Updated NFL Playoff Picture: Seahawks Unseat 49ers for NFC West Lead, Are Now NFC’s No. 2 Seed

Credit:

USA Today Sports. Pictured: Russell Wilson

Dec 03, 2019, 11:29 PM EST

Updated NFL Playoff Picture: Monday Night Football

The following updates are based on complete Week 13 results.

With their Monday Night Football victory, the Seattle Seahawks not only tie the San Francisco 49ers at 10-2 but overtake the NFC West lead thanks to their tie-breaking head-to-head win over the Niners in Week 11. Even better news for Russell Wilson and Co.: They have the advantage of hosting the rematch in Week 17.

The Seahawks are now the NFC’s 2-seed with the 49ers bumped down to the 5-seed. And the New Orleans Saints are now the conference’s top seed.

Meanwhile, despite the Monday night loss, the Minnesota Vikings maintain their standing at No. 6 in the NFC, though fall a full game behind the Green Bay Packers in the NFC North with only four games to play.

Updated NFC Playoff Picture, Standings & Projections

1. New Orleans Saints (10-2)
2. Seattle Seahawks (10-2)
3. Green Bay Packers (9-3)
4. Dallas Cowboys (6-6)
1. San Francisco 49ers (10-2)
6. Minnesota Vikings (8-4)

In the hunt

7. Los Angeles Rams (7-5)
8. Chicago Bears (6-6)

Updated AFC Playoff Picture, Standings & Projections

1. Baltimore Ravens (10-2)
2. New England Patriots (10-2)
3. Houston Texans (8-4)
4. Kansas City Chiefs (8-4)
5. Buffalo Bills (9-3)
6. Pittsburgh Steelers (7-5)

In the hunt

7. Tennessee Titans (7-5)
8. Oakland Raiders (6-6)
9. Indianapolis Colts (6-6)


Updated NFL Playoff Picture: Sunday Late Night

The following updates are based all of Sunday’s results.

Meet your new No. 1 seed, AFC: The Baltimore Ravens are officially atop the conference after the New England Patriots lost to the Houston Texans on Sunday Night Football. Both the Ravens and Pats are 10-2, but Baltimore owns the head-to-head tiebreaker, giving it the nod for the time being.

After beating the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday, the Ravens are a near-lock to get a first-round bye. They entered Sunday with a 92% chance, and they now effectively have a three-game lead over the Texans and the Kansas City Chiefs, due to their head-to-head wins over both teams. So all that’s really left to decide is whether Lamar Jackson & Co. will get homefield throughout the playoffs, something the franchise has never done before.

The Texans’ win over the Pats was probably more consequential for the Ravens’ playoff seeding that it was their own, but still, the victory moves them back ahead of the Chiefs, over whom they hold the head-to-head tiebreaker.

Updated AFC Playoff Picture, Standings & Projections

1. Baltimore Ravens (10-2)
2. New England Patriots (10-2)
3. Houston Texans (8-4)
4. Kansas City Chiefs (8-4)
5. Buffalo Bills (9-3)
6. Pittsburgh Steelers (7-5)

In the hunt
7. Tennessee Titans (7-5)
8. Oakland Raiders (6-6)
9. Indianapolis Colts (6-6)

Updated NFC Playoff Picture, Standings & Projections

1. San Francisco 49ers (10-2)
2. New Orleans Saints (10-2)
3. Green Bay Packers (9-3)
4. Dallas Cowboys (6-6)
5. Seattle Seahawks (9-2)
6. Minnesota Vikings (8-3)

In the hunt
7. Los Angeles Rams (7-5)
8. Chicago Bears (6-6)


Updated NFL Playoff Picture: Sunday Evening

The following updates are based on the results of the 4 p.m. ET games.

The Oakland Raiders entered their Sunday afternoon game against the Kansas City Chiefs really needing a victory after the Pittsburgh Steelers and Tennessee Titans both pulled off wins in the early games to help their AFC wild-card cause. But the Raiders didn’t put up much of a fight against K.C., and their playoff chances (which were just 18% entering the day, according to our sims) took another hit.

