1. BALTIMORE RAVENS (13-3)
The Ravens are the best team in the AFC and they put an exclamation point on that fact on Sunday. Baltimore took on Miami, with the #1 seed (and the 1st round bye that accompanies it) in the balance, and they hung 56 points on the Dolphins en route to a 37-point win.
2. SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS (12-4)
The Niners put their ugly loss to Baltimore in the rear view with a win over the Commanders this week. San Francisco will most likely give their starters some rest this week, as they have locked up the #1 seed in the NFC.
3. DALLAS COWBOYS (11-5)
The Cowboys escaped with a 1-point win over Detroit on Saturday in what could possibly be a playoff preview. This was a good bounce back victory after a heartbreaking loss in Miami.
4. PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (11-5)
Things are going bad in Philly at precisely the wrong time. After a shocking loss to the Cardinals, the Eagles have now lost 4 of their last 5. That’s not the type of football you want to be playing going into the postseason, especially when you have Super Bowl ambitions.
5. DETROIT LIONS (11-5)
The Lions were in a gambling mood on Saturday. After scoring a potential tying TD against the Cowboys with less than 30 seconds remaining, Detroit would go for the 2-point conversion and the win, instead of kicking the game-tying extra-point, but it didn’t work out. In any case, this wasn’t exactly a loss to be upset about for Detroit.
6. MIAMI DOLPHINS (11-5)
The Dolphins took a shellacking on Sunday from Baltimore. Despite defeating Dallas last week, this loss begs the question of how legitimate of a contender the Dolphins are, with the Cowboys being their only quality win.
7. BUFFALO BILLS (10-6)
The Bills will be playing the Dolphins on Sunday. In the final week of the season, the Bills could either end up as the #2 seed in the AFC or they could end up missing the playoffs entirely. Both results would be equally surprising based on preseason expectations, and how the season has actually played out for Buffalo.
8. KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (10-6)
Even though Joe Burrow is hurt, the Chiefs surely wanted to get a win this past weekend against the Bengals after all of the “Burrow-head” talk from last season. Just like in the AFC Championship last season, the Chiefs defended their home field. They will close their season out against the Chargers this week before setting their sights on a Super Bowl repeat.
9. CLEVELAND BROWNS (11-5)
The Browns took down the Jets on Thursday night, and as a result there will be postseason football for the Browns. Joe Flacco has been such a boost for this offense, so you have to believe that the Cleveland front office is pretty sick over how the Watson investment has been paying off.
10. LOS ANGELES RAMS (9-7)
This season has been a surprising success for the Rams. The preseason expectations were not high for this group, but the Rams will be playing postseason football no matter what happens on Sunday.
11. HOUSTON TEXANS (9-7)
CJ Stroud returned in the nick of time. He got back into rhythm against the Titans last week, and now on Saturday night he will be playing for a playoff spot in a primetime slot. If they win, Houston is in. If they lose, they are out. This is a big spot for Stroud in just his rookie season.
12. JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS (9-7)
The Jags blasted the Panthers 26-0 on Sunday to continue their path to a division title. If they win Sunday the are the AFC South champs. If they lose, they’re gonna need some help to get into the postseason.
13. DENVER BRONCOS (8-8)
Denver won’t make the playoffs, but the turnaround they made this season was great. Now they will look to close the year out with a couple of wins over division rivals. They got win #1 against the Chargers this past week, and will look to beat the Raiders on Sunday, in a game that could hold playoff implications for other AFC teams.
14. PITTSBURGH STEELERS (9-7)
The Steelers earned a victory on Sunday, guaranteeing another non-losing season for head coach Mike Tomlin, a very impressive feat. They will be fighting for a playoff spot on Sunday. They do not control their destiny, but they can get into the postseason, win or lose. Obviously, that proposition is much less likely with a loss.
