AFC and NFC races and clinching situations

Week 14 options seven key divisional showdowns and a few vital AFC-NFC matchups because the NFL playoff image comes into focus. We run down the massive video games within the AFC and NFC plus the numerous clinching situations as three groups look to punch their tickets to the NFL playoffs with almost a month left of the common season.

NFL Playoff Image: Clinching situations

The Arizona Cardinals have been the one workforce after the 1 PM window with a chance to clinch a spot within the playoffs. Three groups had an opportunity to clinch a spot coming into Sunday, however the Cardinals have been the one one of many three that would achieve this with none assist.

Arizona will likely be in with a win or a tie towards the Los Angeles Rams Monday evening. That they had different routes in earlier than their sport however victories for the Vikings and Saints took these choices off the desk.

Present AFC Playoff Image

1. New England Patriots (9-4)
2. Tennessee Titans (9-4)
3. Kansas Metropolis Chiefs (9-4)
4. Baltimore Ravens (8-5)
5. Los Angeles Chargers (8-5)
6. Indianapolis Colts (7-6)
7. Buffalo Payments (7-6)

8. Cleveland Browns (7-6)
9. Cincinnati Bengals (7-6)
10. Denver Broncos (7-6)
11. Pittsburgh Steelers (6-6-1)
12. Las Vegas Raiders (6-7)
13. Miami Dolphins (6-7)

Chiefs strengthen their place whereas the Raiders spiral continues

The Chiefs and the Patriots are on a collision course. The query is much less about whether or not these groups will meet within the AFC Championship Sport and extra about the place that sport will likely be held.

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Kansas Metropolis throttled the tailspinning Raiders on Sunday for the second time in 5 weeks. The Chiefs have now gained six straight to place a stranglehold on the AFC West. In the meantime, Las Vegas has misplaced for the fifth time in six video games and can virtually actually not be taking part in past Jan. 9.

Ravens playoff hoped hinge on the well being of Jackson, whereas the Browns are proper within the combine

The Baltimore Ravens are in deep, deep hassle. Lamar Jackson is damage and the AFC North is all of a sudden broad open. Jackson left Sunday’s loss to the Browns with an ankle damage within the first quarter and didn’t return. With out Jackson, the Ravens are in peril of not solely dropping out on the division crown, however the playoffs altogether. Video games stay towards the Packers, Bengals, Rams, and Steelers.

The Browns, in the meantime, are all of a sudden proper again in it — though they made a would-be blowout sport very attention-grabbing late. Cleveland finishes the yr towards the Raiders, Packers, Steelers, and Bengals.

Patriots, Colts, Dolphins, and Eagles all on byes

The final month of the season might have hardly arrange higher for the Patriots. They rolled into their Week 14 bye on a seven-game successful streak and safe within the information that, it doesn’t matter what occurs, they would go away the weekend the identical manner they entered it — the AFC’s No. 1 seed.

With a win over Tennessee and at 7-1 within the convention, New England principally owns each tiebreaker. The Pats shut out the season towards the Colts, Payments, Jaguars, and Dolphins.

Indianapolis awakened Sunday because the AFC’s eighth seed however with a 63% probability to make the playoffs, in accordance with FiveThirtyEight. After dealing with New England in Week 15, Indianapolis closes out the season towards the Cardinals, Raiders, and Jaguars.

The Eagles principally have a 1-in-3 probability of constructing the postseason, and their most safe path is after all successful out towards the Giants, Cowboys, and Washington Soccer Staff twice. As for the Dolphins, they’re one way or the other nonetheless within the hunt regardless of beginning 1-7, however they should run the desk and get some assist.

Present NFC Playoff Image

1. Arizona Cardinals (10-2)
2. Inexperienced Bay Packers (10-3)
3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (10-3)
4. Dallas Cowboys (9-4)
5. Los Angeles Rams (8-4)
6. San Francisco 49ers (7-6)
7. Washington Soccer Staff (6-7)

8. Minnesota Vikings (6-7)
9. Philadelphia Eagles (6-7)
10. Atlanta Falcons (6-7)
11. New Orleans Saints (6-7)
12. Carolina Panthers (5-8)
13. Seattle Seahawks (5-8)

Niners blow lead, win in time beyond regulation

Give Jimmy Garoppolo his due. He put collectively a unbelievable drive at crucial time, lifting the 49ers previous the Bengals 26-23 in time beyond regulation of a sport San Francisco almost blew. Garoppolo linked with Brandon Aiyuk on a 12-yard landing move in OT, capping a 75-yard landing drive that gained the sport. The Niners have now gained 4 out of 5 video games to stay within the playoff area. Joe Burrow and the Bengals rallied from 14 factors down and even took the lead in time beyond regulation, solely to lose for the second straight week.

Tom Brady’s 700th TD a game-winner

Tom Brady gained the sport and made historical past on the identical throw. His 700th profession landing move went for 58 yards to Breshad Perriman on the final play of Sunday’s sport Buccaneers-Payments sport. And it broke the hearts of Payments Mafia, who had seen their workforce claw again from a 21-point halftime deficit to drive time beyond regulation, solely to surrender a 94-yard landing drive on Tampa’s first possession. Consequently, there eight AFC groups inside a sport preventing for 2 playoff spots with 4 weeks to go.

Falcons and Saints maintain their playoff hopes alive

There’s a five-way tie for seventh within the NFC … at 6-7. Good luck saying with any confidence who the final workforce into the sphere will likely be after the Falcons and Saints took care of enterprise towards dangerous groups. After all, you may make the argument that Atlanta and New Orleans are additionally dangerous groups. However dangerous is perhaps ok within the NFC this yr.

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