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Sport NFL playoff picture: Updated AFC, NFC standings for Week 12

09:50  29 november  2020
09:50  29 november  2020 Source:   sportingnews.com

Dolphins extend DL Zach Sieler

  Dolphins extend DL Zach Sieler The Dolphins have been arguably the best story in football this season, and now they’re locking up one of their diamond in the rough finds. Miami has extended defensive tackle Zach Sieler through the 2023 season, the team announced Monday. © Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports Miami Dolphins' Zach Sieler (92) He had previously been set to become a restricted free agent at the end of the year. A seventh-round pick of the Ravens in 2018, the Dolphins claimed him off waivers from Baltimore in December of last year. He played in a few games for Miami down the stretch and showed enough to earn a role in 2020.

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Week 12 is here, meaning only six weeks are left the 2020 NFL regular season. Every win becomes a lot more important in trying to lock down division titles or wild-card berths to get into the playoffs, while every loss can further dash those hopes.

The postseason field expanding by one team each in the AFC and the NFC to a total of 14 has brought more teams into realistic contention over the closing stretch. Based on the current standings, here's an updated look at what each conference tournament would look like if the playoffs started now:

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NFL standings for Week 12

AFC playoff picture

Who would be in?

Raiders to host former first-round pick Vic Beasley

  Raiders to host former first-round pick Vic Beasley A suddenly depleted Raiders team brought in Vic Beasley for a workout, according to ESPN.com’s Field Yates (on Twitter). This comes after a host of Las Vegas defensive linemen landed on the reserve/COVID-19 list. © Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports Despite signing Beasley to a one-year, $9M deal this offseason, the Titans cut bait earlier this month. The former Falcons first-round pick did not enjoy a productive stay in Nashville. After not reporting to camp on time, Beasley did not record a sack as a Titan. The Raiders have Clelin Ferrell and Arden Key on their reserve/COVID list.

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1. Pittsburgh Steelers (10-0), first place, AFC North. The Steelers have a precarious one-game lead over the Chiefs for the top seed and the lone bye. They have a very favorable schedule ahead following the Jaguars win in Week 11. They now lead the Browns by three games and the Ravens by four games in the division, with head-to-head tiebreakers against both teams. Remaining schedule: vs. BAL, vs. WSH, at BUF, at CIN, vs. IND, at CLE

2. Kansas City Chiefs (9-1), first place, AFC West. The Chiefs got a much-needed Week 11 road win after their bye to avenge their Week 5 home loss to the Raiders. They now have a comfortable three-game lead in the division. The race for the No. 1 seed between them and the Steelers will probably come down to the wire with two tough road games against NFC South teams left. Remaining schedule: at TB, vs. DEN, at MIA, at NO, vs. ATL, vs. LAC

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3. Buffalo Bills (7-3), first place, AFC East. The Bills, coming off a bye in Week 11, now have a full-game lead over the Dolphins and a three-game lead over the Patriots in the division after both teams lost as favorites in Week 11. They also beat the Dolphins and Patriots in their first meetings and thus hold the current tiebreakers. Losses to the Chiefs and Titans hurt their potential seeding, but they do get a shot at home against the Steelers. Remaining schedule: vs. LAC, at SF, vs. PIT, at DEN, at NE, vs. MIA

4. Indianapolis Colts (7-3), first place, AFC South. The Colts had to beat the Packers to stay ahead of the Titans, whom they beat in Week 10. The win over a quality NFC opponent in Week 11 also strengthened their wild-card fallback position. The Colts' key AFC losses are to the Browns and Ravens. They play the Titans again in Week 12 with first place on the line. Remaining schedule: vs. TEN, at HOU, at LV, vs. HOU, at PIT, vs. JAX

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5. Tennessee Titans (7-3), second place, AFC South. The Titans got a much-needed win against the Ravens, another wild-card hopeful, to at least get this position after the Colts followed suit with an overtime win of their own against the Packers. Now they need to focus on splitting with the Colts in Indianapolis this week. The Titans also have a key AFC win over the Bills. They play the Browns, over whom they have a conference record edge, in Week 13. Remaining schedule: at IND, vs. CLE, at JAX, vs. DET, at GB, at HOU

