2014 NFL playoff picture and standings: Seahawks, Steelers get big wins
Here’s what you need to know about the playoff picture following Sunday of Week 14.
In the AFC North, the Pittsburgh Steelers beat the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium, dropping the Bengals’ division lead to just half a game. The Ravens got a big win in Miami, putting the Dolphins‘ playoff hopes in jeopardy. And Cleveland lost in the final minute to the Indianapolis Colts to fall to 7-6. But, the Browns will have a chance to get back into the hunt for a wild card spot with a win against the Bengals next week.
In the NFC West, the Seahawks picked up a big win against the Philadelphia Eagles in Philly to keep pace with the Arizona Cardinals, who got a badly needed victory against the Kansas City Chiefs. The 49ers, however, looked pedestrian in a loss to the Raiders, who picked up their second win of the season.
The Patriots kept hold of the inside road to the No. 1 seed in the AFC with a win against the Chargers on Sunday night. Here’s what else we learned about the playoff standings in Week 14.
The AFC North got tighter on Sunday, as both the Steelers and the Ravens got big wins. The Steelers win came over the division-leading Cincinnati Bengals, who still lead the division by half a game at 8-4-1. The Steelers win kept them in good position at 8-5 in the division and wild card race. Baltimore is also 8-5. The Browns lost a heartbreaker at home to the Indianapolis Colts, but will go for the season sweep over the Bengals next week. Cleveland has some ground to make up at 7-6.
The Colts picked up a big win in Cleveland to stay in control of the division at 9-4, but the Houston Texans improved to 7-6 and will play the Colts in Indianapolis next week. The Titans and Jacksonville Jaguars stayed at the bottom of the division, both with records of 2-11.
The Patriots beat the Chargers 23-14 to stay on top of the division at 10-3. The Dolphins’ playoff hopes took a big it with a loss at home to the Ravens. Miami dropped to 7-6. The Bills also lost, falling to 7-6 with a loss in Denver to the Broncos. The New York Jets also lost, falling to 2-11 with an overtime loss to the Minnesota Vikings.
The Broncos tightened its grip on the division with a win over Buffalo at home, but the Chargers lost ground with a 23-14 loss to the New England Patriots at home. Denver sits at 10-3, two games ahead of San Diego at 8-5. The Chiefs lost a tough game to the Arizona Cardinals to fall to 7-6. And the Raiders won over the 49ers, moving to 2-11 on the season.
The Green Bay Packers won’t play until they meet the Atlanta Falcons on Monday Night Football, but the Detroit Lions stayed on track with a win over the Buccaneers to move to 9-4. Green Bay at 9-3, will need a win to maintain a lead in the division. The Vikings won over the Jets, but both they and the Chicago Bears (who lost to the Cowboys on Thursday night) are likely out of the playoff picture. Minnesota sits at 6-7 while the Bears are a disappointing 5-8.
The Atlanta Falcons will play on Monday Night Football in Lambeau, but the NFC South remains a clownshow. Atlanta leads the division despite a 5-7 record. The New Orleans Saints lost 41-10 to the Carolina Panthers to fall to 5-8. The Panthers win moved them to 4-8-1 on the season and are still remarkably in the NFC South race. The Bucs lost again and are 2-11.
The Philadelphia Eagles have the tiebreaker win over the Cowboys, but their loss on Sunday to the Seattle Seahawks dropped them to 9-4. The Cowboys, also 9-4, will head to Philadelphia next week. Behind them, the Giants and Washington are out of the playoff picture. New York won to improve to 4-9 while Washington lost its fifth straight game to fall to 3-10.