The Chiefs’ victory gets them to 8-4, and they might just be cheering for the New England Patriots to win on Sunday Night Football against the Houston Texans. Houston and K.C. are competing for the No. 3 seed, and the Texans own the head-to-head tiebreaker.

Losers of two of their past three games, the Los Angeles Rams got a much-needed victory on Sunday to keep their slim NFC playoff hopes alive (they entered the day with a 12% chance to make it). At 7-5, the Rams are now 1.5 games back of the 6-seed Minnesota Vikings, who play the Seattle Seahawks on Monday Night Football.

Updated AFC Playoff Picture, Standings & Projections

1. New England Patriots (10-1)
2. Baltimore Ravens (10-2)
3. Kansas City Chiefs (8-4)
4. Houston Texans (7-4)
5. Buffalo Bills (9-3)
6. Pittsburgh Steelers (7-5)

In the hunt
7. Tennessee Titans (7-5)
8. Oakland Raiders (6-6)
9. Indianapolis Colts (6-6)

Updated NFC Playoff Picture, Standings & Projections

1. San Francisco 49ers (10-2)
2. New Orleans Saints (10-2)
3. Green Bay Packers (9-3)
4. Dallas Cowboys (6-6)
5. Seattle Seahawks (9-2)
6. Minnesota Vikings (8-3)

In the hunt
7. Los Angeles Rams (7-5)
8. Chicago Bears (6-6)


Updated NFL Playoff Picture: Sunday Afternoon

The following updates are based on the results of the 1 p.m. ET games.

The San Francisco 49ers had a chance to clinch an early playoff berth with a win over the Ravens and a loss by the Rams, but Kyle Shanahan’s team fell to Baltimore on a game-winning field goal.

The Pittsburgh Steelers maintain control of the six-seed (for now) following their 20-13 win over the Cleveland Browns. The Steelers are technically tied with the Tennessee Titans, who also improved to 7-5 on Sunday, but Pittsburgh holds the tiebreaker with a better record in conference. The Steelers entered the day with a 28.34% chance to make the playoffs according to our Bet Labs model, which simulates the rest of the season 10,000 times.

The Indianapolis Colts, meanwhile, fall further back in the AFC South race with the loss to the Titans.

The Philadelphia Eagles were stunned by the Miami Dolphins, losing outright as double-digit favorites to drop in the NFC East race. Their 34.27% chances to win the division entering the day will undoubtedly take a hit.

Here are the standings after the early window:

AFC Playoff Picture & Standings

1. New England Patriots (10-1)
2. Baltimore Ravens (10-2)
3. Houston Texans (7-4)
4. Kansas City Chiefs (7-4)
5. Buffalo Bills (9-3)
6. Pittsburgh Steelers (7-5)

NFC Playoff Picture & Standings

1. San Francisco 49ers (10-2)
2. New Orleans Saints (10-2)
3. Green Bay Packers (9-3)
4. Dallas Cowboys (6-6)
5. Seattle Seahawks (9-2)
6. Minnesota Vikings (8-3)


Sunday Morning

The New Orleans Saints clinched the NFC South (and the first playoff berth of 2019) with their Thanksgiving Day win over the Atlanta Falcons. Now two other teams could lock in playoff spots on Sunday: The New England Patriots and San Francisco 49ers.

Let’s take a quick look at the current AFC and NFC standings as of Sunday morning before digging into what’s at stake in today’s games. Below you’ll also find our projections for every team’s playoff chances plus projected brackets for both conferences.

Week 13 NFL Playoff Picture & Standings

Standings current as of Sunday morning.

AFC Playoff Picture & Standings

1. New England Patriots (10-1)
2. Baltimore Ravens (9-2)
3. Houston Texans (7-4)
4. Kansas City Chiefs (7-4)
5. Buffalo Bills (9-3)
6. Pittsburgh Steelers (6-5)

On the bubble:

7. Oakland Raiders (6-5)
8. Indianapolis Colts (6-5)

The New England Patriots would punch their postseason ticket with a primetime win over the Houston Texans and a loss by either the Oakland Raiders or Pittsburgh Steelers, both of whom are underdogs.

