2021 NFL playoff picture: Updated postseason standings, wild card contenders, projected opening games

The home stretch of the 2021 NFL season is here, as we are nearly through 14 weeks. You know what that means: the playoff picture is beginning to take shape. And both conferences are chock-full of some feisty battles for the 14 combined postseason spots. From the crowded competition in the NFC West to the increasingly muddy race in the AFC North, there are lots of scenarios on the table as we venture deeper into December.

Below, find an updated 2021 NFL playoff picture, featuring complete postseason standings (with tiebreakers already accounted for), a rundown of wild card contenders and projected opening-weekend playoff matchups for both the AFC and NFC:

AFC

Patriots (9-4)Titans (9-4)Chiefs (9-4)Ravens (8-5)Chargers (8-5)
Colts (7-6)Bills (7-6)

On the brink

8. Browns (7-6)
9. Bengals (7-6)
10. Broncos (7-6)
11. Steelers (6-6-1)
12. Raiders (6-7)
13. Dolphins (6-7)

Out of the race

14. Jets (3-10)*
15. Texans (2-11)*
16. Jaguars (2-11)*

Note: * = officially eliminated.

Projected wild card matchups

(No. 1 Patriots on bye)No. 7 Bills at No. 2 TitansNo. 6 Colts at No. 3 ChiefsNo. 5 Chargers at No. 4 Ravens

NFC

Cardinals (10-2)Packers (10-3)Buccaneers (10-3)Cowboys (9-4)Rams (8-4)49ers (7-6)Washington (6-7)

On the brink

8. Vikings (6-7)
9. Eagles (6-7)
10. Falcons (6-7)
11. Saints (6-7)
12. Panthers (5-8)
13. Seahawks (5-8)

Out of the race

14. Giants (4-9)
15. Bears (4-9)
16. Lions (1-11-1)*

Note: * = officially eliminated.

Projected wild card matchups

(No. 1 Cardinals on bye)No. 7 Washington at No. 2 PackersNo. 6 49ers at No. 3 BuccaneersNo. 5 Rams at No. 4 Cowboys

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