NFL 2021 playoff picture, standings: Colts move into top wild card spot in AFC after huge win over Patriots

Week 15 is already provided some fireworks in the NFL with the Kansas City Chiefs having a thrilling victory over the Los Angeles Chargers on “Thursday Night Football” and the Indianapolis Colts holding off the New England Patriots on Saturday night. The league has seen 29 games decided by a game-winning score on the final play this season, an incredible amount of dramatic finishes. 

Week 14 certainly had some thrillers as well. Two of those games had an impact on the playoffs in each conference, as the San Francisco 49ers beat the Cincinnati Bengals in overtime on a walk-off touchdown while the Tampa Bay Buccaneers did the same against the Buffalo Bills. The loss by Cincinnati took the Bengals out of the top seven in the AFC standings while the Bills’ loss dropped them to seventh — the final playoff spot in the conference. The 49ers jumped to sixth in the NFC with their victory while the Buccaneers remained in the hunt for the top seed in the NFC. 

This playoff race is getting more unpredictable by the week. Below, you can find a division-by-division breakdown of the current standings and what each contender is facing on their schedule the rest of the way. 

AFC East

New England Patriots

What to know: The Patriots’ loss to the Colts on Saturday night drops them out of the top spot in the AFC with Kansas City winning on Thursday. New England currently sits at No. 3 in the conference.

Remaining schedule: vs. Bills, vs. Jaguars, at Dolphins 

Buffalo Bills

What to know: An overtime loss to Tampa Bay was brutal for Buffalo, but the Bills still have one of the wild card spots thanks to the Steelers losing on Thursday. The Bills hold the final playoff spot in the AFC, losing the tiebreaker for the No. 6 spot to the Colts (conference record). Buffalo owns the tiebreaker over the Browns and Broncos based on having a better win percentage in conference games (all are 7-6). The Bengals also have a…

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