2019 NFL Playoff Picture, Week 11: Raiders making playoff push, Colts-Texans looms large on Thursday
Breaking down the 2019 NFL playoff picture after Sunday's Week 11 action
The NFL playoff hunt is underway. But it's possible that it's not quite as thrilling as it has been in years past. The NFC, in particular, looks like it could be completely dull with the Vikings and Seahawks running away with the two wild-card spots. The Rams are the last real hope in the NFC, sitting at 6-4 after their win over the Bears on Sunday night. If they can't make some noise, this will be an extremely boring race, even if the playoffs are great.
Meanwhile, the AFC is fascinating. The Raiders are a tiebreaker away from being in the playoffs! The Raiders! Mike Mayock's draft class has been exceptional and Jon Gruden has done a fantastic job coaching this season. Derek Carr has also been excellent within the scheme.
We shouldn't be surprised if the Raiders steal a wild-card spot, especially with the Bills looking a little lost before a big win Sunday.
A wild Week 11 is almost in the books and there's a lot to go over. Fortunately Will Brinson, John Breech, Ryan Wilson and Sean Wagner-McGough are here to break everything down on the Pick Six Podcast. Listen below and be sure to subscribe right here for daily NFL goodness fired into your eardrums.
You can check out the full 2019 NFL Playoff Picture here and in visual/text form below.
To the teams!
AFC: Who's in
1. New England Patriots (9-1)
The Patriots bounced back in a grinder of a win over the Eagles in Philadelphia on Sunday, running Bill Belichick's record to a ridiculous 10-2 against the spread on the road following a bye.
2. Baltimore Ravens (8-2)
The Ravens put on a show on Sunday against the Texans, throttling Houston 41-7 to stay right on the Pats' heels. With the Browns beating the Steelers, the AFC North is just about wrapped up at this point. But the Ravens have their sights set on something bigger, and they could absolutely still secure home-field advantage, with a head-to-head tiebreaker over the Pats in their back pocket.
3. Indianapolis Colts (6-4)
Big-time Sunday for the Colts, who took care of business against the Jaguars and saw the Texans lose to the Ravens. That gives them, for the moment, a hold on first place in the division. I say for the moment because the two teams play Thursday. A Colts win would give them a 2-0 head-to-head advantage while a Texans win would give them a game up on the Colts with the head-to-head being pulled out of the equation thanks to a split. The Colts have the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Chiefs based on their head-to-head record.
4. Kansas City Chiefs (6-4)
The Chiefs picked off Philip Rivers four times and held off the Chargers on Monday night in Mexico.
5. Buffalo Bills (7-3)
There's nothing incredibly impressive about dominating the Dolphins, but the Bills definitely needed a good win and got one on Sunday. Losing to Miami on the road might have submarined their chances of making the playoffs, but now they're in a very good spot to secure one of the wild cards.
6. Houston Texans (6-4)
Trouble time in Houston, with the Texans knowing how slim the margin is starting to become in terms of the playoffs. They can flip the narrative quickly by beating the Colts on Thursday night. Houston has the tiebreaker over Oakland based on their head-to-head matchup.
AFC: Who's out
7. Oakland Raiders (6-4): Big win for the Raiders, even if it wasn't impressive. The Raiders needed to take care of business against Cincy to stay in the playoff hunt and they did. They're a tiebreaker away from being in right now, and they're one win away from going over their preseason Vegas win total.
8. Pittsburgh Steelers (5-5): The Steelers got trounced against the Browns on Thursday night and went from "quietly storming to the playoffs" to "dead man walking" very quickly.
9. Tennessee Titans (5-5): The Titans were on a bye this week.
10. Cleveland Browns (4-6): The Browns beat up on the Steelers (literally) on Thursday to give their playoff hopes some life. They're a full two games back at least, so there is no room for error. But technically they're still alive.
11. Jacksonville Jaguars (4-6): The Jaguars' loss to the Colts probably ended their season, or at least put it on life support. Why not give Gardner Minshew some more run?
12. Los Angeles Chargers (4-7): The Chargers had a chance to force OT late in the fourth quarter, but Philip Rivers was intercepted in the end zone.
13. Denver Broncos (3-7): The Broncos lost again, becoming the first team in the past five years to blow a 20-0 halftime lead.
15. Miami Dolphins (2-8): The Dolphins were a frisky cover machine for a few weeks but they looked overwhelmed against the Bills on Sunday.
16. Cincinnati Bengals (0-10)
NFC: Who's in
1. San Francisco 49ers (9-1)
Huge comeback win against the Cardinals on Sunday for the 49ers. Jimmy Garoppolo had a monster game in a tough bounce-back spot after losing Monday. The Niners looked hung over but shook it off at the end to give themselves pole position for the No. 1 seed. The Packers come to town next week, with the winner having the best shot at home-field advantage.
2. Green Bay Packers (8-2)
The Packers were on a bye this week.
3. New Orleans Saints (8-2)
The Saints flexed their muscles on the Bucs during an easy road trip for a division win Sunday. Drew Brees looked pretty sharp again and Michael Thomas continues to dominate. New Orleans is on cruise control for the NFC South at this point but would love to get a bye or some home playoff games. They're behind the Packers based on conference record (Green Bay is 5-1, New Orleans is 6-2).
4. Dallas Cowboys (6-4)
Sluggish outing by the Cowboys against the Lions on the road. They couldn't put Jeff Driskel down. Don't sleep on Dak Prescott's MVP chances. Lamar Jackson is the favorite, sure, but Dak is playing out of his mind right now. Huge game in New England while Philly plays the Seahawks before getting the Dolphins.
5. Seattle Seahawks (8-2)
The Seahawks were on a bye this week.
6. Minnesota Vikings (8-3)
The Vikings tried to give away an easy home win but managed to come back and beat the Broncos in a stunner of a game Sunday. That's an enormous win for a team chasing the Packers. They're obviously still in need of a head-to-head win over Green Bay to have a chance in the division.
NFC: Who's out
7. Los Angeles Rams (6-4): The Rams stay alive in the playoff hunt with a win Sunday night over the Bears. They have to fight their way up the standings and hope the Vikings/Seahawks falter, but they're not dead yet.
8. Philadelphia Eagles (5-5): The Eagles lost a tough game to the Patriots and really struggled after right tackle Lane Johnson left the game. They have a big game at home against the rested Seahawks on Sunday.
9. Carolina Panthers (5-5): The Panthers had their worst effort of the year Sunday in a really bad spot. The Falcons are playing hard, but you can't lose to them like that. Carolina might have seen its playoff hopes evaporate on Sunday.
10. Chicago Bears (4-6): What a disaster for Chicago. This team is cratering and Matt Nagy just benched an "injured" Mitchell Trubisky.
11. Detroit Lions (3-6-1): The Lions fought valiantly without Matthew Stafford, but they're basically toast at this point. The QB shouldn't come back this season.
12. Arizona Cardinals (3-7-1): Horrific defensive play-call late that let the 49ers win the game in regulation. Kyler Murray is legit though.
13. Atlanta Falcons (3-7): The Falcons are showing some life here late! Is it enough to save Dan Quinn's job?
15. New York Giants (2-8): The Giants were on a bye this week.
16. Washington Redskins (1-9): How much would you need to be paid to watch the Redskins and Bengals play football for four hours?
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