The Jaguars’ outlook took a heavy toll with the OT loss


Each week for the duration of the 2023 NFL regular season, USA TODAY Sports will provide real-time updates to the league’s ever-evolving playoff picture — beginning Sunday afternoon after late games and continuing through the remainder of the week (through Thursday’s game or Saturday, if applicable).

What happened now? What does this mean? What are the relevant factors (and, perhaps, tiebreakers) at play as each conference’s seven-team bracket begins to crystallize? All will be explained and analyzed until the postseason field is finalized on Sunday night, January 7th.

Where things stand in Week 13 of the 2023 season:

AFC playoff picture

1. Miami Dolphins (9-3), AFC East leaders: Another blowout from a bad team on Sunday, the Fins crushed the Washington Commanders 45-15. But the win moves them up in the conference standings, and Miami’s record (6-2) in AFC games gives them the advantage over inactive Baltimore. Rest of the schedule: vs. Titans, vs. Jets, vs. Cowboys, at Ravens, vs. Bills

2. Baltimore Ravens (9-3), AFC North leaders: They are 6-3 against the AFC and will soon face some tough conference opponents during a tough stretch. Rest of the schedule: vs. Rams, vs. Jaguars, vs. 49ers, vs. Dolphins, vs. Steelers

3. Kansas City Chiefs (8-4), AFC West leaders: Had they won in Green Bay on Sunday night, the defending champions would have climbed atop the AFC ladder. Instead, the loss drops them here — a spot better following a surprise loss to the Jaguars. A 6-1 record in AFC games and wins over Miami and Jacksonville put KC well-positioned to play in its sixth straight AFC title game at Arrowhead Stadium. None of the remaining teams on the schedule are currently winless. The rest of the schedule: vs. Bills, Patriots, Vs. Raiders, vs. Bengals at Chargers

4. Jacksonville Jaguars (8-4), AFC South leaders: Monday night was a season-crippling loss for the Bengals — primarily due to an ankle injury suffered by QB Trevor Lawrence. Nevertheless, the Jacks still had a chance to win in overtime, which would have vaulted them to the top of the conference standings. But shouldn’t be. As the divisional battle tightens anew, they suddenly have to think anew about whether they can hold off Houston. The rest of the schedule: Browns, vs. Ravens, Buccaneers, vs. Panthers, Titans

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5. Pittsburgh Steelers (7-5), wild card no. 1: A bad loss to Arizona and an even worrisome loss with QB Kenny Pickett’s ankle injury. However, they are ahead of Cleveland based on their better record in division games and a slim lead over Indianapolis in the tiebreaker of common opponents. Rest of the schedule: vs. Patriots, at Colts, vs. Bengals, at Seahawks, at Ravens

6. Cleveland Browns (7-5), wild card no. 2: New QB Joe Flacco couldn’t get a win against the Rams, which would have lifted Cleveland in the conference standings. But the Browns’ 39-38 win at Indianapolis in Week 7 continues to serve them well. Rest of the schedule: vs. Jaguars, vs. Bears, at Texans, vs. Jets, at Bengals

7. Indianapolis Colts (7-5), wild card no. 3: An overtime escapade in Nashville keeps them here… and the upcoming schedule could ensure they don’t drop out. Rest of the schedule: At Bengals, vs. Steelers, at Falcons, vs. Raiders, vs. Texans

8. Houston Texans (7-5), out of playoff field: They already lost to Indy and have a worse division record than the Colts. However, the mounting problems in the AFC North bode well for them. Houston waxed Pittsburgh earlier this year, so a tie with the Steelers would be favorable. Rest of the schedule: At Jets, Titans, vs. Browns, vs. Titans, Colts

9. Denver Broncos (6-6), out of playoff field: Their five-game heater ended in Houston, where they also lost a key tiebreaker. At least Denver has already beaten Buffalo … and should be able to handle most of its remaining opponents. Rest of the schedule: Chargers, Lions, vs. Patriots, vs. Chargers, at Raiders

10. Cincinnati Bengals (6-6), out of playoff field: QB Jake Browning’s impressive performance on Monday night brought them back to the fringes of contention … though a 2-6 record in conference matchups will be tough to overcome. Rest of the schedule: vs. the Colts, vs. the Vikings, at the Steelers, at the Chiefs, vs. the Browns

