NFL Playoff Picture Week 14: Scenarios for AFC and NFC 2019 Postseason Matchups

Jake RillAnalyst IIIDecember 3, 2019

San Francisco 49ers running back Raheem Mostert (31) scores a touchdown against Baltimore Ravens defensive back Chuck Clark (36) and linebacker Jaylon Ferguson (45) in the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 1, 2019, in Baltimore, Md. (AP Photo/Gail Burton)
Gail Burton/Associated Press

Four weeks to go in the NFL regular season, and there's a lot still to be decided.

One thing is certain—the New Orleans Saints have won the NFC South and will be back in the playoffs this season. Everything else is subject to change, though, as no other team has even clinched a spot in the postseason just yet.

Heading into Week 14, here's a look at the NFL playoff picture and projected postseason matchups as things stand.


NFL Playoff Picture


Division Leaders

1. Baltimore (10-2)

2. New England (10-2)

3. Houston (8-4)

4. Kansas City (8-4)


Wild-Card Race

5. Buffalo (9-3)

6. Pittsburgh (7-5)

7. Tennessee (7-5)

8. Oakland (6-6)

9. Indianapolis (6-6)

10. Cleveland (5-7)

11. Jacksonville (4-8)

12. Denver (4-8)

13. L.A. Chargers (4-8)

14. N.Y. Jets (4-8)


Officially Eliminated

15. Miami (3-9)

16. Cincinnati (1-11)



Division Leaders

1. New Orleans (10-2)

2. Seattle (10-2)

3. Green Bay (9-3)

4. Dallas (6-6)


Wild-Card Race

5. San Francisco (10-2)

6. Minnesota (8-4)

7. L.A. Rams (7-5)

8. Chicago (6-6)

9. Tampa Bay (5-7)

10. Philadelphia (5-7)

11. Carolina (5-7)

12. Washington (3-9)


Officially Eliminated

13. Detroit (3-8-1)

14. Arizona (3-8-1)

15. Atlanta (3-9)

16. N.Y. Giants (2-10)


AFC Playoff Scenarios

Current Bracket

No. 1 Baltimore and No. 2 New England earn first-round byes

No. 6 Pittsburgh at No. 3 Houston

No. 5 Buffalo at No. 4 Kansas City

Although none of these teams are currently locked into the playoffs, that could change for several of them this week.

The Ravens can clinch the AFC North with a win over the Bills and a Steelers loss to the Cardinals. If the second part doesn't happen, then Baltimore would still seal a playoff berth just by winning at Buffalo. There are several other scenarios in which the Ravens could secure a playoff spot this week, but the others involve a tie occurring.

The Chiefs could also clinch their division this week, as they would secure the AFC West title with a win over the Patriots and a Raiders loss to the Titans.

The AFC East is currently a tight race between the Patriots and Bills, with Buffalo only one game behind New England with four weeks of the regular season remaining. However, both teams could clinch a playoff berth this weekend.

The Pats would secure a spot with a win over the Chiefs. There are several other scenarios in which they could clinch, but those all require a tie.

The Bills need to beat the Ravens and have the Texans, Colts and Raiders all lose in order to secure a playoff berth this week.


NFC Playoff Scenarios

Current Bracket

No. 1 New Orleans and No. 2 Seattle earn first-round byes

No. 6 Minnesota at No. 3 Green Bay

No. 5 San Francisco at No. 4 Dallas

While the Saints have already clinched the NFC South title, it's not possible for any other team in the conference to join them this week.

The Seahawks and 49ers are both 10-2, and the NFC West may not be decided until Week 17, when those two teams face off in Seattle.

The Packers have only a one-game lead over the Vikings in the NFC North, while the Cowboys also only have a one-game lead over the Eagles in the NFC East.

However, there are still some clinches that could take place in the NFC this week.

The 49ers would claim a playoff berth with a win over the Saints and a Rams loss or tie to the Seahawks, and Seattle will clinch a playoff berth with either a win or tie against the Rams.

Unlike the AFC, where the wild-card picture is crowded, the NFC has less teams within striking distance of a potential playoff spot. There's a strong chance these six teams will be the ones from the conference in the playoffs, unless the Rams or Bears make things interesting in the next few weeks.