Getty Images

It only takes a game or two to flip the NFL playoff picture upside down each week and that's exactly what we saw in Week 13. 

Two NFC teams threw a wrench in the AFC playoff picture with the Packers (over Chiefs) and Cardinals (over Steelers) both pulling off huge upsets on Sunday. The Bengals also pulled off a huge upset with a win over the Jaguars and due to those three games, the AFC playoff race is looking a lot different than it did last week.

So who's going to make the playoffs out of the AFC? 

That's what we're going to answer right now in this week's playoff projection. The projections here are based on data from number-cruncher Stephen Oh of Oh plugged some numbers into his SportsLine computer this week and simulated the rest of the 2023 NFL season, and using those numbers, we're going to let you know the playoff chances for all 32 teams, plus the projected 14-team playoff field. 

With that in mind, let's get to this week's playoff projections (For more from Stephen Oh and his SportsLine "Inside the Lines" team, you can tune into his YouTube channel daily at 1 p.m. ET by clicking here). 

AFC playoff projection

1. (AFC North Champion)
The Ravens (9-3) didn't even play a game in Week 13, but they were still one of the biggest winners and that's because of Kansas City's surprise loss to the Packers. Due to that loss, the Ravens are now being projected as the top seed in the AFC. The computer actually thinks that the top seed will go to the winner of Dolphins-Ravens in Week 17, and right now, the Ravens are being given the edge there.   
2. (AFC East Champion)
The Dolphins (9-3) still haven't beaten a team with a winning record this year, which could make things bumpy down the stretch with both the Ravens and Cowboys still on the schedule. Despite those tough games, the computer is projecting that the Dolphins will finish as the No. 2 overall seed in the AFC, which would be huge, because it would open the door for them to host at least two playoff games if they can pick up a wild-card round win. 
3. (AFC West Champion)
The computer was NOT impressed with the Chiefs in Week 13. Following Kansas City's loss, the Chiefs (8-4) are no longer the favorite out of the AFC to win the Super Bowl. The computer is giving the Ravens a 14.47% chance of winning it all with the Chiefs right behind them 13.08%. Although the Chiefs are just 2-3 in their past five games, the computer doesn't think they're going to suffer a total meltdown: It does still have them winning the AFC West. 
4. (AFC South Champion)
The Jaguars' projection was the toughest one of the week and that's because it's not clear how long Trevor Lawrence is going to be out or if he'll even be out at all. Right now, the computer is sticking with the Jaguars (8-4) to win the AFC South, but that could change depending on Lawrence's health. The Jags QB has a high-ankle sprain and although he hasn't been ruled out for Week 14 against the Browns, it seems like it would be a long shot for him to play this week (but he could return for a Week 15 showdown with the Ravens). 
5. Wild Card 1
One year after finishing with the worst record in the AFC, the Texans (7-5) are being predicted to finish as the top wild-card team in the conference. The Texans have a 73.7% chance of getting in the playoff, which is impressively high, when you consider that C.J. Stroud just lost one of his favorite targets (Tank Dell) to a season-ending injury on Sunday. 
6. Wild Card 2
If the Browns (7-5) can make it to January, they might be able to make a playoff run and that's because they have "January Joe" AKA Joe Flacco. Actually, the QB spot doesn't really have very much to do with the projection here. The computer really likes the Browns' defense and it thinks that the historically good 'D' will be able to carry Cleveland to the playoffs.
7. Wild Card 3
For the final wild card spot in the AFC, the computer is almost totally split down the middle on who's going to make it. The computer almost malfunctioned trying to figure who to put in between the Steelers (7-5) and Colts (7-5). In the end, the Colts got the spot, but the Steelers probably don't need to worry, because this will be decided on the field: The Colts and Steelers actually play each other in Week 15. However, before the Colts get to that game, they have an equally big game against the suddenly dangerous Bengals this week.   

Here's a list of the playoff chances for all the other AFC teams (their percentage chances of getting into the playoffs is listed next to them in parentheses): Steelers (56.5%), Bills (17%), Broncos (13.5%), Chargers (13.5%), Bengals (10.7%), Raiders (2.6%), Jets (0.3%), Titans (0.1%), Patriots (0.0%). 

NFC playoff projection

1. (NFC East Champion)
Despite losing to the 49ers on Sunday, the Eagles (10-2) are still being projected to get the top seed in the NFC and that's mostly because of their favorable schedule. With five weeks to play, the Eagles have the fifth-easiest remaining strength of schedule in the NFL. After playing the Cowboys in Week 14, the Eagles won't be playing any more teams that currently have a winning record.   
2. (NFC West Champion)
The computer has the 49ers (9-3) ranked as the No. 1 team in the NFL, but it does not think San Francisco will steal the top seed in the conference. That being said, the 49ers have a 28.27% chance of winning the Super Bowl, which is by far the highest number in the NFL. The next closest team (Baltimore) is sitting at 14.47%. 
3. (NFC North Champion)
At this point, the Lions (9-3) better get used to the idea of being the three-seed, because the computer views them as a near lock to land in that spot. If that happens, the upside for the Lions is that they would get to host their first playoff game since 1993. 
4. (NFC South Champion)
It took three weeks, but the computer has finally given up on the Saints (5-7). The Falcons (6-6) are now being projected to win the NFC South with the computer giving them a 48.5% chance of taking home the division crown. The Saints' chances are down to 27.7% after their loss to the Lions in Week 13.      
5. Wild Card 1
The Cowboys (9-3) could get one step closer to stealing the NFC East if they can pull off an upset against the Eagles on Sunday, but even if they win, the computer doesn't think Dallas will win the division. According to our projection, the Cowboys have just a 16.6% chance of winning the division title, compared to a 83.4% chance for the Eagles. 
6. Wild Card 2
No team helped itself in Week 13 more than the Green Bay Packers. Heading into the week, the Packers had a 51.7% chance of making the playoffs, but after their win over Kansas City, the computer is now giving them a 70.1% chance of getting into the postseason. Apparently, the computer seems to love Jordan Love
7. Wild Card 3
With the Seahawks in a tailspin, the computer is now projecting that the Rams (6-6) are going to steal the final playoff spot in the NFC. The computer actually has the Rams and Seahawks finishing with the same record, but in that case, the Rams would get in due to their season-sweep. 

Here's a list of the playoff chances for all the other NFC teams (their percentage chances of getting into the playoffs is listed next to them in parentheses): Vikings (41%), Seahawks (35.3%), Saints (32.5%), Buccaneers (30.4%), Bears (0.7%), Giants (0.4%), Commanders (0.0%), Cardinals (0.0%), Panthers (ELIMINATED). 

Note: Although the Saints and Buccaneers are both 5-7, their playoff chances are unusually high because both teams still have a chance to win the NFC South, which is factored into their percentage. On the other hand, teams like the Vikings and Seahawks are basically only playing for a wild-card spot at this point.  

Wild-card round projection


(7) Colts at (2) Dolphins
(6) Browns at (3) Chiefs
(5) Texans at (4) Jaguars

Bye: Ravens


(7) Rams at (2) 49ers
(6) Packers at (3) Lions
(5) Cowboys at (4) Falcons

Bye: Eagles