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How the NFL playoff picture looks coming out of Week 8

The NFL is wrapping up Week 8, and a few teams are standing out in the playoff picture heading into Week 9.

Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers celebrates throwing a fourth quarter touchdown pass while walking off the field with teammates Maurkice Pounce #53 and tight end Eric Ebron #85 against the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium on November 01, 2020 in Baltimore, Maryland. Photo by Todd Olszewski/Getty Images

Week 8 is rapidly coming to a close and over a third of NFL teams have passed through the halfway mark of their schedule. We’ve got a long way to go until the end of the regular season and the start of the playoffs, but the playoff picture is starting to come into focus.

The NFL is expanding the playoff pool this year, adding a wild card team to each conference to bring the total to 14 teams. The No. 1 seed in each conference will get a first round bye. The opening round will feature the three division winners facing the three wild card winners (2/7, 3/6, 4/5).

The big game of Sunday saw the Steelers outlast the Ravens and remain unbeaten. Pittsburgh now has a firm two-game lead in the AFC North with a win in hand over Baltimore. Meanwhile, the Titans lost a stunner to the Bengals and has dropped into a first place tie with the Colts in the AFC South. Over in the NFC, Seattle moved a full game up on Arizona in the West and the Eagles added some padding to their lead in the East.

We have a host of huge matchups in Week 9, notably opening with the 49ers hosting the Packers and Sunday closing with the Bucs hosting the Saints. In between we get Ravens-Colts, Seahawks-Bills, and Bears-Titans. All could have significant playoff implications.

Here’s a look at what the playoff picture looks like heading into Monday Night Football to close out Week 8.

AFC

1. Pittsburgh Steelers, 7-0
2. Kansas City Chiefs, 7-1
3. Buffalo Bills, 6-2
4. Tennessee Titans, 5-2

5. Baltimore Ravens, 5-2
6. Indianapolis Colts, 5-2
7. Cleveland Browns, 5-3

Outside looking in: Las Vegas Raiders (4-3), Miami Dolphins (4-3), Denver Broncos (3-4)

NFC

1. Seattle Seahawks, 6-1
2. Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 6-2
3. Green Bay Packers, 5-2
4. Philadelphia Eagles, 3-4-1

5. New Orleans Saints, 5-2
6. Arizona Cardinals, 5-2
7. Los Angeles Rams, 5-3

Outside looking in: Chicago Bears (5-3), San Francisco 49ers (4-4), Detroit Lions (3-4), Carolina Panthers (3-5)