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NFL playoff picture after Week 13 games - USA Today

December 05,2017 10:20

Elsewhere, Vikings now have inside track for home field in NFC, while Chiefs stay in field despite three-way AFC West tie.and more »


Nate Davis, USA TODAY Sports Published 8:37 p.m. ET Dec. 3, 2017 | Updated 12:17 a.m. ET Dec. 5, 2017

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SportsPulse: USA TODAY Sports' Jarrett Bell breaks down the biggest happenings from NFL Week 13. USA TODAY Sports

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Here's how the NFL playoff picture looks after Week 13's action.
NFC1. Minnesota Vikings (10-2): NFC North leader. A superior strength of victory tiebreaker moves them into the top spot over Philly. Extend their win streak to nine next weekend, and the Vikes will officially be crowned division champions.
2. Philadelphia Eagles (10-2): NFC East leader. Their loss Sunday night in Seattle was a reminder they've largely preyed on inferior competition, but they remain one win (or Dallas loss) from putting a bow on the division.
3. Los Angeles Rams (9-3): NFC West leader. Their first winning season since 2003 could also produce their first division title in that span.
4. New Orleans Saints (9-3): NFC South leader. A season sweep of Carolina effectively gives them a two-game lead over both the Panthers and Falcons.
5. Seattle Seahawks (8-4): Wild card No. 2. Vanquishing the Eagles cements their playoff position and serves a reminder they're still legitimate contenders. A better record in NFC games gives Seattle a higher seed than Carolina.
6. Carolina Panthers (8-4): Wild card No. 2. Costly loss in New Orleans. The good news is their next three are in Charlotte. The bad news is they'll be hosting the Vikings, then the Packers, who may have Aaron Rodgers back.
In the hunt: Atlanta Falcons (7-5), Detroit Lions (6-6), Dallas Cowboys (6-6), Green Bay Packers (6-6), Arizona Cardinals (5-7), Washington Redskins (5-7)
AFC1. Pittsburgh Steelers (10-2): AFC North leader. They reclaimed the top seed — barely — based on the strength of victory tiebreaker after Monday's narrow win at Cincinnati. The Steelers are now one week closer to the Week 15 showdown with New England that will really matter.
2. New England Patriots (10-2): AFC East leader. After extending their winning streak to eight, they now own 15 consecutive seasons with double-digit victories. One more win will mean a ninth division title in a row.
3. Tennessee Titans (8-4): AFC South leader. They continue to appear less imposing than Jacksonville, which shares first place in the division. But the Titans' Week 2 win over the Jags confers the tiebreaker ... for now.
4. Kansas City Chiefs (6-6): AFC West leader. A 2-1 record in division games is the only thing keeping them nominally ahead of the Chargers and Raiders at the moment despite a three-way tie.
5. Jacksonville Jaguars (8-4): Wild card No. 1. To remain on course for a Week 17 battle for the AFC South in Nashville, the Jags must pass stern test against Seattle next week.
6. Baltimore Ravens (7-5): Wild card No. 2. Next Sunday night, they're in Pittsburgh. A loss to the arch rival Steelers would be a serious setback, especially with the Raiders and Chargers back from the dead. But Baltimore's final three opponents have a combined record of 8-27.
In the hunt: Buffalo Bills (6-6), Los Angeles Chargers (6-6), Oakland Raiders (6-6), Cincinnati Bengals (5-7), Miami Dolphins (5-7), New York Jets (5-7)
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Follow Nate Davis on Twitter @ByNateDavis
PHOTOS: Week 13 NFL action

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