NFL Playoff Standings 2023: Updated AFC, NFC Records and Power Rankings

Zach Buckley@@ZachBuckleyNBAFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 17, 2023

NFL Playoff Standings 2023: Updated AFC, NFC Records and Power Rankings

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    PHILADELPHIA, PA - JANUARY 08: Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts (1) during pregame of the National Football league game between the New York Giants and Philadelphia Eagles on January 8, 2023 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, PA (Photo by John Jones/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
    John Jones/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

    Just eight NFL teams remain in pursuit of Super Bowl LVII bliss.

    The wild-card round saw the playoff field nearly sliced in half, as six teams advanced and six others were sent to summer vacation. Meanwhile, the top-seeded teams in both conferences, the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC and Philadelphia Eagles in the NFC, got to kick back, enjoy some great football and rest up for the treacherous road ahead.

    What's on deck for football fanatics? Almost certainly another great round of playoff action.

    Let's look ahead, then, by resetting the playoff field with a fresh batch of subjective power rankings, then diving deeper into each team still in the Super Bowl chase.

Power Rankings

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    SANTA CLARA, CALIFORNIA - JANUARY 14: Christian McCaffrey #23 of the San Francisco 49ers carries the ball against the Seattle Seahawks during the first half in the NFC Wild Card playoff game at Levi's Stadium on January 14, 2023 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
    Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

    1. San Francisco 49ers: 14-4

    2. Kansas City Chiefs: 14-3

    3. Buffalo Bills: 14-3

    4. Philadelphia Eagles: 14-3

    5. Cincinnati Bengals: 13-4

    6. Dallas Cowboys: 13-5

    7. New York Giants: 10-7-1

    8. Jacksonville Jaguars: 10-8

The AFC Field

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    LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - JANUARY 07: Patrick Mahomes #15 of the Kansas City Chiefs throws a pass against the Las Vegas Raiders during the second half of the game at Allegiant Stadium on January 07, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Getty Images)
    Jeff Bottari/Getty Images

    2. Kansas City Chiefs

    Patrick Mahomes is always a magician, but he might be most magical in the divisional round. He'll enter the upcoming tilt against the Jaguars with a career 4-0 record in the second round, throwing nine touchdowns and zero interceptions in those contests. The second-half ascension of rookie running back Isiah Pacheco made this explosive offense even harder to handle.

    3. Buffalo Bills

    The Bills had a great regular season, but they were...uh...less than great in their playoff opener. Against a Miami Dolphins team down to its third-string quarterback, Buffalo had to sweat out a 34-31 triumph despite taking a 17-0 lead. Josh Allen is about as dynamic as quarterbacks come, but he had 16 turnovers in the regular season and had three more giveaways on Sunday.

    5. Cincinnati Bengals

    A banged-up offensive line struggled to keep Joe Burrow upright (four sacks) or give Joe Mixon any running room (11 carries for 39 yards). That's why the Bengals were nearly bounced by a Baltimore Ravens team playing without Lamar Jackson. Cincinnati boasts an elite collection of playmakers, but the blockers have to buy them enough time to make those plays.

    8. Jacksonville Jaguars

    Everything about the Jaguars feels improbable, from their worst-to-first turnaround in the AFC South to their wild-card win over the Los Angeles Chargers. Trevor Lawrence's four first-half interceptions put the Jags in a 27-0 hole, but his four touchdown passes helped them rally for a 31-30 triumph. Their roster can't hang with Kansas City's on paper, but Jacksonville made a habit out of surprising folks all season.

The NFC Field

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    TAMPA, FL - JANUARY 16: Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott (4) throws a pass during the NFC Wild Card Playoff game between the Dallas Cowboys and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on January 16, 2023 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
    Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

    1. San Francisco 49ers

    The 49ers have won a league-best 11 straight contests, a stretch that coincided with Christian McCaffrey joining the starting lineup. Brock Purdy had a few rookie moments on Saturday but ironed them out in time to hang 332 passing yards and four scores on the Seattle Seahawks. He's in a great spot to keep this going, as coach Kyle Shanahan has done a masterful job of scheming this offense's many playmakers open.

    4. Philadelphia Eagles

    A sprained shoulder held Jalen Hurts out of Weeks 16 and 17 (two of Philly's three losses all season), and he didn't exactly set the world on fire upon his return. In Week 18, he managed just 229 passing yards and 13 rushing yards with zero scores against a Giants team resting many of its regulars. If Hurts is healthy, the Eagles might be the league's best team. If he isn't, they're vulnerable.

    6. Dallas Cowboys

    The Cowboys can be electric, as evidenced by their 31-14 takedown of Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Monday. Dallas can also be maddeningly inconsistent, as evidenced by its head-scratching 20-point loss to Sam Howell and the Washington Commanders the week prior. There is no bigger wild card in this field.

    7. New York Giants

    New York's defense hit its stride down the stretch, and its offense may have played its best football of the season in Sunday's win over the Minnesota Vikings. Daniel Jones threw for 301 yards, and Saquon Barkley totaled 109 scrimmage yards, while the team committed zero turnovers and only punted twice. This isn't an elite group on paper, but it can feel like one when the defense gets stops and the running game has it rolling.