NFL Playoff Bracket 2019: Which AFC, NFC Teams Can Qualify in Week 13?

The NFL triple-header on Thanksgiving had major ramifications for the playoff picture, with one team clinching a postseason berth and another edging even closer to one.

The New Orleans Saints became the first team to book a playoff spot this season with a 26-18 road win over the Atlanta Falcons, which improved their record to 10-2 and secured a third consecutive NFC South title. It guaranteed the Saints will be playing football in January.

The Buffalo Bills, meanwhile improved to 9-3 with a statement 26-15 win on the road against the Dallas Cowboys to move within touching distance of a wildcard spot.

Week 13 continues on Sunday and two more teams—the New England Patriots and the San Francisco 49ers—can book a postseason berth.

Here's what the playoff bracket looks like as the NFL enters December.

New Orleans Saints
New Orleans Saints players celebrate a defensive play during the second half of the game against the Atlanta Falcons at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on November 28 in Atlanta, Georgia. The Saints won 26-18. Carmen Mandato/Getty


New England Patriots (10-1)

At 10-1, the Patriots are on course for an 11th consecutive AFC East title and will clinch a playoff spot if they defeat the Texans in Houston on Sunday Night Football, provided Oakland fails to win in Kansas City.

Should the Raiders defeat the Chiefs, the Patriots would qualify for the playoffs as long as the Pittsburgh Steelers fail to beat the Cleveland Browns at home.

Baltimore Ravens (9-2)

The Ravens can't mathematically secure a postseason berth this week but could make another major statement when they host the 10-1 San Francisco 49ers.

On a seven-game running streak, Baltimore has already defeated three playoff candidates—Seattle, New England and Houston—in the last five games and torched the Rams 45-6 in Los Angeles on Monday Night Football.

If the Ravens finish level with the Patriots, they'll secure the No. 1 seed in the AFC by virtue of holding the tiebreaker.

Houston Texans (7-4)

The Texans reclaimed control of the AFC South with a crucial win over Indianapolis last week, which also erased their previous loss to the Colts in terms of head-to-head tiebreakers.

FiveThirtyEight's statistical projections give Houston a 75 percent chance of making the playoffs, a figure that could increase even further should the Texans defeat the Patriots on Sunday Night Football.

Kansas City Chiefs (7-4)

The Chiefs return from the bye with a chance to clinch the AFC West when they host the Oakland Raiders on Sunday. A win against the Raiders would give Kansas City a three-game lead in the division with just four weeks left in the regular season.

Buffalo Bills (9-3)

The Bills trail the Patriots in the AFC East but have almost done enough to secure a return to the playoff for the first time since 2017. The win in Dallas on Thanksgiving Day was crucial for Buffalo, who is now one win away from matching its best regular-season record in two decades.

FiveThirtyEight gives Buffalo a 93 percent chance of making the playoffs.

Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills
Josh Allen #17 of the Buffalo Bills celebrates a touchdown with Jon Feliciano #76 against the Dallas Cowboys in the second half at AT&T Stadium on November 28 in Arlington, Texas. The Bills won 26-15. Ronald Martinez/Getty

Pittsburgh Steelers (6-5)

The Steelers have climbed up ahead of the Raiders and the Colts in the race for a wildcard spot, but face a crucial AFC North matchup against the Cleveland Browns on Sunday.

Scenarios can change quickly in the NFL, and with four teams vying for that wildcard spot, the Steelers still have work to do.


San Francisco 49ers (10-1)

The 49ers have the best record in the NFC and can clinch a playoff spot this week if they win in Baltimore and the Los Angeles Rams fail to win in Arizona against the Cardinals.

The task, however, is far from straightforward. Impressive as the 49ers have been this season, stopping Baltimore looks nigh-on impossible at the moment and the schedule doesn't ease up for San Francisco, who travels to New Orleans next week.

New Orleans Saints (10-2)

The Saints became the first team to clinch a playoff spot this season with a 26-18 win in Atlanta over the Falcons and will now focus on securing home-field advantage for the second consecutive year.

If the 49ers lose to Baltimore on Sunday, New Orleans can leapfrog San Francisco as early as next week when it hosts the current NFC leaders.


— New Orleans Saints (@Saints) November 29, 2019

Green Bay Packers (8-3)

Sunday's shellacking in San Francisco left Green Bay top of the NFC North but by the slimmest of margins over Minnesota.

The good news for the Packers is that the Vikings—whom they face in Week 16—are the only team with a winning record left on their schedule, which features back-to-back games against the hapless Giants and Redskins over the next two weeks.

Dallas Cowboys (6-6)

The Cowboys remain top of the NFC East, but the home loss to Buffalo on Thanksgiving could be a significant blow to their postseason aspirations.

With games against divisional rivals Philadelphia and Washington still to come, Dallas controls its destiny but its best hopes at the moment is that the Eagles don't turn their fortunes around.

A 0-5 record against teams with a record above .500 is ominous.

Seattle Seahawks (9-2)

If Seattle's trip to Philadelphia in Week 12 had enormous ramifications for the NFC playoffs, its home game against Minnesota on Monday night could be just as momentous.

A win over the Vikings could draw Seattle level with San Francisco if the 49ers lose to Baltimore on Sunday, which would effectively make their Week 17 an NFC West title game.

Following the win over the Eagles FiveThirtyEight gives the Seahawks a 97 percent chance of making the postseason.

Minnesota Vikings (8-3)

The Vikings have flown under the radar this season but are level with the Packers, following Green Bay's loss to San Francisco.

With a game against the Packers in Week 16 still to come, the Vikings could overtake their divisional rivals. Before that, however, they have to come through a potentially season-defining game in Seattle on Monday night.