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Ravens solidify top spot, Saints blow chance at stop spot

The NFL is moving along through Week 14 of the 2019 regular season. We’ve got the latest look at the playoff picture heading into an important NFC East matchup on Monday Night Football.

George Kittle of the San Francisco 49ers celebrates a touchdown against the New Orleans Saints during the third quarter in the game at Mercedes Benz Superdome on December 08, 2019 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images

The NFL wrapped up the Week 14 weekend, and heads into Monday Night Football with big playoff implications for one of the two teams. The 5-7 Eagles host the 2-10 Giants, and somehow Philadelphia can move into a first place tie with a win. The NFC East is a disaster, and there is a decent chance the winner will come away at .500 or worse. Oh, and then they’ll host a potentially 12- or 13-win 49ers or Seahawks team.

The big winner this week was the 49ers. They won a wild shootout over the Saints 48-46, and then watched the Seahawks lose to the Rams on Sunday Night Football. San Francisco moves back into the top spot with a full game lead on their competitors. Even still, they are likely going to have to win in Seattle in Week 17 to secure home field in the NFC. Meanwhile, the Saints loss bumps the Packers into the top spot courtesy of the tiebreaker edge.

The Ravens took a big step forward in securing home field advantage in the AFC playoffs. They beat the Bills, and that coupled with the Patriots losing to the Chiefs means Baltimore could clinch home field in the AFC as soon as next week. Meanwhile, New England now is in a fight just to win their own division.

We had a host of teams formally eliminated from playoff contention, but the biggest losers that still have a shot are the Colts and Raiders. Both lost more or less must-win games and now sit two games back of the second wild card spot.

Below is a full rundown of the playoff picture followed by key matchups in Week 15 for each conference.

NFC playoff picture

1. San Francisco 49ers: 11-2 (beat Saints 48-46)
2. Green Bay Packers: 10-3 (beat Washington 20-15)
3. New Orleans Saints: 10-3 (lost to 49ers 48-46)
4. Dallas Cowboys: 6-7 (lost to Bears 31-24)

5. Seattle Seahawks: 10-3 (lost to Rams 28-12)
6. Minnesota Vikings: 9-4 (beat Lions 20-7)

In the hunt: Los Angeles Rams (8-5), Chicago Bears (7-6), Philadelphia Eagles (5-7)

Week 15 NFC matchups of note

Bears (7-6) @ Packers (10-3)
Rams (8-5) @ Cowboys (6-7)
Colts (6-7) @ Saints (10-3)

AFC playoff picture

1. Baltimore Ravens: 11-2 (beat Bills 24-17)
2. New England Patriots: 10-3 (lost to Chiefs 23-16)
3. Kansas City Chiefs: 9-4 (beat Patriots 23-16)
4. Houston Texans: 8-5 (lost to Broncos 38-24)

5. Buffalo Bills: 9-4 (lost to Ravens 24-17)
6. Pittsburgh Steelers: 8-5 (beat Cardinals 23-17)

In the hunt: Tennessee Titans (8-5), Oakland Raiders (6-7), Indianapolis Colts (6-7), Cleveland Browns (6-7)

Week 15 AFC matchups of note

Texans (8-5) @ Titans (8-5)
Bills (9-4) @ Steelers (8-5)
Colts (6-7) @ Saints (10-3)