NFL Playoff picture after Week 11
Only seven weeks remain in the NFL regular season, and the playoff picture is taking shape. Almost all teams in both conferences are still in the running.
The NFL playoff picture continues to take twists and turns thorugh the eleventh week of the regular seaason. Just about every team in each division are lurking around a playoff spot in a parody driven league.
The 7-4 New England Patriots are on a five game heater that has put them on top of a division that everyone but Pats fans handed to the Buffalo Bills back the preseason. The Bills have lost three of their last five to drop to 6-4. They still have a great chance to win the division, but need to play better than they have over the last month and a half. The 4-7 Dolphins have won three straight, and are flirting with Wild Card positioning out of thin air. The same can’t be said for the Jets who are 2-8 and just hoping to get more snaps for Zach Wilson in his rookie year.
Things are awfully snug in the North. The Cleveland Browns are at the bottom of the division and they are 6-5. Just to put that in perspective, last year Washington won the NFC East with seven wins. The 7-3 Baltimore Ravens remain atop the AFC North after another narrow win, this time over the Bears in Week 11. They are leading the 6-4 Cincinnati Bengals by a game, meanwhile the Steelers tie with the Lions has put a kink in the standings. They sit third at 5-4-1 and are above the six-win Browns on the bottom of the division.
Kansas City has turned the West on it’s side with a four game win streak and now lead the division at 7-4. How things have changed in a matter of a couple weeks when the Los Angeles and Las Vegas Raiders looked like the division favorites. The Chargers have lost three of their last five, and sit second at 6-4. The Raiders are now tied with the Broncos at 5-5 after a three game losing streak.
The South just got a bit more interesting with the sudden insurgence of the 6-5 Indianapolis Colts. The 8-3 Tennessee Titans had a firm grasp on the division, and still do if were are being honest. But a sign on potential trouble could be on the horizon after the loss to the Houston Texans over the weekend. The 2-8 Texans may have earned a much needed win but they are a long way from being relevant in the Wild Card race, same goes for the 2-8 Jacksonville Jaguars.
AFC playoff picture after 11 weeks:— Ari Meirov (@MySportsUpdate) November 22, 2021
1) Titans: 8-3
2) Ravens: 7-3
3) Patriots: 7-4
4) Chiefs: 7-4
5) Bengals: 6-4
6) Chargers: 6-4
7) Bills: 6-4
This is where things start to get interesting. At the moment the Patriots, Chiefs, Ravens and Titans would be getting automatic playoff spots as the leaders of the division, with the Titans getting home field advantage throughout. The Bengals would get the first of three Wild Card spots at 6-4, The Chargers and the Bills would be the other two teams to wrap up the final playoff spots with the same record as the Bengals. All but three teams in the AFC are within a game of the current three Wild Card teams, the teams on the outside looking in to the playoff picture are the Jags, Texans and Jets.
Jalen Hurts and the 5-6 Philadelphia Eagles have all of the sudden made sure the Dallas Cowboys stay on their game over the final stretch of the regular season. Staying on their game has been something that is much easier said than done for the for the 7-3 Cowboys who have lost two of their last three. Washington are starting to make some noise after two straight wins, but they’ll be more focused on a Wild Card spot than winning the division. The Giants have more pressing concerns than making the playoffs. They will be more worried about staying healthy and protecting their quarterback.
No one will be surprised if the Green Bay Packers end up winning this division. They are 8-3 and have had relatively no competition in the the North, but the 5-5 Minnesota Vikings have had some quality wins over the last two weeks including a win over the Pack, and the Chargers. The Packers don’t look like a team that will have too many more slip ups but if the Vikes can keep pace the they will have a decent chance at a Wild Card spot. The Bears look like no threat at 3-7, and as Aaron Rodgers had reminded them this season, he owns them. And the Lions, well they have their own battles to face at 0-9-1.
The Cardinals are back on top of the NFC even without their stud quarterback Kyler Murray. Colt McCoy has won two of three starts and has Arizona in the drivers seat for home field advantage going in to their bye. The Los Angeles Rams have come into question after some soft performances against the Titans and the Niners before their bye week. They are still 7-3 after their two game skid, and seem like they’ll be giving the Cardinals hell in the West until Week 18. The Niners have won three straight and have announced themselves as challengers for a Wild Card spot, while the 3-7 Seattle Seahawks continue to struggle even with Russell Wilson returning under center.
Tampa Bay needed a big rebound after a two game losing streak, and that’s what they got against the Giants on Monday Night to improve to 7-3 on the season. They were fortunate that the rest of the teams in the South struggled in the midst of their losing streak as well, so they still hold a two game lead over the 5-5 New Orleans Saints who have lost their last three. How will Cam Newton;s incorporation affect the 5-6 Carolina Panthers? While the division may be out of reach, they and the Falcons will be eyeing a Wild Card spot come season’s end.
As it stands the Cardinals, Packers, Bucs and Cowboys would be on to the playoffs with an automatic, division winning spot in the playoffs, while the Rams would be the first team in at 7-3, while the 5-5 Saints and Vikings would secure the final post season spots. But the Eagles, Niners, and Panthers all have five wins, the same as the Saints and Vikes, Washington, New York, Seattle and Chicago will fancy their chances as well. The only team you can officially count out is the Detroit Lions. Mathematically they might not be eliminated, but they don’t check out against the eye test.
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