Playoff picture: Quick notes for 4:30 p.m. ET games
Here are playoff picture scenarios for 4:30pm ET games on Week 13
As you follow along Week 13, here are a few quick notes for the five games played in the 4:30 p.m. ET window.
First...here's what we learned during the 1 p.m. ET games:
-- Tampa Bay was eliminated from playoff contention
-- Philadelphia kept pace with Dallas in the NFC East and remains in the hunt for a wild card spot with a key win over Arizona
-- Miami is the leader in the clubhouse for the AFC No. 6 seed and has the best conference record of the contenders at 5-3 (Baltimore is 6-4).
-- Indianapolis now has a 3-game lead over Tennessee in the AFC South with a sweep of the Titans. Indy can win the AFC South next week with a win or Tennessee loss.
-- Chicago had a costly division and conference loss in OT to Minnesota.
-- Carolina keeps the NFC No. 5 seed and has New Orleans in their sites with two games against the Saints over the next three weeks.
- Jacksonville has nine lives and stays alive for the playoffs with their third win of the season.
-- Houston is still alive despite the loss to New England but will be eliminated from playoff contention if San Diego wins over Cincinnati.
DENVER at KANSAS CITY -- Denver has a chance to sweep Kansas City with a win today and, in effect, take a two-game lead over the Chiefs as the Chiefs would have to beat Denver on overall record to win the division in that scenario. Denver can also stay a game ahead of New England with a win today, which is critical after their loss to the Patriots last week. A Denver loss would give them their first division loss (they are 3-0 now) but they would still have a division record advantage over the Chiefs with the loss (3-1 vs. 2-2).
Kansas City would gain a split with Denver and a one-game lead with a win today and would bump their conference record to 7-2. Kansas City also has an upcoming game against Indianapolis, which could come into play for seeding of division winners. If the Chiefs lose, they are really behind the eight ball against Denver as they would have been swept by the Broncos and would need to win on overall record to beat them.
CINCINNATI at SAN DIEGO -- The Bengals lead the AFC North by 1 and 1/2 games over Baltimore and a win today would extend the lead to 2 games. Cincinnati lost to Baltimore a few weeks back but can split the series in Week 17 if they need a tiebreaker at that point. The Bengals can also stay in the hunt for a first-round bye with a win as they have a head to head win over New England already and play Indianapolis in Week 14.
For San Diego, they are still in the No. 6 seed race as they can get to 6-6 and even with Baltimore, but would still have a woeful 4-5 conference record. The Chargers do have four of their final five games at home. A loss would likely put the Chargers in a spot where they would need to win out and would need some help to make the playoffs.
ATLANTA at BUFFALO (Toronto) -- Atlanta has already been eliminated from playoff contention. Buffalo has to win to keep their slim playoff hopes alive and get to 5-7. The Bills do have a win already over Miami and can gain a sweep of the Dolphins with a win in Week 16.
ST. LOUIS at SAN FRANCISCO -- San Francisco is leading the race for the No. 6 seed in the NFC due to their head to head win over Arizona, and now with the Arizona loss to Philadelphia they can create some separation for the No. 6 seed with a win today. San Francisco has a long shot at the division still, but would likely need to win this week and next against Seattle and hope Seattle loses tomorrow night to New Orleans. That would see the 49ers at 9-4 and one game back of the Seahawks at 10-3. San Francisco would also be 4-1 in the division with Seattle at 3-1 in that scenario. A loss to St. Louis would really hurt the 49ers as they would be tied with Arizona AND Philadelphia at 7-5 for the No. 6 seed and would fall to 2-2 in the division and 4-4 in the conference.
St. Louis could get to 6-6 with a win and would gain a season split with San Francisco and would only be a game back of Arizona, San Francisco and Philadelphia for the last wild card spot. The Rams would also have Arizona on deck next week and could sweep the Cardinals with a win.
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