NFL standings: Updated AFC, NFC playoff picture for Week 11 of 2020 seasonSporting News — (Vinnie Iyer)
Week 11 is here, ushering in final seven weeks of the 2020 NFL regular season. Every win becomes a lot more important in trying to lock down division titles or wild-card berths to get into the playoffs, while every loss can further dash those hopes.
The postseason field expanding by one team each in the AFC and the NFC to a total of 14 has brought more teams into realistic contention over the near two-month closing stretch Based on the current standings, here's an updated look at what each conference tournament would look like if the playoffs started now:
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NFL standings for Week 11
AFC playoff picture
Who would be in?
1. Pittsburgh Steelers (10-0), first place, AFC North. The Steelers have a precarious game lead over the Chiefs for the top seed and the lone bye. They have a very favorable schedule ahead to follow the Jaguars win in Week 11. They now lead the Browns by three games and the Ravens by four games in the division, with head-to-head tiebreakers against both teams. The Steelers and Chiefs do not play each other.
2. Kansas City Chiefs (9-1), first place, AFC West. The Chiefs got a much-needed Week 11 road win after the bye to avenge their Week 5 home loss to the Raiders. They now have a comfortable three-game lead in the division with only six left to play. The Chiefs also will travel to the Buccaneers, Saints and Dolphins. It will probably come down to the wire for the No. 1 seed between them and the Steelers.
3. Buffalo Bills (7-3), first place, AFC East. The Bills' last-second loss to the Cardinals was costly. Their division lead over the Dolphins is down to only a half-game for their Week 11 bye, with the Patriots 2.5 games behind. The Bills did beat the Dolphins and Patriots earlier, which helps, but they did lose to the Chiefs and Titans, which will hurt their seeding as still likely division champions. They get a shot at the Steelers at home in Week 14. They stay ahead of the Colts with a better conference record.
4. Indianapolis Colts (7-3), first place, AFC South. The Colts had to beat the Packers to stay ahead of the Titans, whom they beat in Week 10. The win over a quality NFC opponent in Week 11 also strengthened their wild-card fallback position. The Colts' key AFC losses are to the Browns and Ravens. They play the Titans again in Week 12 with first place on the line. They also play the Raiders in Week 14 and the Steelers in Week 16, both on the road.
5. Tennessee Titans (7-3), second place, AFC South. The Titans got a much-needed win against the Ravens, another wild-card hopeful, to at least get this wild-card position after the Colts followed suit with an overtime win of their own against the Packers. Now they to focus on splitting with the Colts in Indianapolis next week. The Titans also have a key AFC win over the Bills. They play the Browns, over whom they have a conference record edge, in Week 13.
6. Cleveland Browns (7-3), second place, AFC North. The Browns got another gritty cold, rainy weather win over the Eagles at home to get back into wild-card position, thrilled by the Ravens also losing to the Titans to fall one game behind them. The Browns lost to the Raiders but beat the Colts and they draw the Titans in Week 13.
7. Las Vegas Raiders (6-4), second place, AFC West. The Raiders are still here after losing to the Chiefs on Sunday night because they still have a superior conference record (4-3) than either the Dolphins or Ravens. They beat the Browns and also get shots at home against the Colts (Week 14) and Dolphins (Week 16) in December.
Who can get there?
8. Miami Dolphins (6-4)
9. Baltimore Ravens (6-4)
The Ravens dropped all the way down here after their shocking blown-lead home loss to the Titans as their freefall continues from the AFC's top seed in 2019. They also are in third place in the North now, too, behind the Browns. The Dolphins' upset loss at the Broncos put them out of position.
Who's likely out?
