With the Patriots' thrashing of the Jets, Week 13 of the NFL season is done and we've got a full view of the NFL playoff picture heading into Week 14.
Just like I did after Week 12, I ran the Yahoo! NFL playoff scenario generator through the end of the season based on current winning percentages and this is what it came up with. In the AFC, there were some big changes. The Patriots & Steelers took the top seeds. Last week, the simulator gave the Jets and Ravens the top seeds. The No. 6 seed Ravens would go on the road to face the No. 3 Chiefs. The Jets would then face the Jaguars in the other wild card game. No Colts this week.
In the NFC nothing really changed with the Falcons and Eagles taking the No. 1 and No. 2 seeds. The No. 6 seed Giants would travel to Chicago to take on the No. 3 seed Bears (who have the toughest remaining schedule in the league). Finally, the No. 5 seed Saints get the gift of heading to St Louis to take on the 8-8 Rams.
Here's a division-by-division look at the playoff scenarios.
NFC East - Two teams alive
The Eagles and Giants sit atop the NFC East at 8-4. Right now, the Eagles hold the head-to-head tiebreaker. However, these two will play two weeks from now in
New York New Jersey in a game that will likely decide the NFC East. Both teams have tricky away games next week. The Giants head to Minnesota to take on the resurgent Vikings while the Eagles fly to Dallas to face a similarly resurgent Cowboys team.
NFC North - Two teams alive
The Bears lead the division by a game over the Packers after both teams got expected wins. Now starts crunch time for Chicago as it finishes the year with the Patriots, Vikings away, Jets and the Packers away. If the Bears get through that, this division will likely be decided by the Week 17 matchup between these two teams.
NFC South - Three teams alive
This division has the Falcons, Saints and Buccaneers in that order. The Falcons basically eliminated the Bucs from division contention this weekend with their win in Tampa. The Saints have a shot at pulling even with Atlanta when they play in three weeks. For Tampa, they're now out of the wild card and lose tiebreakers to basically all of the teams above them. It need helps to get a wild card.
NFC West - Three teams alive
The NFC West now has two teams at .500! The consensus worst division in football finally has some separation with the St. Louis Rams and Seattle Seahawks at 6-6. The Rams hold the head-to-head tiebreaker for now, but the two will play at Seattle in the final week of the year. It’s going to be a tough road for the young Rams however, as they have games against the Saints on the road and the likely playoff bound Chiefs. Plus of course, that last game is in Seattle. That said, the Seahawks don’t have it any easier with games against Atlanta and at Tampa.
AFC East - Two teams alive
The Patriots got an emphatic blowout win over the Jets and took control of this division. They have to be the favorites to win it now, but the Jets are still in line for a wild card.
AFC North - Two teams alive
The Steelers went to Baltimore and knocked off the Ravens, which means Pittsburgh is in charge of the North right now. The Ravens are in good shape for the other wild card.
AFC South - Two teams alive
The Colts are in a freefall after their 3rd straight loss and 4th in five games. This may very well be the first time the Colts don't make the playoffs in a quite a while. They're a game behind the Jaguars in a division that will only send one team to the playoffs. The two teams will play in two weeks in Indianapolis,
AFC West - One team alive
We've finally got a team with a multiple-game division lead. The Chiefs have opened up a two-game lead in the West after the Oakland Raiders halted the Chargers' resurgence with a big 28-13 win on the road. The Chargers had won four straight to pull themselves back into contention after an awful start... but the loss to Oakland puts them at 6-6, a full two games behind KC with just four games to play. Not only would San Diego have to beat the Chiefs next week, they'd more or less have to run the table and hope the Chiefs lose three of their last four. With home games against Tennessee and Oakland left on its schedule, KC doesn't look like likely to do that.