NFL Playoff Picture and Clinching Scenarios Week 13: Bengals Defeat Chiefs to Set Up a Wild Finish in the AFC

Week 13 of the NFL schedule offered perhaps the best slate of the 2022 season and the first clinching scenarios of the year. With only six weeks left in the campaign, Sunday’s games provided plenty of drama that affected the NFL playoff picture.

Let’s take a look at the updated NFL playoff picture and assess which teams enhanced or impaired their postseason chances on Sunday. For analysis of all the action from Week 13, scroll down below the standings.

NFL Playoff Picture for Week 13

Current AFC Playoff Picture

1. Buffalo Bills (9-3)
2. Kansas City Chiefs (9-3)
3. Baltimore Ravens (8-4)
4. Tennessee Titans (7-5)
5. Cincinnati Bengals (8-4)
6. Miami Dolphins (8-4)
7. New York Jets (7-5)

AFC: In the Hunt

8. New England Patriots (6-6)
9. Los Angeles Chargers (6-6)
10. Las Vegas Raiders (5-7)
11. Cleveland Browns (5-7)
12. Pittsburgh Steelers (5-7)
13. Indianapolis Colts (4-7-1)
14. Jacksonville Jaguars (4-8)
15. Denver Broncos (3-9)
16. Houston Texans (1-10-1)

Current NFC Playoff Picture

1. Philadelphia Eagles (11-1)
2. Minnesota Vikings (10-2)
3. San Francisco 49ers (8-4)
4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5-6)
5. Dallas Cowboys (8-3)
6. New York Giants (7-4-1)
7. Seattle Seahawks (7-5)

NFC: In the Hunt

8. Washington Commanders (7-5-1)
9. Detroit Lions (5-7)
10. Atlanta Falcons (5-8)
11. Green Bay Packers (5-8)
12. Arizona Cardinals (4-8)
13. Carolina Panthers (4-8)
14. New Orleans Saints (4-8)
15. Los Angeles Rams (3-9)
16. Chicago Bears (3-10)

Eagles Reach 11 Wins, Close to Clinching Playoff Spot

The Eagles kept rolling on Sunday. Jalen Hurts threw for 380 yards and three touchdowns as Philadelphia destroyed the Titans, 35-10. A.J. Brown got his revenge against the team that traded him this offseason, grabbing two scores and generally looking like Randy Moss 2.0.

MORE: List of NFL Teams Eliminated From Playoffs in 2022

Nick Sirianni’s club didn’t yet clinch a playoff berth. Because the Commanders and Giants tied, the Eagles needed both the Seahawks and 49ers to lose on Sunday in order to secure a playoff spot.

Vikings Beat Jets, Will Have To Wait To Clinch NFC North

Kirk Cousins and Co. held on for a classic Vikings win on Sunday, doing just enough against the Jets to move to 10-2. Minnesota never gave up the lead after going up 10-3 early in the second quarter, but Mike White and Garrett Wilson made things interesting. Gang Green had a chance to win at the end of regulation, but White threw an interception on 4th-and-10 from Minnesota’s 19 with 16 seconds left.

Despite the win, the Vikings failed to clinch the NFC North because the Lions won. Minnesota faces Detroit next week, so they can win the NFC North with a victory.

Meanwhile, the Jets are still the AFC’s seventh seed for now. However, they’ll lose that spot to the Chargers if LA beats the Raiders during the late slate.

Giants and Commanders Still in Playoff Position After Tie

For the second time this year, an NFL game ended in a tie. The Giants and Commanders played to a 20-20 stalemate, so both are still in playoff contention. However, Washington got pushed back to the No. 8 seed following the Seahawks’ win over the Rams.

The Giants will face the Eagles in Week 14 while the Commanders hit a bye. In Week 15, New York and Washington will play again in a game that could determine which of these clubs makes the postseason.

Ravens Win Battle, May Have Lost War

After giving up numerous fourth-quarter comebacks this season, the Ravens grabbed a come-from-behind win of their own. With Lamar Jackson sidelined by a knee injury, backup quarterback Tyler Huntley led a 16-play, 91-yard touchdown drive to take a 10-9 lead with 28 seconds left in the game. Denver’s Brandon McManus missed a 64-yard field goal on the other side to give Baltimore the win.

The Ravens will retain the AFC North lead and move to the third seed in the playoff picture, but all the focus will be on Jackson’s injury. Baltimore has an easy schedule to wrap up the campaign, but they won’t be viewed as a legitimate playoff threat if Jackson is out for the year. Luckily, John Harbaugh said after the game that Jackson’s injury is unlikely to be season-ending.

Bengals Defeat Chiefs for Third Time This Calendar Year

The Bengals took down the Chiefs twice in January (once in the regular season, once in the AFC Championship Game), and Joe Burrow did it again on Sunday. Burrow was nearly flawless, going 25-of-31 for 286 yards and two touchdowns, while Samaje Perine was effective (155 total yards) in place of Joe Mixon for the second straight week.

This game had massive implications for the AFC playoff race. The biggest winner of the week might have been the Bills, who beat the Patriots on Thursday night and are now back in place as the conference’s No. 1 seed. Kansas City slips to No. 2, while Cincinnati will move up to No. 5.

The Bills, Chiefs, Ravens, Bengals, and Dolphins are all still in contention to grab the top seed and a first-round bye, but Buffalo is in the driver’s seat. Cincinnati still has a shot, but they’ll have to win against Buffalo in Week 16 and Baltimore in Week 17.

49ers Beat Dolphins Without Jimmy Garoppolo

Jimmy Garoppolo left Sunday’s game with a foot injury after just four attempts, but backup Brock Purday still managed to lead the 49ers to a win against the Dolphins. Purdy averaged only 5.7 yards per attempt, but he knew where his bread was buttered. He hit Christian McCaffrey for a team-high eight receptions, 80 yards, and a touchdown in the 33-17 victory.

San Francisco remains the No. 3 seed in the NFC, which is probably where they’ll stick even if Garoppolo is able to come back soon. His injury will loom large over the next week as the 49ers determine how long he’ll be out.

The Niners are on a five-game winning streak, but the Dolphins just snapped a five-game win streak of their own. San Fran’s defense made Tua Tagovailoa look mortal for the first time this season, as he threw two interceptions and generally looked uncomfortable and inaccurate for much of the game.

Miami will slip to the sixth seed, and their schedule won’t get any easier going forward. The Dolphins’ next five games come against the Chargers, Bills, Packers, Patriots, and Jets.

Seahawks Move Up To No. 7 Seed With Win Over Rams

Sean McVay’s Rams typically have their way with Pete Carroll’s Seahawks, and Los Angeles put up a competitive effort despite being completely decimated by injuries. Geno Smith was outstanding with 367 yards and three touchdowns, and 255 of those yards went to Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf.

Seattle got back on track, and they’re back in the playoff picture as the seventh seed. They’ll likely be battling the Giants and Commanders for a Wild Card spot, but they could conceivably retake the NFC West, especially if they can defeat the 49ers in Week 15.

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