourth straight playoff berth.

Thursday Night Football saw the San Francisco 49ers beat the Seattle Seahawks 21-13 and clinch the NFC West title.

Minnesota clinched the NFC North title with their comeback win, improving to 11-3.

All told, the best teams extended their dominance, while the Cowboys faltered.

It remains to be seen if they can bounce back and get on a strong enough run to take them to the Super Bowl.

In "did you see that?" news, the Las Vegas Raiders had the wildest walk-off 30-24 win over the Patriots after a botched lateral by Jakobi Meyers to avoid overtime went to Chandler Jones, who ran it the other way back to the house.

It was one of the wildest finishes in recent memory.

The Detroit Lions beat the Jets 20-17, the Denver Broncos nabbed a 24-15 win over the Arizona Cardinals, the L.A. Chargers got the 17-14 victory over the Titans and the Bengals were down 14-3 to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at halftime, but rallied to finish 34-23 to move to 10-4.

As football fans get ready for Week 16, there are already four teams eliminated from the playoffs: Houston, Chicago, Arizona and Denver.

There are five teams in the AFC that would be in if the season ended today (Cincinnati, Tennessee, Baltimore, Los Angeles Chargers and Miami) and seven on the bubble (New England, New York Jets, Jacksonville, Las Vegas, Pittsburgh and Indianapolis).

For the NFC, there are three teams (Tampa Bay, Washington and New York Giants) that would get their ticket stamped based on Sunday and seven on the bubble (Seattle, Detroit, Green Bay, Carolina, New Orleans, Atlanta and L.A. Rams).