NFL Playoff Picture: Arizona Cardinals Top NFC After Week 7, Cincinnati Bengals Lead AFC

The NFL continues to be as unpredictable as ever through 12 weeks. There have been 25 games decided by a game-winning score on the final play this season, the most such games through Week 12 of all-time -- and plenty of those have made an impact on the playoff races in both conferences. 

Twelve teams have a .500 or better record in the AFC, setting up a wild final six weeks. Eight teams are within a game for the final playoff spot in the NFC, setting the stage for a chaotic holiday. 

Below, you can find a division-by-division breakdown of the current standings, how each club performed in Week 12 and what they have next on the schedule.

AFC East

WLTPCTDIFF

Patriots

8

4

0

.667

+146

Bills

7

4

0

.636

+144

Dolphins

5

7

0

.417

-45

Jets

3

8

0

.273

-135

New England Patriots

What to know: The Patriots are the No. 2 seed in the AFC since the Ravens beat the Browns on "Sunday Night Football" ... they would've been the top seed if Baltimore had lost. The Pats lead the AFC East by half a game, but face the Bills in the first of two meetings next week. Big test for the AFC East leaders. 

Remaining schedule: at Bills, Bye Week, at Colts, vs. Bills, vs. Jaguars, at Dolphins 

Buffalo Bills

What to know: A convincing win over the Saints on Thursday keeps the Bills in playoff position in the AFC. The Bills are currently No. 6 in the AFC playoff standings, losing a tiebreaker to the Bengals based off conference record. Buffalo will battle New England for first place in the AFC East next week. 

Remaining schedule: vs. Patriots, at Buccaneers, vs. Panthers, at Patriots, vs. Falcons, vs. Jets 

Miami Dolphins

What to know: Here come the Dolphins to play spoiler in the AFC playoff picture. Miami has won four in a row, but still remains 13th in the conference (the AFC has 12 teams at .500 or better). The Dolphins basically have to win out in order to make the playoffs, but can make things interesting with their schedule coming up. 

Remaining schedule: vs. Giants, Bye Week, vs. Jets, at Saints, at Titans, vs. Patriots

New York Jets

What to know:  A win over the Texans catapults the Jets to 14th in the conference. New York is still mathematically in the playoff race, but the Jets are in a better battle for a top-five draft pick. 

Remaining schedule: vs. Eagles, vs. Saints, at Dolphins, vs. Jaguars, vs. Buccaneers, at Bills

AFC North

WLTPCTDIFF

Ravens 

8

3

0

.727

+23

Bengals

7

4

0

.636

+83

Browns

6

6

0

.500

-13

Steelers

5

5

1

.545

-43

Baltimore Ravens

What to know: The Ravens have the No. 1 seed in the AFC after their win over the Browns on "Sunday Night Football." Baltimore also leads Cincinnati by one game in the AFC North. 

Remaining schedule: at Steelers, at Browns, vs. Packers, at Bengals, vs. Rams, vs. Steelers 

Cincinnati Bengals

What to know: A dominant win over the Steelers has Cincinnati in prime position for a playoff spot in the loaded AFC. The Bengals currently have the No. 5 seed in the conference, owning a conference tiebreaker over the Bills based on having a better conference record. They are one game up on the Chargers, Raiders, and Broncos for the final playoff spot. 

Remaining schedule:  vs. Chargers, at 49ers, at Broncos, vs. Ravens, vs. Chiefs, at Browns 

Pittsburgh Steelers

What to

know: The Steelers' playoff chances took a massive hit with the blowout loss to the Bengals. Pittsburgh is 11th in the conference standings, a half game out of the final playoff spot behind the Chargers, Raiders, and Broncos. 

Remaining schedule: vs. Ravens, at Vikings, vs. Titans, at Chiefs, vs. Browns, at Ravens 

Cleveland Browns 

What to know: The Browns falling to the Ravens on "Sunday Night Football" kept them out of the playoff picture in the AFC. Cleveland is 12th in the conference, a half game out of the final playoff spot. The Steelers own the tiebreaker over the Browns for 11th based on beating them earlier this year. 

Remaining schedule: Bye Week, vs. Ravens, vs. Raiders, at Packers, at Steelers, vs. Bengals 

AFC South

WLTPCTDIFF

Titans

8

4

0

.667

+14

Colts

6

6

0

.500

+57

Texans

2

9

0

.182

-128

Jaguars 

2

9

0

.182

-110

Tennessee Titans 

What to know:  The Titans retain their commanding first place lead in the AFC South, even with a loss to the Patriots. Tennessee is up two games in the division with five to play and the Titans swept Indianapolis. The Titans are the No. 3 seed in the AFC, falling out of the top spot after the loss. 

Remaining schedule: Bye Week, vs. Jaguars, at Steelers, vs. 49ers, vs. Dolphins, at Texans 

Indianapolis Colts

What to know: The Colts' loss to the Buccaneers put them back at .500 -- out of the AFC playoff race for now. Indianapolis is 10th in the conference, a half game out of the final playoff spot. The Colts own the tiebreaker over the Steelers based on having a better win percentage in conference games. Pittsburgh winning the tiebreaker over Cleveland puts Indianapolis ahead of Cleveland and Pittsburgh. 

Remaining schedule:  at Texans, Bye Week, vs. Patriots, at Cardinals, vs. Raiders, at Jaguars

Houston Texans

What to know: The Texans are 15th in the AFC standings, yet hold the tiebreaker over the Jaguars after beating Jacksonville in Week 1. They are in contention for a top-five draft pick. 

Remaining schedule: vs. Colts, vs. Seahawks, at Jaguars, vs. Chargers, at 49ers, vs. Titans

Jacksonville Jaguars

What to know: The Jaguars are 16th in the AFC conference standings, last in the conference and in prime position to land a top-five draft pick. 

Remaining schedule: at Rams, at Titans, vs. Texans, at Jets, at Patriots, vs. Colts

AFC West

WLTPCTDIFF

Chiefs

7

4

0

.636

+31

Chargers

6

5

0

.545

-20

Raiders

6

5

0

.545

-36

Broncos

6

5

0

.545

+32

Kansas City Chiefs

What to know: The Chiefs were idle this week and retain their AFC West lead as a result of the Chargers losing to the Broncos. Kansas City is currently the No. 4 seed in the AFC playoff race and will remain at that spot heading into Week 13. 

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