11. Buffalo Bills (6-6), out of playoff field: With the legal troubles now attached to OLB Von Miller, even the bye week felt like a loss. Not the way you want to start an upcoming doubleheader against Kansas City and Dallas. Not only that, but losses to Denver and Cincinnati drop them further down the pecking order. Rest of the schedule: At Chiefs, vs. Cowboys, at Chargers, vs. Patriots, Dolphins

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NFC playoff picture

1. Philadelphia Eagles (10-2), NFC East leaders: They still own the best record in the league, but a convincing loss to the Niners on Sunday could leave them exposed — starting with a head-to-head tiebreaker to San Francisco. But more than that? A loss in Dallas in Week 14 would drop Philly out of first place in the division and down the conference ladder. Rest of the schedule: At Cowboys, at Seahawks, vs. Giants, vs. Cardinals, at Giants

2. San Francisco 49ers (9-3), NFC West leaders: Sunday’s blowout win at Lincoln Financial Field puts them right in the hunt for home-field advantage and a first-round bye, as the Niners must now match the Eagles’ regular-season record. The Niners’ best record in NFC games (7-1) also puts them ahead of the Lions. Rest of the schedule: vs. Seahawks, at Cardinals, vs. Ravens, at Commanders, vs. Rams

3. Detroit Lions (9-3), NFC North leaders: They went on to win in New Orleans on Sunday, increasing their margin of error over second-place Minnesota in the division race. And the lions are quietly lurking behind the teams in front of them. Rest of the schedule: Bears, vs. Broncos, Vikings, Cowboys, vs. Vikings

4. Atlanta Falcons (6-6), NFC South leaders: They outlasted the Jets and took a one-game lead in the division thanks to New Orleans’ loss. A 3-0 record in NFC South games gives Atlanta a meaningful advantage this time around. Rest of the schedule: vs. Buccaneers, at Panthers, vs. Colts, at Bears, at Saints

5. Dallas Cowboys (9-3), wild card no. 1: First place in the NFC East is now in sight. They beat Seattle 41-35 on Thursday night to win their 14th straight home game. Dallas cemented its hold on its current position — which would provide a matchup with the not-so-intimidating NFC South champion in the wild-card round. A loss by Philadelphia means the Cowboys can beat the Eagles in Week 14 to claim first place in their division. The rest of the schedule: vs. Eagles, at Bills, at Dolphins, vs. Lions, at Commanders

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6. Minnesota Vikings (6-6), wild card no. 2: With two dates with Detroit ahead they could still make a run in the NFC North. But Minnesota will need to bounce back from its bag ready to deal with a bevy of teams ready to challenge for this spot. The rest of the schedule: Raiders, Bengals, vs. Lions, vs. Bakers, at Lions

7. Green Bay Packers (6-6), wild card no. 3: They took out the Chiefs on Sunday night – with some help from the authorities? — to jump into the final playoff spot, tentatively held by the Rams before being swiped back, starting Sunday at Seattle. Green Bay’s Week 9 win over a Matthew Stafford-less LA is decisive this time around.. Rest of the schedule: At Giants, vs. Buccaneers, at Panthers, at Vikings, vs. Bears

8. Los Angeles Rams (6-6), out of playoff field: They beat Cleveland on Sunday – which tied LA with Seattle (6-6), which the Rams had already swept and overtaken as a result. A loss at Lambeau Field earlier this year could haunt them until the bitter end. Rest of the schedule: At Ravens, vs. Commanders, vs. Saints, at Giants, at age 49

9. Seattle Seahawks (6-6), Out of Playoff Field: They have lost four of their last five games following Thursday’s heartbreaker against Dallas. Dropping both games to the Rams could be a lingering issue. The schedule gets tougher over the next two weeks for Seattle, which is on the nose for recovery. Rest of the schedule: 49ers vs. Eagles vs. Titans vs. Steelers vs. Cardinals

10. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5-7), out of playoff field: They are in the wild-card chase but could be a big factor in the NFC South race, one game behind Atlanta. Rest of the schedule: at Falcons, at Packers, vs. Jaguars, vs. Saints, at Panthers

11. New Orleans Saints (5-7), out of playoff field: They are in the wild-card chase but could be a big factor in the NFC South race, one game behind Atlanta. The schedule isn’t bad … although QB Derek Carr’s mounting injuries certainly appear. Rest of the schedule: vs. Panthers, vs. Giants, vs. Rams, vs. Buccaneers, vs. Falcons


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