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NFL

2021/2022 NFL week 13: Which teams favourite to reach the playoffs at the moment?

In a topsy-turvy week, the NFL playoff picture is less rather than more clear. This is how it all washes out at the moment but change is the only constant

Update:
FOXBOROUGH, MASSACHUSETTS - NOVEMBER 28: Head coach Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots looks on from the side line during the game against the Tennessee Titans at Gillette Stadium on November 28, 2021 in Foxborough, Massachusetts.   Billie Weiss/G
Billie WeissAFP

If your favorite AFC team is not currently in playoff contention, don’t despair. The AFC this season is an absolute blood bath. No one has clinched, no one is certain and only Houston has been definitively eliminated. That there exists a possibility in this season that the 2-10 Jauguars might still mathematically make the playoffs going into Week 14 is insane. In fact, it is entirely possible that of the seven contenders, several of the top teams may not make it at all. And there are teams near the bottom of the pack that could win their divisions.

The Patriots are currently in the hot seat after their sixth consecutive victory. But depending on what happens tonight in Buffalo, they could tumble all the way to five, and several oddsmakers are giving the Bills the nod to that end. All of this chaos was set into motion by the Ravens’ loss to the Steelers on Sunday, but it was already a logjam going into the weekend. With a Bills win tonight, it could all flip again and the Titans would take the top seed with an unlikely Kansas City still in the hunt for the division win.

Over in the NFC things are a little more staid, a little more traditional, in their Week 13 outlook. Again, nobody has been technically eliminated, thanks in no small part to Detroit getting their first win against Minnesota, but the picture at the top half is entirely less foggy.

At 10-2, Arizona is by far the safest bet in the NFL at the moment, with Green Bay and Tampa Bay their only true competition. The second tier of the league sees a flip-flop battle between the Cowboys and Rams with Washington and San Francisco pulling up the rear. Just outside of the top seven, things are much less clear, with a five-way split for possible Wild Cards but it is unlikely that very much will shake up the top half of the picture.

If the season ended today, this is how the playoff picture would pan out.

AFC

  • Patriots (8-4) First Round Bye
  • Bengals (7-5) v Titans (8-4)
  • Chargers (7-5) v Ravens (8-4)
  • Bills (7-4) v Chiefs (8-4)

NFC

  • Cardinals (10-2) First Round Bye
  • 49ers (6-6) v Packers (9-3)
  • Football Team (6-6) v Buccaneers (9-3)
  • Rams (8-4) v Cowboys (8-4)
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