6. Cleveland Browns (7-3), second place, AFC North. The Browns got another gritty cold, rainy win over the Eagles at home in Week 11 to get back into wild-card position, and they were thrilled by the Ravens losing to the Titans to fall one game behind them. The Browns lost to the Raiders but beat the Colts and they draw the Titans in Week 13. They do not play the Dolphins but play the Ravens and Steelers again. Remaining schedule: at JAX, at TEN, vs. BAL, at NYG, at NYJ, vs. PIT

7. Las Vegas Raiders (6-4), second place, AFC West. The Raiders are still here after losing to the Chiefs last Sunday night because they still have a superior conference record (4-3) over the Dolphins and Ravens. They beat the Browns and also get shots at home against the Colts (Week 14) and Dolphins (Week 16) in December. Remaining schedule: at ATL, at NYJ, vs. IND, vs. LAC, vs. MIA, at DEN

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Who can get there?

8. Miami Dolphins (6-4)

9. Baltimore Ravens (6-4)

The Ravens dropped all the way down here after their shocking blown-lead home loss to the Titans, continuing their free fall from the AFC's top seed in 2019. They also are in third place in the North now, behind the Browns. That makes their game against the Steelers a must-win. The Dolphins' upset loss at the Broncos put them out of playoff position, so they must rebound against the Jets on the road.

Who's likely out?


Gallery: Which NFL teams have already gone over or under their win totals? (SMG)

a football player holding a football ball on a field: Dallas was on the right side of the final score for the first time in five attempts. Up next is a Thanksgiving game with fellow 3-7 NFC East team Washington.

10. Denver Broncos (4-6)

11. New England Patriots (4-6)

12. Houston Texans (4-7)

13. Los Angeles Chargers (3-7)

14. Cincinnati Bengals (2-7-1)

15. Jacksonville Jaguars (1-9)

Who's out

16. New York Jets (0-10)

The Jets can now fully focus on edging the Jaguars for the No. 1 pick in the draft. The Broncos are still out of luck despite beating the Dolphins. The Patriots wasted their Ravens victory with a loss to the Texans. The Chargers can keep thinking about what might have been with Justin Herbert after all their close losses, while the Texans already dug themselves too deep of a hole. The Bengals are done with their latest loss and Joe Burrow hurt.

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NFC playoff picture

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Who would be in?

The best NFL teams that never made it to a Super Bowl

  The best NFL teams that never made it to a Super Bowl Some franchises' best efforts have not led to victory parades or even Super Bowl berths. Because of untimely injuries, unfortunate circumstances or myriad other reasons, many teams' plans throughout NFL history have not produced a desired result.

1. New Orleans Saints (8-2), first place, NFC South. The Saints' sparkling conference record (now 7-1) is a big asset after their Week 11 thrashing of the Falcons with Taysom Hill. They have a one-game lead over the Packers, which puts them back on top because they lose the head-to-head tiebreaker otherwise. They are strong favorites to hold this seed for home-field advantage and the lone bye. Remaining schedule: at DEN, at ATL, at PHI, vs. KC, vs. MIN, at CAR

2. Los Angeles Rams (7-3), first place, NFC West. The Rams jumped the Seahawks in the standings with their Monday night win over the Buccaneers following a Week 10 beatdown. They are just 1-1 in the division, having lost to the 49ers, but they are 7-1 in the conference overall, giving them the tiebreaker over the Packers for this spot and helping them have a strong fallback with a wild card. Remaining schedule: vs. SF, at ARI, vs. NE, vs. NYJ,  at SEA, vs. ARI

3. Green Bay Packers (7-3), first place, NFC North. The Packers hold a two-game division lead over the Bears, who are fading fast and whom the Packers get to play twice, including in Week 12 at Lambeau Field. The Week 11 loss to the Colts hurt because it dropped them from No. 1. They also need to root for the Rams and Seahawks to fade so they can work to get back home-field advantage over the Saints, whom they beat in New Orleans in Week 3. Remaining schedule: vs. CHI, vs. PHI, at DET, vs. CAR, vs. TEN, at CHI

