NFL Playoff Picture 2023-24: Updated AFC, NFC Standings After Week 11 SNF
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The Cleveland Browns and Houston Texans continued to defy expectations with Week 11 wins that kept them ahead of the competition in the AFC wild-card race.
Cleveland used a game-winning field goal to defeat the Pittsburgh Steelers with backup quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson at the helm.
Houston continued to shine behind rookie quarterback C.J. Stroud with a win over the Arizona Cardinals.
Cleveland and Houston are now ahead of the Buffalo Bills and Cincinnati Bengals, two perennial AFC contenders, as Week 11 heads into the late afternoon slate.
The teams in the NFC playoff picture did not change after Sunday’s play, but the order of the wild-card teams will. The Dallas Cowboys used a victory over the Carolina Panthers to take the top wild-card spot. The Seattle Seahawks fell from that position to the No. 6 seed, one spot ahead of the Minnesota Vikings.
AFC Playoff Picture
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1. Kansas City (7-2)
2. Baltimore (8-3)
3. Jacksonville (7-3)
4. Miami (7-3)
5. Cleveland (7-3)
6. Houston (6-4)
7. Pittsburgh (6-4)
8. Buffalo (6-5)
9. Indianapolis (5-5)
10. Denver (5-5)
11. Cincinnati (5-5)
12. Las Vegas (5-6)
Cleveland and Houston are making it tough for the established AFC powers to make up ground in the wild-card race.
The Browns defeated the Steelers in their first game after Deshaun Watson’s season-ending shoulder injury was announced.
Kevin Stefanski’s team continued to play incredible defense, as it held the Steelers to 10 points at home.
The Browns are a game up on Houston and Pittsburgh after their win on Sunday. The Texans are in front of the Steelers thanks to a head-to-head win in Week 4.
Houston will finish Week 11 in a wild-card position because the contenders beneath it in the standings either lost head-to-head meetings with it, or have one extra loss.
Buffalo maintained its small deficit to the wild-card places with a blowout victory over the New York Jets during Sunday’s late window.
Buffalo, Indianapolis, Denver and Cincinnati are all within a half-game of each other after the Broncos’ Sunday night win over the Vikings.
The Week 12 matchups between the Bengals and Steelers and Browns and Broncos have the potential to make the wild-card race even more chaotic.
The AFC’s top seed will come into the spotlight on Monday night, when the Kansas City Chiefs host the Philadelphia Eagles.
Kansas City needs a win to remain in the top spot. A Chiefs loss would put Baltimore on top of the AFC entering Week 12.
NFC Playoff Picture
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1. Philadelphia (8-1)
2. Detroit (8-2)
3. San Francisco (7-3)
4. New Orleans (5-5)
5. Dallas (7-3)
6. Seattle (6-4)
7. Minnesota (6-5)
8. Green Bay (4-6)
9. Los Angeles Rams (4-6)
10. Atlanta (4-6)
11. Tampa Bay (4-6)
12. Washington (4-7)
The Dallas Cowboys are up three games in the win column over the teams beneath the No. 7 seed.
Dallas looks like it will cruise to a playoff spot, whether it be as a wild-card team or as the NFC East winner.
The Cowboys will be rooting for the Chiefs on Monday so that the gap between themselves and the Eagles drops to one game.
The Detroit Lions should also cheer for Patrick Mahomes and Co. on Monday so that they can move level on record with the Eagles.
Detroit inched closer to the No. 1 seed by a half-game with its come-from-behind home victory over the Chicago Bears.
San Francisco remained one game behind the Lions with a home win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. That resulted benefited the three teams in the NFC wild-card positions.
The Bucs dropped into a quartet of teams at 4-6, all of whom need to do a lot of work just to get into the playoff conversation.
Seattle finished Sunday a half-game ahead of the Vikings for the No. 6 seed. Minnesota still has a 1.5-game cushion in the race for the No. 7 seed and it can pick up a win before the bye next week against the Chicago Bears.