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These of us within the expression enterprise had been working out of the way to say that the AFC playoff image is full chaos. On Monday night time, we started getting some readability. And on Thursday night time, we got a little bit extra.
A wind-influenced leisure in Buffalo last but not least gave us an idea of the location the AFC goes. The New England Patriots, merely as all of us forecasted, acquired a 14-10 highway entertainment over the Payments by working on all nevertheless three of their offending performs. The win lifted the Patriots to the highest of the convention and pushed the Payments again into an eight-team rivals for the AFCs 2 wild-card spots.
In the meantime, the Pittsburgh Steelers noticed their playoff possibilities are up to almost unrecoverable depths in a wild 36-38 loss Thursday night time to the Minnesota Vikings.
Regardless, the AFC nonetheless has loads of questions. There remain groups close to the greatest whove a sincere probability to fall out of the race entirely, and there are groups outdoors the greatest 7 who might however end up successful their department.
Overall, based upon ESPN Stats & & Data analysis, the 2021 NFL playoff race is the primary time in 19 years that each group in a convention has a minimum of 4 losses by Week 13.
Sunday, the Baltimore Ravens had actually dropped their 4th leisure of the season, a 20-19 loss to the Steelers that left a logjam of 8-Four groups atop the AFC earlier than Monday night times leisure.
Week 13 did ship the main playoff removal of 2021. The Houston Texans are formally trying towards 2022 after a 31-Zero loss to the Indianapolis Colts. (The Detroit Lions managed to avoid an analogous destiny after distressing the Vikings for his/her first win of the season.).
Lets run by all the playoff image due to the fact that it stands now. As all the time, well mix ESPNs Soccer Energy Index with a little bit little bit of human intuition to sketch out the place the league is headed.
As they sat at house on their Week 13 bye, the Titans moved proper again into competition for each part their season as quickly as appeared headed for, together with home-field benefit within the postseason. In the meantime, theyre going to flip their factor to consider towards a staying stretch that includes just one recreation towards a challenger that currently has a successful file (Week 15 towards the Steelers).
Subsequent up: vs. Jaguars.
The Patriots throwback season continued Monday night time with their seventh successive success. The win put them within the chauffeurs seat within the AFC East and provided without a doubt one of the best possibility to clinch home-field benefit due to the fact that the AFCs prime seed, per FPI. The Patriots now have a bye to relaxation up for the stretch run.
Subsequent up: at Colts (Week 15).
It is nail-biting time in Baltimore. Suffice it to say, the Ravens are inside differ of each the AFCs prime seed and lacking the playoffs altogether.
Subsequent up: at Browns.
Within the AFC hunt.
Indianapolis Colts (7-6).
Whereas theyre going to face a run of participating in the Patriots, Cardinals and Raiders once they return from their bye, the Colts are in first rate kind to make the playoffs.
Las Vegas Raiders (6-6).
The Week 13 loss to Washington may need been all she composed for the Raiders, whove now misplaced 3 of their previous 4 computer game. Of their 5 staying challengers, 4 have an effective file, beginning with their entertainment on the Chiefs on Sunday.
Pittsburgh Steelers (6-6-1).
The Steelers are all the method down to a 10.3% likelihood to make the playoffs, based upon FPI, after their terrible performance Thursday night time in Minnesota. Their staying schedule is relatively harsh, with computer game towards the Titans, Chiefs, Browns and Ravens awaiting. The one element left now, it appears, is their inevitable elimination from playoff competition.
Cleveland Browns (6-6).
The Browns invested Week 13 of their bye and, in a bizarre twist, theyre going to return to play the similar opponent (Ravens) they most simply recently confronted.
Denver Broncos (6-6).
The Broncos may have overtaken the Chiefs and Chargers for AFC West supremacy with a win Sunday night time. As an option, they fell once again within the AFC pack. Denver now gets ready for the Lions.
Miami Dolphins (6-7).
We embody the Dolphins right here as a result of theyve acquired 5 successive computer game heading into their bye and have a good matchup in Week 15 at house towards the Jets once they return. However theyre going to end the typical season with video games towards the Titans and Patriots.
This is how the postseason bracket appears in the mean time and what circumstances lie forward. Football Power Index “.
The Packers already substantial benefit within the NFC North grew in Week 13 as they sat once again on their bye week. It has actually been a long time, after all, given that we offered extreme idea to anyone aside from Inexperienced Bay successful this division. Regardless, it is just a matter of time; the Packers have one recreation remaining (Week 15 at Baltimore) towards a group with a successful file. The extra relevant question is whether or not they can overtake the Cardinals for the greatest seed within the NFC.
Subsequent up: vs. Bears.
The 49ers have one of the essential bothersome schedules remaining for a wild-card contender. Computer game on the Bengals, Titans and Rams are sandwiched round home computer game towards the Falcons and Texans. San Francisco is 4-2 on the highway already this season, however the high quality of opponents in its staying away video games is powerful.
Subsequent up: at Bengals.
The Cardinals got after their bye week in greater kind than when they went into it, and now they will clinch a playoff spot with a win on Monday night time. Nevertheless the Cardinals have a more difficult staying schedule than the Packers or Buccaneers, as they however must face three groups that presently have successful info (Rams, Colts and Cowboys). This is one semi-oddity to ponder as Arizona pursues home-field advantage within the NFC: It has the NFLs finest highway file (7-0), and each losses have come at house. Three of their remaining 5 video games are at State Farm Stadium because the Cardinals look to carry their advantage within the NFC West.
