The NFL is chugging along through Week 12, and while no team can clinch a playoff berth, the playoff picture will be plenty shaked up with wins and losses. We’ll follow along today and through Monday Night Football with how each result impacts the playoff race — well, the games that can actually impact it. That’s followed by an updated look at the playoff picture in each conference.
4:00/4:25 p.m. results
Patriots 13, Cowboys 9: The Patriots improved to 10-1, marking their 17th straight season with at least ten wins. They are now four games up on the teams bunched into the second wild card berth, so I believe they can clinch a playoff spot next week. The Cowboys drop to 6-5 and are one game up on the Eagles in the NFC East.
Titans 42, Jaguars 20: The Titans thoroughly embarrassed the Jaguars and might have ended their season. The Jaguars are not eliminated from playoff contention, but they now sit two games back of four teams in the wild card, and three games back of the Texans in the AFC South. Meanwhile, the Titans are now tied with the Raiders, Colts, and Steelers at 6-5.
1:00 p.m. results
Jets 34, Raiders 3: Oh, Oakland. The Raiders were on a roll of late, but they blew it in New Jersey. Sam Darnold had a great game, Derek Carr stunk up the joint, and the Jets defense took care of business. The Raiders drop into a tie with the Colts and Steelers for the second wild card berth.
Browns 41, Dolphins 24: The Browns rolled the Dolphins to keep their playoff chances alive. They improve to 5-6 and with the Raiders losing a shocker to the jets, Cleveland is now one game back of the Raiders, Colts, and Steelers.
Seahawks 17, Eagles 9: Carson Wentz struggled on Sunday and the Seahawks got a key win over their NFC rival. If the Packers beat the 49ers, Seattle would move into first place in the NFC West. The Eagles loss drops them to 5-6 and awaiting the Cowboys game result. If the Cowboys lose to the Patriots, Philly remains a game back. If the Cowboys spring the upset, Philly drops two games back.
Saints 34, Panthers 31: The Panthers faint playoff hopes took a likely mortal hit as they blew a shot at a road upset. Kicker Joey Slye missed two extra points and a field goal, and Wil Lutz kicked a game-winning field goal as time expired. The Saints remain in the hunt for a first round bye. If the Packers lose on Sunday Night Football, the Saints move into the No. 2 seed. If the Packers win, the Seahawks would leapfrog the Saints in the playoff seeding.
1. New England Patriots: 9-1 — vs. Cowboys
2. Baltimore Ravens: 8-2 — @ Rams
3. Houston Texans: 7-4 — @ Ravens
4. Kansas City Chiefs: 7-4 — BYE
5. Buffalo Bills: 8-3 — vs. Broncos
6. Pittsburgh Steelers (6-5) — 16-10 over Bengals
NFC playoff picture
1. San Francisco 49ers: 9-1 — vs. Packers
2. New Orleans Saints: 9-2 — 34-31 over Panthers
3. Green Bay Packers: 8-2 — @ 49ers
4. Dallas Cowboys: 6-4 — @ Patriots
5. Seattle Seahawks: 9-2 — 17-9 over Eagles
6. Minnesota Vikings: 8-3 — BYE