15. CINCINNATI BENGALS (8-8)
Jake Browning had his moments stepping in for Burrow, but ultimately it wasn’t enough. The Bengals were eliminated from playoff contention on Sunday, but rest assured, they’ll be back next year.
16. SEATTLE SEAHAWKS (8-8)
The Seahawks’ playoff hopes took a major blow on Sunday when they lost a home game to the Steelers. Seattle now has only a 26% chance of making the postseason.
17. INDIANAPOLIS COLTS (9-7)
It’s simple for Indy. Win and you’re in, lose and you’re out. If they do get the win on Saturday, it will still be up in the air on Sunday whether they will be hosting a playoff game as a division champ, or if they will hit the road as a wild card team.
18. GREEN BAY PACKERS (8-8)
The Packers’ 33-10 win over Minnesota has them currently holding the final playoff spot in the NFC. A playoff appearance in the first season without Aaron Rodgers would be a great accomplishment for Matt LaFleur’s group.
19. NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (8-8)
Just like ‘The Bee Gees’, the Saints are stayin’ alive. They beat Tampa on the road this past week, but will need a win and some help on Sunday if they are going to play postseason football.
20. TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS (9-7)
Baker Mayfield & the Bucs could have clinched the NFC South last week against the Saints, but it was New Orleans who played like a division champ, taking down Tampa 23-13 on the Bucs’ home field. The good news is that Mayfield will have another chance to be the hero this week when Tampa travels north to take on the Panthers. You couldn’t ask for a better team to be playing against for a division title. Hold it down, Baker.
21. LAS VEGAS RAIDERS (7-9)
The Raiders’ attempted 2nd half comeback against the Colts fell short, meaning the team will finish below .500. They will now try to end the year on a high note against the Broncos this week.
22. CHICAGO BEARS (7-9)
The Bears cant make the playoffs, but it didn’t stop them from handing out a 37-17 thumping of Atlanta. Maybe Justin Fields is feeling some pressure to show that he is still gonna be the guy for Chicago.
23. ATLANTA FALCONS (7-9)
The Falcons’ disappointing loss to the Bears on Sunday didn’t help their playoff chances, but they can still find a playoff berth if they hit all green lights this weekend.
24. NEW YORK JETS (6-10)
The Jets took a 17-point loss to the Browns on Thursday. There was a lot of hype around this team in the preseason, but with how things have gone, even in lieu of the Rodgers injury, you have to wonder if Robert Saleh will be on the sidelines again next year.
25. MINNESOTA VIKINGS (7-9)
The Vikings’ season went down the tubes on Sunday when they lost to Green Bay by 23. Minnesota is still alive, but they only have a 3% chance of playing postseason football.
26. ARIZONA CARDINALS (4-12)
The Cardinals have had an odd season. They will finish with at least 12 losses, and are at the bottom of the league. Yet 4 of their wins have come against teams who have either clinched, or are still hunting for, a playoff spot. Their most notable wins came against Dallas & Philadelphia, two of the best teams in the NFL. Maybe there’s something to build on there.
27. LOS ANGELES CHARGERS (5-11)
The pain is nearly over. The Chargers will play a meaningless game against the Chiefs on Sunday, so maybe LA can end the season with a win.
28. NEW YORK GIANTS (5-11)
The Giants underwhelming campaign will end on Sunday where they will try to make sure that the Eagles don’t capture the division crown.
29. TENNESSEE TITANS (5-11)
The Titans season will mercifully come to an end this week. After a 26-3 thrashing that got handed to them by the Texans, the Titans will close out their season by trying to play spoiler for the Jags.
30. WASHINGTON COMMANDERS (4-12)
This pit fall will hit the bottom on Sunday against Dallas. After that, Washington will take a long look in the mirror.
31. NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (4-12)
The game is meaningless, but if this is Belichick’s last game in New England, a home win against the Jets would be fitting.
32. CAROLINA PANTHERS (2-14)
Don’t worry Panthers fans. This nightmare is nearly over.