Subsequent up: vs. Rams.
It wasnt relatively, however the Cowboys snapped a two-game shedding streak in Week 13 and took one other action towards locking down the NFC East title. Dallas has two video games staying towards the rising Washington Soccer Crew, together with Sunday.
Subsequent up: at Washington.
The Chiefs are one leisure forward of the Chargers within the AFC West, and 2 forward of the Broncos and Raiders. Extra significantly, theyre statistically even with the Titans and Ravens, and just a half-game behind the Patriots, within the race for home-field benefit within the AFC. FPI will not be providing them an excellent likelihood to do it at 10.9%, however its noteworthy that theyre even within the dialog provided the place they had actually been six weeks in the past.
Subsequent up: vs. Raiders.
There is not any service to sugarcoat it. The Bengals missed out on an enormous alternative in a Week 13 loss to the Chargers, and all 5 of their remaining challengers at.500 or higher. FPI is providing the group lower than a 50-50 probability to make the playoffs.
Subsequent up: vs. 49ers.
The Payments missed out on a large option Monday night time to position themselves in location to win the AFC East and issue for home-field advantage within the playoffs. As an option, theyre presently combating for an AFC wild-card spot, with a frustrating schedule that features video games towards the Buccaneers and on the Patriots.
Subsequent up: at Buccaneers.
Their Week 13 win in Cincinnati pressed their convention file to 5-3, a crucial tiebreaker, and plainly offered them the head-to-head tiebreaker advantage over one other wild-card competitor. Theyve 2 really beneficial video games remaining on their schedule: towards the Giants on Sunday and on the Texans in Week 16. Would 9-Eight be an okay file to qualify for the AFC playoffs?
Subsequent up: vs. Giants.
The Week 13 success over the Raiders was Washingtons 4th successive win, finishing a journey to.500 after a 2-6 start. And now issues really begin to get remarkable. Washington has 2 video games within the subsequent three weeks towards the NFC East-leading Cowboys. Which implies it will probably guarantee a department title by effective out, although another mixtures of losses and wins may in addition do it as perfectly. However lets not go overboard. Beating the Cowboys two times, or in some method in any other case comprising two video games on them over the ultimate 5 video games, will probably be a problem. And with two video games remaining towards the Eagles as well, its area within the wild-card race is hardly ensured, both.
Subsequent up: vs. Cowboys.
That is now 3 successive wins for the Buccaneers after a two-game shedding streak at midseason, however they continue to be within the 3rd seed due to a one-game deficit within the conference-record tiebreaker. Of extra quick significance is Tampa Bays four-game lead within the NFC South. With three groups behind it at 5-7, a Week 14 clinching 2nd may consist of a win and each the Falcons and Saints shedding. Tampa Bay has one recreation remaining towards a group with an effective file (Week 14 towards the Payments), making it a near lock to win the department mainly based on FPI forecasts.
Subsequent up: vs. Payments.
Within the NFC hunt.
Minnesota Vikings (6-7).
Had the Vikings misplaced Thursday night time, they might have been all the way down to a 15% probability to make the playoffs, per FPI. Their win over the Steelers improved that possibility to 32.3% because it turned out. Two of their 4 staying computer game are towards the 4-Eight Bears so, well, somethings doable.
Philadelphia Eagles (6-7).
The Eagles remaining schedule is not as pleasant because it as quickly as seemed, pondering it consists of 2 computer game towards rising Washington. The Eagles have a bye earlier than dealing with the primary of these 2 computer game towards Washington in Week 15.
Carolina Panthers (5-7).
The Panthers fired offensive coordinator Joe Brady over their bye weekend. Some will translate that as a sign that their season is over, whereas others will consider it provides them an opportunity to get once again into playoff hunt. Well lean towards the previous, even since the Panthers get set to host the Falcons.
Atlanta Falcons (5-7).
Within the huge image, the Falcons have misplaced 4 of their previous 6 video games. Their solely success since October have actually come towards the unlucky Jaguars and the undermanned Saints. The Panthers are a beatable challenger on Sunday, however there is not a lot purpose to actually feel optimistic a couple of Falcons surge within the coming weeks.
New Orleans Saints (5-7).
The Saints misplaced a winnable leisure in Week 13, however they now head right into a Sunday matchup on the Jets.
Theyve two really beneficial video games remaining on their schedule: towards the Giants on Sunday and on the Texans in Week 16. The Cardinals selected up after their bye week in higher kind than once they went into it, and now they will clinch a playoff area with a win on Monday night time. The Packers currently substantial benefit within the NFC North grew in Week 13 as they sat again on their bye week. Regardless, it is only a matter of time; the Packers have one entertainment remaining (Week 15 at Baltimore) towards a group with an effective file. Washington has 2 video games within the subsequent three weeks towards the NFC East-leading Cowboys.
The Rams did in Week 13 what needs to be prepared for of any genuine playoff contenders: They controlled the Jaguars at home. We should constantly get a lot better idea when the Rams journey to play at Arizona on Monday night time. The outstanding news is that the Rams, after taking apart the Jaguars, are a close to lock to be a wild-card group mainly based on FPI.
Subsequent up: at Cardinals.