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What Week 12 means for the 2020 NFL playoff picture

A handful of tight division races could get a shake up in Week 12. Here’s a look at the playoff picture and how this week’s game could change things.

Kansas City Chiefs v Las Vegas Raiders Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

UPDATE: We’re updating playoff standings coming out of Week 12 here.

We didn’t get the Thanksgiving Day primetime matchup between the Steelers and Ravens, a game that could have had meaningful implications for the AFC playoff picture. It’s bumped to Tuesday as COVID sweeps through the Baltimore locker room. But there was still a game that shook up the playoff order a bit, with Washington thumping Dallas to take control of the smelly pile of jockstraps that is the NFC East. Technically it’s not too late for Washington to slide into the playoffs with a winning record, but that seems like a stretch. And the other three teams in that division are not out of mix yet, believe it or not. In fact, if the Eagles can beat the Seahawks on Monday, they’d move into the division lead.

Speaking the Steelers, they can clinch a spot with a win and a losses by the Dolphins and Raiders. If both Pittsburgh and the Chiefs win, the Steelers would hang onto the top spot because they’d still have a slight edge in conference record (the Chiefs are playing an NFC team this week.) If the Steelers lose and the Chiefs win, Kansas City would move into the first seed.

One of the more important games in the AFC is the Colts hosting the Titans. Right now, the Colts have an edge because they beat Tennessee the last time they played, back in Week 10. If the Titans win this one, they’d move into the top spot in their division.

The Rams could move into the top spot in the NFC with a win and a Saints loss. Los Angeles would have the tie breaker in that scenario based on their conference record. A Rams loss an a Seahawks win would vault Seattle to the top of the NFC West.

AFC

1. Pittsburgh Steelers, 10-0
2. Kansas City Chiefs, 9-1
3. Buffalo Bills, 7-3 (Conference record over IND)
4. Indianapolis Colts, 7-3 (H2H tiebreaker over TEN)

5. Tennessee Titans, 7-3 (Conference record over CLE)
6. Cleveland Browns, 7-3
7. Las Vegas Raiders, 6-4 (Conference record record over BAL, MIA)

Outside looking in: Baltimore Ravens (6-4), Miami Dolphins (6-4)

Raiders (6-4) @ Falcons (3-7)
Chargers (3-7) @ Bills (7-3)
Titans (7-3) @ Colts (7-3)
Dolphins (6-4) @ Jets (0-10)
Browns (7-3) @ Jaguars (1-9)
Chiefs (9-1) @ Buccaneers (7-4)

NFC

1. New Orleans Saints, 8-2
2. Los Angeles Rams, 7-3 (Conference record over GB)
3. Green Bay Packers, 7-3
4. Washington Football Team (4-7)

5. Seattle Seahawks, 7-3
6. Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 7-4
7. Arizona Cardinals, 6-4

Outside looking in: Chicago Bears (5-5), Minnesota Vikings (4-6), Detroit Lions (4-6), San Francisco 49ers (4-6), New York Giants (3-7), Dallas Cowboys (3-7), Philadelphia Eagles, (3-6-1)

Washington Football Team 41, Cowboys 16
Panthers (4-7) @ Vikings (4-6)
Cardinals (6-4) @ Patriots (4-6)
Saints (8-2) @ Broncos (4-6)
49ers (4-6) @ Rams (7-3)
Chiefs (9-1) @ Buccaneers (7-4)
Bears (5-5) @ Packers (7-3)
Seahawks (7-3) @ Eagles (3-7)