NFL standings: Updated AFC, NFC playoff picture for Week 9 of 2022 season

14
NFL standings: Updated AFC, NFC playoff picture for Week 9 of 2022 season

The 2022 NFL season has reached its halfway point after Week 9. Although the playoff picture for the AFC and NFC won’t be finalized until Week 18, it’s a good time to look at the updated standings and what teams would be in the playoffs if the season ended now.

Here’s a breakdown of the NFL’s latest playoff field and seedings, looking at the contenders on the brink of joining the potential postseason party:

NFL POWER RANKINGS: 49ers, Seahawks surge as NFC contenders; Raiders, Steelers flirt with worst

NFL standings after Week 9

AFC playoff picture

1. Buffalo Bills (6-2), first place, AFC North. The preseason Super Bowl 57 favorites stumbled for a second time in a division road game, losing at the upstart Jets in Week 9. They will stay here no matter going into Week 10 no matter what happens in the Titans-Chiefs game because they’ve beaten both teams.

2. Kansas City Chiefs (6-2), first place, AFC West. The Chiefs have lost to the Bills and also were upset on the road by the Colts. They jumped back up to No. 2 to at least score this seed later by surviving the Titans as heavy favorites.

Patrick Mahomes

3. Baltimore Ravens (6-3), first place, AFC North. The Ravens rule the roost again their division by virtue of a home win over the Bengals. They still have plenty of work to do with the Bengals right behind them. They had to be pleased by the Titans losing to move up here ahead of their Week 9 win over the Saints. They also to the Bills earlier.

4. Tennessee Titans (5-3), first place, AFC South The Titans saw their five-game winning streak snapped by the Chiefs in Week 9 after also losing to the Bills in Week 2. They fell behind the Ravens before that team plays Monday night because of a strength-of-victory tiebreaker.

5. New York Jets (6-3), second place, AFC East. The Jets, who lost to the Ravens in Week 1, are shocking to see here, But they get the edge over the East rival Dolphins because of a head-to-head victory after beating the Bills.

6. Miami Dolphins (6-3), third place, AFC East. The Dolphins have rallied to get back into strong playoff position after the early 3-0 and 0-3 roller coaster. They still have a ton of work to do and can’t afford to stumble in trap games, so the surviving the Bears was huge.

7. Los Angeles Chargers (5-3), second place, AFC West. The Chargers stayed in in position despite all their injuries with their unique record coming out of a Week 8 bye. They will need to get hot with Justin Herbert to stay here in the second half and beating the Falcons right away in Week 9 helps.

Justin-Herbert-010422

Who’s in the hunt?

8. New England Patriots (5-4), third place, AFC East


9. Cincinnati Bengals (5-4), second place, AFC North


10. Indianapolis Colts (3-5-1), second place, AFC South


11. Cleveland Browns (3-5), third place, AFC North


12. Denver Broncos (3-5), third place, AFC West

The Bengals are the obvious team to watch most as the still reigning AFC champions. After beating the Panthers, they still would lose a conference-record tiebreaker to the Patriots, who beat the Colts. The Browns have a shot after just beating the Bengals with Deshaun Watson’s return looming. The Colts and Broncos are the two most disappointing teams in this group.

Who’s likely out?

13. Jacksonville Jaguars (3-6), last place, AFC South


14. Las Vegas Raiders (2-6), last place, AFC West


15. Pittsburgh Steelers (2-6), last place, AFC North


16. Houston Texans (1-6-1), last place, AFC South

The Raiders and Jaguars had some promise early but that’s faded fast, with the latter beating the former in Week 9. The Steelers are accepting the first-ever losing season under Mike Tomlin.

NFL MOCK DRAFT: Texans join 1-2-3 run on QBs; Eagles double up on D; Broncos, Packers add big playmakers

NFC playoff picture

1. Philadelphia Eagles (8-0), first place, NFC East. The Eagles have opened up a two-game lead in the division after their bye with the Cowboys and Giants both having two losses. They can fast track to winning the East and with it, the No. 1 seed and playoff home-field advantage. The biggest question left might be whether they go undefeated after a perfect first half.

2. Minnesota Vikings (7-1), first place, NFC North. The Vikings’ lone loss was acceptable as they fell to the Eagles in Philadelphia in Week 2. They are up by more than three games on the Packers, whom they beat in Minnesota in Week 1. The Vikings are looking good to lock down No. 2 with a favorable schedule while leading a weak division after rallying to beat the Commanders in Week 9.

3. Seattle Seahawks (6-3), first place, NFC West. The Seahawks are surprising as just an above-.500 team, let alone division leaders. They fortified that surprise by finishing a sweep of the Cardinals in Arizona in Week 9. They should be concerned most by the 49ers, who are only 1.5 games behind and beat them in San Francisco in Week 2.

4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-5), first place, NFC South. The Bucs are back where they’re supposed to be leading their division, thanks to wins over the Falcons and Saints. But they will work to become a bigger playoff threat and No. 3 seed in the second half after getting that much-needed miracle home victory over the Rams in Week 9.

Dak-Prescott-091322-GETTY-FTR

5. Dallas Cowboys (6-2) second place, NFC East. The Cowboys had their chance against the Eagles once and came up short in Philadelphia. They will need to wait until Christmas Eve until the rematch in Dallas. They are looking good to be a top wild card at the least after beating the Giants.

6. New York Giants (6-2), third place, NFC East. The Giants’ losses have to the Seahawks and the Cowboys. They still look good for a surprise wild card with Brian Daboll for now, but watch out for the underachieving NFC powers behind them surging in the second half.

7. San Francisco 49ers (4-4), second place, NFC West. The 49ers have a good chance to jump up to No. 3 in the end by simply taking the division winners. With all due respect to Seattle, San Francisco still should be considered the favorite to take the division after resting during a Week 9 bye.

Who’s in the hunt?

8. Atlanta Falcons (4-5), second place, NFC South


9. Washington Commanders (4-5), fourth place, NFC East


10. Los Angeles Rams (3-5), third place, NFC West


11. New Orleans Saints (3-6), third place, NFC South


12. Green Bay Packers (3-6), third place, NFC North


13. Arizona Cardinals (3-6), last place, NFC West


14. Chicago Bears (3-6), third place, NFC North

Will the reigning Super Bowl champion Rams be hungover to the point of missing the playoff. Between them and the Packers, two of the top four seeds in last year’s NFC playoffs are in trouble. The Bucs jumped up and the Falcons fell here after Week 9’s respective winning and losing results.

The Rams are in big trouble because they’ve already lost twice to the 49ers. The Packers could get hot and get back into the playoff race or simply go ice cold, building on their bad loss to the Lions in Week 9, their fifth straight defeat.

Who’s likely out?

15. Detroit Lions (2-6), last place, NFC North


16. Carolina Panthers (2-7), last place, NFC South

These cats need to find true franchise quarterbacks with their high draft picks in 2023.