10. Denver Broncos (4-6)
11. New England Patriots (4-6)
12. Los Angeles Chargers (3-7)
13. Houston Texans (3-7)
14. Cincinnati Bengals (2-7-1)
15. Jacksonville Jaguars (1-9)
16. New York Jets (0-10)
The Broncos are still out of luck depsite beating the Dolphins. The Patriots wasted their Ravens victory with a loss to the Texans. The Bengals needed to beat Washington to stay alive but now are done with the loss and Joe Burrow hurt. The Chargers can keep thinking about what might have been with Justin Herbert with all their close losses, while the Texans already dug themselves too deep of a hole. The Jets can still focus on edging the Jaguars for the No. 1 pick in the draft.
NFC playoff picture
Who would be in?
1. New Orleans Saints (8-2), first place, NFC South. The Saints' sparkling conference record (now 7-1) is a big asset after their Week 11 thrashing of the Falcons with Taysom Hill. They have a one-game lead over the Packers, which puts them back on top because they lose the head-to-head tiebreaker otherwise.
2. Los Angeles Rams (7-3), first place, NFC West. The Rams jumped the Seahawks in the standings with their Monday night win over the Buccaneers following a Week 10 beat down They are just 1-1 in the division, having lost to the 49ers, but they are now 7-1 in the conference overall, giving them the conference-record tiebreaker over the Packers for this spot.
3. Green Bay Packers (7-3), first place, NFC North. The Packers still hold a two-game division lead over the bye-week Bears, who are fading fast and whom the Packers get to play twice, including in Week 12 at Lambeau Field. The AFC loss to the Colts hurts in Week 11, because it dropped them from No. 1 all the way down here. They also need to root for the Rams, Seahawks and Buccaneers to fade so they can work to get back home-field advantage over the Saints, whom they beat in New Orleans in Week 3.
4. Philadelphia Eagles (3-6-1), first place, NFC East. The Eagles should be pulling away and winning the division in the second half after their Week 9 bye, but they got off to a rough start by losing to the Giants in Week 10, tightening the race. The Eagles somehow looked worse in the Week 11 loss at the Browns. They would not finish higher or lower than this seed if they win the East and hope to still be a dangerous playoff floater.
5. Seattle Seahawks (7-3), second place, NFC West. The Seahawks briefly took the division lead when they beat the Cardinals to open Week 11, but fell down to the top wild-card spot with the Rams beating he Buccaneers on Monday night. The Rams beat the Seahawks in their first meeting in Week 10.
6. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (7-4) second place, NFC South. The Buccaneers blew a big opportunity to become the division and conference front-runners against the Saints. Now they need to finish a full game ahead of the Saints, to whom they lost twice, to take the South. They are in strong shape, however, to fall back on one of the three wild cards with already seven wins. Losing to the Rams at home to close Week 11 didn't help, however. Their other tough game is at home against the Chiefs in Week 12, before a weak slate after the Week 13 bye.
7. Arizona Cardinals (6-4), third place, NFC West. The Cardinals dropped back four spots to the final NFC wild card with their loss against the Seahawks. They will stay here unless the Rams lose, in which case they will jump up to No. 6 by virtue of a better conference record. They are still a full game ahead of the idle Bears regardless.
Who can get there?
8. Chicago Bears (5-5)
9. Minnesota Vikings (4-6)
The Bears, after starting 5-1, have free-fallen to .500 for their Week 11 bye. The Vikings made a big move back toward contention by beating the Bears in Week 10, ony to fall flat against the Cowboys at home in Week 11. They still can make a run, but the Dallas and Seattle losses hurt most.
Who's likely out?
10. Detroit Lions (4-6)
11. San Francisco 49ers (4-6)
12. Carolina Panthers (4-7)
13. Dallas Cowboys (3-7)
14. Washington Football Team (3-7)
15. New York Giants (3-7)
16. Atlanta Falcons (3-7)
The Lions joined this group with their bad loss to the Panthers in Week 11. The injury-riddled 49ers' latest bad loss, to the Saints, is part of a very difficult slate ahead. The Falcons and Panthers have proved to be extremely flawed teams because of defense and injuries. That awful NFC East trio still should focus more on the draft behind the Eagles, despite the Giants winning two in a row in the division.