NFL playoff picture in Week 14

Sam Sharpe, USA TODAY Sports© Sam Sharpe, USA TODAY Sports Sam Sharpe, USA TODAY Sports

 

The Carolina Panthers still have another goal to tackle before addressing a potentially perfect regular season.

Cam Newton and Co. secured a first-round bye on Sunday with a 38-0 win against the Atlanta Falcons. But Carolina still needs a win or tie next week and a loss by the Arizona Cardinals to wrap up home-field advantage.

Here’s a look at where the rest of the playoff picture stands after Sunday:

(x = playoff berth clinched, y = first-round bye clinched)

NFC

1. y – Carolina Panthers (13-0): The Panthers’ record remains perfect, but the Cardinals have given them reason to keep rolling as competition for the top seed.

2. x – Arizona Cardinals (11-2): Despite its surge, Arizona still needs one more win to wrap up the NFC West.

3. Green Bay Packers (9-4): The Packers received some much-appreciated wiggle room after the Vikings faltered on Thursday night and then added some separation by beating the Dallas Cwowboys.

4. Washington Redskins (6-7): A win Sunday kept the Redskins out in front for the NFC East, but road games against the Philadelphia Eagles and Dallas Cowboys in the final two weeks should shape the division.

5. Seattle Seahawks (8-5): With the NFC West likely out of reach barring a collapse by the Cardinals, Seattle could settle into the first wild-card spot and a favorable matchup against the NFC East winner.

6. Minnesota Vikings (8-5): Minnesota loses a head-to-head tiebreaker with Seattle and falls back a spot, but it still has a two-game lead on the competition.

Next up: Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-7), Atlanta Falcons (6-7), Philadelphia Eagles (6-7), New York Giants (5-7)

AFC

1. x – New England Patriots (11-2): New England got all the help it needed to ascend back into the No. 1 seed and then took care of business against the Houston Texans.

2. Cincinnati Bengals (10-3): Cincinnati misses out on an opportunity to clinch a playoff berth and drops from the top spot

3. Denver Broncos (10-3): Like the Bengals, the Broncos paid for a slip-up on Sunday as they slide all the way back to No. 3.

4. Indianapolis Colts (6-7): Next week’s matchup between the Colts and Texans could go a long way toward determining the winner of the AFC South.

5. Kansas City Chiefs (8-5): The Chiefs keep rolling and hold onto their tiebreaker advantage on the rest of the wild-card contenders.

6. New York Jets (8-5): The Jets hold this spot for now, but the Pittsburgh Steelers would sneak in if the two teams and the Chiefs all finish 11-5.

Next up: Pittsburgh Steelers (8-5), Buffalo Bills (6-7), Houston Texans (6-7), Oakland Raiders (5-7), Miami Dolphins (5-7)

Source: MSN Sports

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