4. Washington Football Team (4-7), first place, NFC East. Washington.took over first place by completing a sweep of the Cowboys on Thanksgiving in the second game of Week 12. WFT played its most complete game of the season on offense and defense. If the Eagles win Sunday, then Philadelphia would come back up here. If the Eagles lose, then Washington would also need the Giants, who swept them, to lose to the Bengals, whom Washington just beat. Remaining schedule: at PIT, vs. SF, vs. SEA, vs. CAR, at PHI

Eagles cut safety Will Parks

  Eagles cut safety Will Parks The timing is a bit odd, as it’s not like Parks has been noticeably terrible, and it’s possible there’s something behind the scenes at play here. That being said, they’ve apparently wanted him gone for a bit, as Tom Pelissero of NFL Network tweets they tried to trade him at the deadline but found no takers. The Vikings apparently offered Parks more money back in March, as Minnesota beat writer Darren Wolfson tweets. Wolfson also notes they had interest in trading for him at the deadline, so they’ll be a team to watch as Parks now hits waivers.

5. Seattle Seahawks (7-3), second place, NFC West. The Seahawks briefly took the division lead when they beat the Cardinals to open Week 11 but fell down to the top wild-card spot with the Rams beating the Buccaneers on Monday night. The Rams beat the Seahawks in their first meeting in Week 10. The Seahawks have pressure to beat the Eagles to keep pace with the Rams and Cardinals, who both have easier matchups in Week 12. Remaining schedule: at PHI, vs. NYG, vs. NYJ,  at WSH,vs. LAR, at SF

6. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (7-4) second place, NFC South. The Buccaneers blew a big opportunity to become the division and conference front-runners. Now they need to finish a full game ahead of the Saints, to whom they lost twice, to take the South. They are in strong shape, however, to fall back on one of the three wild cards because of their seven wins. Losing to the Rams at home to close Week 11 didn't help, however. Their last tough game is at home against the Chiefs in Week 12. Remaining schedule: vs. KC, vs. MIN, at ATL, at DET, vs. ATL

7. Arizona Cardinals (6-4), third place, NFC West. The Cardinals dropped four spots to the final NFC wild card with their loss to the Seahawks. They still have a one-game lead over the Bears but would lose the tiebreaker for now with the Bears having one more conference win going into Week 12. A split of their final games, which is very doable, should allow the Cardinals to sneak in here. Remaining schedule: at NE, vs. LAR, at NYG, vs. PHI, vs. SF, at LAR

Who can get there?

8. Chicago Bears (5-5)

9. Minnesota Vikings (4-6)

The Bears, after starting 5-1, have free-fallen to .500 after coming out of their Week 11 bye. The Vikings made a big move back toward contention by beating the Bears in Week 10, only to fall flat against the Cowboys at home in Week 11. Minnesota still can make a run, but the Dallas and Seattle losses hurt most. The Bears and Vikings pretty much need to think about running the table and also getting help.

Who's likely out?

10. San Francisco 49ers (4-6)

11. Carolina Panthers (4-7)

12. Detroit Lions (4-7)

13. Philadelphia Eagles (3-6-1)

14. New York Giants (3-7)

15. Atlanta Falcons (3-7)

16. Dallas Cowboys (3-8)

The Lions joined this group with their bad loss to the Panthers in Week 11 and fell behind the Panthers with their loss to the Texans in Week 12. The injury-riddled 49ers' latest bad loss, to the Saints, is part of a very difficult slate ahead. The Falcons and Panthers have proved to be extremely flawed teams because of their defenses and injuries. The Eagles fell out of the No. 4 seed and the NFC East lead with Washington's win over Dallas.

NFLPA president: 'COVID-19 does not fear a bubble' .
Despite skyrocketing COVID-19 numbers nationwide, the NFL’s stance remains that postseason games will occur at team venues. Although no final decision has surfaced, NFL chief medical officer Dr. Allen Sills and union president JC Tretter providing anti-bubble statements provides a good indication no one- or two-site postseason will commence. This pours cold water on an in-case-of-emergency bubble scenario the league was considering last month. But no real bubble momentum has emerged since the pandemic began. © Mark J.

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