NFL Standings 2020: Week 13 Records, Playoff Scenarios, Wild-Card Picture

Jake RillFeatured Columnist IDecember 1, 2020

NFL Standings 2020: Week 13 Records, Playoff Scenarios, Wild-Card Picture

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    Chris Szagola/Associated Press

    Over the past few weeks, the top of the NFC West standings has had a crowded picture. But after Monday night, the Seattle Seahawks are firmly in first place.

    The Seahawks went on the road and defeated the Philadelphia Eagles 23-17 to improve to 8-3. With both the Los Angeles Rams (7-4) and Arizona Cardinals (6-5) losing this week, Seattle is by itself atop the NFC West and currently the No. 2 seed in the NFC playoff hunt.

    However, only one team from each conference gets a first-round bye this season with seven teams from both the AFC and NFC reaching the postseason. So, the Seahawks will need to find a way to overtake the New Orleans Saints (9-2) down the stretch if they want to avoid playing in the Wild Card Round.

    The Eagles entered Week 12 atop the NFC East, but they're now behind the New York Giants and Washington Football Team (both of whom are 4-7) after falling to 3-7-1.

    Due to the Baltimore Ravens-Pittsburgh Steelers matchup getting postponed three times following a number of positive COVID-19 tests, the Week 12 action still isn't over. This AFC North clash will now take place Wednesday, before the NFL calendar turns to Week 13 on Sunday.

    Here's a look at how the NFL standings and playoff picture stand with one Week 12 contest still to go.

NFL Standings

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    Jack Dempsey/Associated Press

    AFC East

    Buffalo Bills (8-3)

    Miami Dolphins (7-4)

    New England Patriots (5-6)

    New York Jets (0-11)


    AFC North

    Pittsburgh Steelers (10-0)

    Cleveland Browns (8-3)

    Baltimore Ravens (6-4)

    Cincinnati Bengals (2-8-1)


    AFC South

    Tennessee Titans (8-3)

    Indianapolis Colts (7-4)

    Houston Texans (4-7)

    Jacksonville Jaguars (1-10)


    AFC West

    Kansas City Chiefs (10-1)

    Las Vegas Raiders (6-5)

    Denver Broncos (4-7)

    Los Angeles Chargers (3-8)


    NFC East

    New York Giants (4-7)

    Washington Football Team (4-7)

    Philadelphia Eagles (3-7-1)

    Dallas Cowboys (3-8)


    NFC North

    Green Bay Packers (8-3)

    Minnesota Vikings (5-6)

    Chicago Bears (5-6)

    Detroit Lions (4-7)


    NFC South

    New Orleans Saints (9-2)

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers (7-5)

    Atlanta Falcons (4-7)

    Carolina Panthers (4-8)


    NFC West

    Seattle Seahawks (8-3)

    Los Angeles Rams (7-4)

    Arizona Cardinals (6-5)

    San Francisco 49ers (5-6)

AFC Playoff Picture

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    Phelan M. Ebenhack/Associated Press

    First-round bye: No. 1 Pittsburgh Steelers (10-0)

    No. 7 Indianapolis Colts (7-4) at No. 2 Kansas City Chiefs (10-1)

    No. 6 Miami Dolphins (7-4) at No. 3 Tennessee Titans (8-3)

    No. 5 Cleveland Browns (8-3) at No. 4 Buffalo Bills (8-3)

    There was one scenario in which the Steelers could have clinched a playoff berth this week: a win combined with losses for the Dolphins and Raiders.

    However, the Dolphins beat the Jets on Sunday, so the Steelers won't be able to secure a postseason spot just yet even with a win over the Ravens on Wednesday. However, a Pittsburgh victory would ensure the defending AFC North champion can't win the division this year.

    The Ravens are currently outside of a wild-card spot, but they're not far behind at 6-4. There's still time for Baltimore, which was the No. 1 seed in the AFC last season, to work its way back to the postseason.

    The Chiefs could clinch the AFC West title in Week 13 if they beat the Broncos on Sunday and the 6-5 Raiders lose to the Jets. It's unlikely Las Vegas loses to New York, but Kansas City can clinch the division with just two more wins regardless.

    This past Sunday, the Titans took the lead in the AFC South with a 45-26 win over the Colts. While Tennessee is now in control of the division race, it could remain close, especially considering these two teams split their regular-season series.

    After the Patriots had won the AFC East each of the past 11 seasons, that streak appears to be coming to an end. The Bills control their own destiny at the top as they look to win their first division title since 1995.

    In the wild-card race, the Browns currently lead the way at 8-3 in their bid to reach the playoffs for the first time since 2002. But they've already ensured they'll have their first non-losing season since 2007.

    Along with the Ravens, the Raiders and Patriots (5-6) are just outside of wild-card spots but still have time to overtake one of the teams currently holding a berth.

NFC Playoff Picture

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    Butch Dill/Associated Press

    First-round bye: No. 1 New Orleans Saints (9-2)

    No. 7 Arizona Cardinals (6-5) at No. 2 Seattle Seahawks (8-3)

    No. 6 Tampa Bay Buccaneers (7-5) at No. 3 Green Bay Packers (8-3)

    No. 5 Los Angeles Rams (7-4) at No. 4 New York Giants (4-7)

    Of the NFC division leaders, the Packers are the closest to clinching their division. They have a three-game lead over Minnesota and Chicago (both of which are 5-6) but are still at least a couple weeks away from securing the NFC North crown.

    Although the Rams are currently the top wild card in the NFC, they'd be going on the road to face a team with three fewer wins than them to open the playoffs if the season ended today. That's because the NFC East has four teams that are all struggling in 2020.

    New York may be atop the NFC East now, but Washington (4-7), Philadelphia (3-7) and Dallas (3-8) all still remain in the picture. It may not seem right that one of these teams will get to host a Wild Card Round matchup, but that's the way the format works.

    The Saints have won eight games in a row (including the past two without starting quarterback Drew Brees), helping them build a lead in the NFC South and in the race for the No. 1 seed. If they win out, they can ensure they'll automatically advance to the Divisional Round of the playoffs.

    Early in the season, the NFC West was the best division in football, and three teams were battling for the lead. However, the Rams' recent momentum came to an end with a loss to the 49ers this past week, while the Cardinals have lost three of their past four games after a hot start. But Los Angeles and Arizona still remain in NFC wild-card spots at the moment, after Seattle took the division lead.

    There's no team with a winning record currently outside of an NFC playoff spot. The closest competition to the Cardinals for the No. 7 seed are the Vikings, Bears and 49ers, all of whom are 5-6. That's still close enough to quickly work their way into a wild-card berth in the near future, though.