Wednesday, January 19, 2022

2022 NFL Playoff Picture: How Saturday wins by Cowboys and Chiefs impact the postseason race

2022 NFL Playoff Picture: How Saturday wins by Cowboys and Chiefs impact the postseason race

Here’s an up-to-date look at the NFL playoff race

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Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

For the first time in 17 years, the NFL scheduled a Saturday doubleheader for the final week of the season and both of those games ended exactly as expected with the Chiefs and Cowboys both winning.

The Chiefs, who were an 11-point favorite over the Broncos, got an unexpected scare in Denver in a 28-24 win. As for Dallas, there was no scare for the Cowboys as they rolled to an 51-26 blowout win over Philadelphia. The Cowboys’ didn’t come as a surprise and that’s mostly due to the fact that the Eagles benched their starters while Dallas played its starters for the better part of three quarters. 

So how do these two games impact the playoff race heading into the final day of the season? Glad you asked. 

Although the Chiefs have moved up to the top spot in the AFC thanks to their win, they might not be there for long and that’s because the Titans can claim the No. 1 overall seed by beating the Texans on Sunday. 

In the NFC, the win by Dallas didn’t cause the standings to change, but it did open the door for the Cowboys to move up as high as the two-seed if a few things go their way on Sunday. 

With the in mind, here’s a look at the current playoff standings following the wins by the Chiefs and Cowboys. 

AFC playoff standings

Still alive

Raiders (9-7):
The Raiders will get in the playoffs with a win over the Chargers on Sunday. They could also get in if both the Colts AND Steelers lose. 

Steelers (8-7-1): For the Steelers to make the playoffs three things have to happen: They have to beat the Ravens, the Colts have to lose to the Jags and the Chargers-Raiders game can’t end in a tie. 

Ravens (8-8): For the Ravens to make the playoffs, four things have to happen: They have to beat the Steelers, the Colts have to lose to the Jags, the Dolphins have to lose to the Patriots and the Chargers have to lose to the Raiders. 

NFC playoff standings

Still alive

Saints (8-8):
The only way the Saints can’t get in the playoffs is if they beat the Falcons AND the 49ers lose to the Rams. 

Wild card round matchups (Based on current standings)

AFC

(7) Chargers at (2) Titans

(6) Colts (3) Bengals

(5) Patriots at (4) Bills

Bye: Chiefs

NFC 

(7) Eagles at (2) Rams

(6) 49ers at (3) Buccaneers

(5) Cardinals at (4) Cowboys

Bye: Packers

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