The Indianapolis Colts and Tennessee Titans will face off in a pivotal matchup for the AFC South. Whichever team wins would improve to 7-5 and could tie the Texans if Houston loses to New England, although the Texans currently hold tiebreakers over both divisional opponents and would hold onto the lead for now.

Thomas J. Russo-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Jurrell Casey, Jacoby Brissett

There are four AFC teams that enter the day at 6-5 and in the thick of the race for the second wild-card spot — the Steelers (currently No. 6), Raiders, Colts and Titans — so check back later to see who emerges from the pack.

NFC Playoff Picture & Standings

1. San Francisco 49ers (10-1)
2. New Orleans Saints (10-2)
3. Green Bay Packers (8-3)
4. Dallas Cowboys (6-6)
5. Seattle Seahawks (9-2)
6. Minnesota Vikings (8-3)

On the bubble:

7. Los Angeles Rams (6-5)
8. Chicago Bears (6-6)

The San Francisco 49ers also have an opportunity to secure their playoff berth, but they would have to beat the Baltimore Ravens as 5.5-point underdogs and hope the Los Angeles Rams lose to the Arizona Cardinals.

The Seattle Seahawks, on the other hand, could overtake the NFC West lead with a win over the Minnesota Vikings on Monday night and a 49ers loss. Our projections give the Seahawks almost a one-third chance to win the division heading into Sunday’s games.

The NFC Wild Card race isn’t as intense as the AFC’s. Even if the Vikings lose to the Seahawks (and fall to 8-4), they’d still hold onto the sixth spot in the conference.

Our Projected 2019 NFL Playoff Bracket

Below is how we’re projecting the end-of-season bracket (as of Sunday morning).


We projected the top-four seeds of each conference by ranking the most likely division winners by their chances to land the 1-4 seeds. Then we identified teams with the next-highest playoff odds and assigned the subsequent standings based on highest average wins.

Go To: AFC | NFC

Projected Final AFC Standings

1. New England Patriots

  • Chance to make playoffs: 100.00%
  • Chance to win division: 98.31%
  • Chance to finish as 1-seed: 69.96%
  • Chance to get first-round bye: 96.75%
  • Chance to win Super Bowl: 23.07%

2. Baltimore Ravens

  • Chance to make playoffs: 99.89%
  • Chance to win division: 99.27%
  • Chance to finish as 1-seed: 28.32%
  • Chance to get first-round bye: 92.28%
  • Chance to win Super Bowl: 21.71%

3. Houston Texans

  • Chance to make playoffs: 79.92%
  • Chance to win division: 61.44%
  • Chance to finish as 1-seed: 0.13%
  • Chance to get first-round bye: 2.14%
  • Chance to win Super Bowl: 1.07%

4. Kansas City Chiefs

  • Chance to make playoffs: 94.39%
  • Chance to win division: 93.36%
  • Chance to finish as 1-seed: 0.45%
  • Chance to get first-round bye: 6.6%
  • Chance to win Super Bowl: 3.51%
USA Today Sports. Pictured: Travis Kelce, Patrick Mahomes

5. Buffalo Bills

  • Chance to make playoffs: 95.11%
  • Chance to win division: 1.69%
  • Chance to finish as 1-seed: 1.14%
  • Chance to get first-round bye: 1.53%
  • Chance to win Super Bowl: 1.12%

6. Indianapolis Colts

  • Chance to make playoffs: 38.89%
  • Chance to win division: 24.12%
  • Chance to finish as 1-seed: 0%
  • Chance to get first-round bye: 0.07%
  • Chance to win Super Bowl: 0.50%

7. Tennessee Titans

  • Chance to make playoffs: 27.44%
  • Chance to win division: 14.44%
  • Chance to finish as 1-seed: 0%
  • Chance to get first-round bye: 0.31%
  • Chance to win Super Bowl: 0.20%

