NFL standings: Updated AFC, NFC playoff picture for Week 11 of 2021 season

The 2021 NFL season is into double-digit weeks and past the midpoint of its new 17-game schedule. That makes it another good time to check in on the updated standings and what the playoff picture is looking like during Week 11’s action.

The league kept its expanded playoff field, with 14 of its 32 teams (43.8 percent) set to qualify for the latest postseason. That includes 7 each from the AFC and NFC, with only the No. 1 seeds getting byes on top of home-field advantage.

Who would be in, who’s still in contention, and who should be thinking about next season? Here’s a comprehensive look:

Titans take over; Cowboys, Patriots shoot up; Buccaneers, Ravens drop for Week 11

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NFL standings for Week 11

AFC playoff picture

Who would be in?

1. Tennessee Titans (8-3), first place, AFC South. The Titans stumbled with a shocking home loss to the Texans to cool off from strong control of the top seed. They still hold it with a game and an extra win in hand over the Ravens, but it gets a lot more precarious with the red-hot Patriots up next. The Titans have key wins over the Chiefs and Bills. Remaining strength of schedule: .411

2. Baltimore Ravens (7-3), first place, AFC North. The Ravens rallied without Lamar Jackson and Marquise Brown to survive in Chicago to maintain the lead in the division. They also put more heat on the losing Titans and stayed ahead of the winning Patriots. Remaining strength of schedule: .603

3. New England Patriots (7-4), first place, AFC East. The Patriots jumped up here from wild-card status after ripping the Falcons to open Week 11 and then seeing the Bills gets upset by the Colts on Sunday. The Patriots have a key game against the Titans before facing the Bills and those same Colts on the road after a Week 14 bye. They have a half-game lead over the Bills and also hold a 5-1 record in AFC play. Remaining strength of schedule: .508

4. Kansas City Chiefs (7-4), first place, AFC West. The Chiefs stay here after their Cowboys winning result because they lost to both the Titans and Ravens and the Patriots have the superior conference record, too. A win was huge to keep staying ahead of the Chargers. Remaining strength of schedule: .542

5. Cincinnati Bengals (6-4), third place, AFC North. The Bengals had a huge bye with the rest of their division going 0-2-1 and followed that up by beating the Raiders handily coming out of it in Week 11. The Bengals are ahead of the Steelers, whom they beat earlier, and also jumped the Bills and Chargers, whom they host in Week 13, for because of conference tiebreakers. Remaining strength of schedule: .576

6. Los Angeles Chargers (6-4), second place, AFC West. The Chargers outlasted the Steelers to stay in playoff position and a half-game behind the Chiefs in the division. Justin Herbert gives them a chance every week and Brandon Staley remains on his coach of the year path. Remaining strength of schedule: .471

7. Buffalo Bills (6-4), second place, AFC East. The Bills fell hard to the Colts at home just when it looked like they were back on track with their offense, thanks to the run defense letting them down big-time. The loss gave the Patriots first place ahead of the teams meeting in two weeks and also dropped the Bills behind the two AFC teams with matching records. Remaining strength of schedule: .500

Who can get there?

8. Pittsburgh Steelers (5-4-1)
9. Indianapolis Colts (6-5)
10. Cleveland Browns (6-5)
11. Las Vegas Raiders (5-5)
12. Denver Broncos (5-5)

The Steelers tumbled down here after losing to the Chargers on Sunday night. The Colts got a big win to put pressure on them and stay ahead of the Browns. The Bengals beat the Raiders in Week 11, which helped create some more separation in the muddled middle. The Broncos have the standings stacked against them.

Who’s set to be out?

13. Miami Dolphins (4-7)
14. Houston Texans (2-8)
15. Jacksonville Jaguars (2-8)
16. New York Jets (2-8)

The Texans pulled even with the Jaguars and Jets after beating the Titans. The Dolphins helped there by beating the Jets.

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NFC playoff picture

Who would be in?

1. Arizona Cardinals (9-2), first place, NFC West. The Cardinals did their best to grind home an impressive road victory in Seattle once again without Kyler Murray and DeAndre Hopkins. They already jumped up back here after the Packers lost to the Vikings in the early Week 11 Sunday window. Remaining strength of schedule: .434

2. Green Bay Packers (8-3), first place, NFC North. The Packers couldn’t win the back-and-forth thriller with the Vikings. That loss hurt them more in the NFC seeding race for No. 1 between them, the Cardinals, Cowboys and Buccaneers given their division lead is still at three games. Remaining strength of schedule: .467

3. Dallas Cowboys (7-3), first place, NFC East. The Cowboys failed to stay ahead of the Packers by losing badly to the AFC’s Chiefs on the road in Week 11. They will drop down to No. 4 should the Buccaneers, who beat them in Week 1, win on Monday night. The Cowboys don’t need to worry about dropping down into the wild cards, because the division is a foregone conclusion with everyone else in the East still under .500. Remaining strength of schedule: .493

4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-3), first place, NFC South. The Buccaneers will go into Monday night’s game with Giants having a chance to push closer to the top seed with the Packers and Cowboys losing and also pad the division lead over the losing Saints, Panthers and Falcons. Tampa Bay needs a win badly after losing two consecutive games around a bye with Tom Brady having rare interception woes. Remaining strength of schedule: . 439

5. Los Angeles Rams (7-3), second place, NFC West. The Rams had a bye in Week 11 so they should like how several of the teams around them lost to gain some ground even when idle, save for the Cardinals, the team they are still chasing in the division and trail by two games. The Rams need to get back on track in Week 12 after recent bad losses to the Titans and 49ers. Remaining strength of schedule: .542

6. Minnesota Vikings (5-5), second place, NFC North. The Vikings have been doing better in close games and the last-second win over the Packers was massive to get them right into the thick of the playoff picture. They have been dangerous all season because of their balanced and explosive offense and Mike Zimmer is getting more timely play from the reeling defense. Remaining strength of schedule: .451

7. New Orleans Saints (5-5), second place, NFC South. The Saints didn’t drop out of a playoff spot with their loss to the Eagles given how weak the middle of the NFC is. But now the red-hot 49ers and Eagles are nipping at their heels and the division-leading Buccaneers seem more out of reach with the Bills next. Remaining strength of schedule: .479

Who can get there?

8. San Francisco 49ers (5-5)
9. Philadelphia Eagles (5-6)
10. Carolina Panthers (5-6)
11. Washington Football Team (4-6)
12. Atlanta Falcons (4-6)
13. New York Giants (3-6)
14. Chicago Bears (3-7)
15. Seattle Seahawks (3-7)

The 49ers should be confident now they can catch either the Vikings or the Saints because of their awesome overall play of late. They also have a key early win over the Eagles to help their case. The Eagles also should be thinking wild card after their recent hot streak. The Panthers’ home loss to Washington was costly, as it also tightened things up behind them. The Giants face an almost must-win game on Monday night. The Bears are almost done and the Seahawks’ streak of winning seasons with Russell Wilson is headed to a screeching halt.

Who’s set to be out?

16. Detroit Lions (0-9-1)

The Lions went back to losing in frustrating fashion in Week 11 after getting a post-bye tie in Week 10. They will hope the Bears at home give them a chance to feast on a win on Thanksgiving in Week 12.

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