8. Pittsburgh Steelers

  • Chance to make playoffs: 28.34%
  • Chance to win division: 0.50%
  • Chance to finish as 1-seed: 0%
  • Chance to get first-round bye: 0.21%
  • Chance to win Super Bowl: 0.11%

9. Oakland Raiders

  • Chance to make playoffs: 18.15%
  • Chance to win division: 6.02%
  • Chance to finish as 1-seed: 0%
  • Chance to get first-round bye: 0.09%
  • Chance to win Super Bowl: 0.05%

10. Cleveland Browns

  • Chance to make playoffs: 14.70%
  • Chance to win division: 0.23%
  • Chance to finish as 1-seed: 0%
  • Chance to get first-round bye: 0.02%
  • Chance to win Super Bowl: 0.06%

Projected AFC Bracket

  • No. 6 Indianapolis Colts at No. 3 Houston Texans
  • No. 5 Buffalo Bills at No. 4 Kansas City Chiefs
  • Byes: New England Patriots and Baltimore Ravens

Projected Final NFC Standings

1. San Francisco 49ers

  • Chance to make playoffs: 99.83%
  • Chance to win division: 72.12%
  • Chance to finish as 1-seed: 47.34%
  • Chance to get first-round bye: 68.45%
  • Chance to win Super Bowl: 19.70%

2. New Orleans Saints

  • Chance to make playoffs: 100.00%
  • Chance to win division: 100.00%
  • Chance to finish as 1-seed: 40.19%
  • Chance to get first-round bye: 78.18%
  • Chance to win Super Bowl: 15.98%

3. Green Bay Packers

  • Chance to make playoffs: 92.58%
  • Chance to win division: 57.91%
  • Chance to finish as 1-seed: 0.96%
  • Chance to get first-round bye: 13.62%
  • Chance to win Super Bowl: 2.33%

4. Dallas Cowboys

  • Chance to make playoffs: 65.97%
  • Chance to win division: 65.73%
  • Chance to finish as 1-seed: 0%
  • Chance to get first-round bye: 0%
  • Chance to win Super Bowl: 2.14%

5. Seattle Seahawks

  • Chance to make playoffs: 97.38%
  • Chance to win division: 27.81%
  • Chance to finish as 1-seed: 8.98%
  • Chance to get first-round bye: 23.59%
  • Chance to win Super Bowl: 3.12%
Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson (3).

6. Minnesota Vikings

  • Chance to make playoffs: 91.35%
  • Chance to win division: 41.41%
  • Chance to finish as 1-seed: 2.53%
  • Chance to get first-round bye: 16.12%
  • Chance to win Super Bowl: 4.53%

7. Los Angeles Rams

  • Chance to make playoffs: 12.44%
  • Chance to win division: 0.07%
  • Chance to finish as 1-seed: 0%
  • Chance to get first-round bye: 0.03%
  • Chance to win Super Bowl: 0.12%

8. Philadelphia Eagles

  • Chance to make playoffs: 35.26%
  • Chance to win division: 34.27%
  • Chance to finish as 1-seed: 0%
  • Chance to get first-round bye: 0.01%
  • Chance to win Super Bowl: 0.61%

9. Chicago Bears

  • Chance to make playoffs: 4.00%
  • Chance to win division: 0.68%
  • Chance to finish as 1-seed: 0%
  • Chance to get first-round bye: 0%
  • Chance to win Super Bowl: 0.05%

10. Carolina Panthers

  • Chance to make playoffs: 1.07%
  • Chance to win division: 0%
  • Chance to finish as 1-seed: 0%
  • Chance to get first-round bye: 0%
  • Chance to win Super Bowl: 0%

Projected NFC Bracket

  • No. 6 Minnesota Vikings at No. 3 Green Bay Packers
  • No. 5 Seattle Seahawks at No. 4 Dallas Cowboys
  • Byes: San Francisco 49ers and New Orleans Saints
How would you rate this article?
Follow Katie Richcreek on Twitter
@katiesrichcreek

Top Stories