Through 12 weeks of the season, the NFL continues to be as unpredictable as ever. This season, there have been 25 games decided by a game-winning score on the final play, the most such games through Week 12 of all-time — and plenty of those have made an impact on the playoff races in both conferences.
In the AFC, 12 teams have a .500 or better record, setting up a wild final six weeks. Eight teams are within a game for the final playoff spot in the NFC, setting the stage for a chaotic holiday.
Below, you can find a division-by-division breakdown of the current standings, how each club performed in Week 12 and what they have next on the schedule.
New England Patriots
What to know: The Patriots are the No. 2 seed in the AFC since the Ravens beat the Browns on “Sunday Night Football” … they would’ve been the top seed if Baltimore had lost. The Pats lead the AFC East by half a game, but face the Bills in the first of two meetings next week. Big test for the AFC East leaders.
Remaining schedule: at Bills, Bye Week, at Colts, vs. Bills, vs. Jaguars, at Dolphins
What to know: A convincing win over the Saints on Thursday keeps the Bills in playoff position in the AFC. The Bills are currently No. 6 in the AFC playoff standings, losing a tiebreaker to the Bengals based off conference record. Buffalo will battle New England for first place in the AFC East next week.
Remaining schedule: vs. Patriots, at Buccaneers, vs. Panthers, at Patriots, vs. Falcons, vs. Jets
What to know: Here come the Dolphins to play spoiler in the AFC playoff picture. Miami has won four in a row, but still remains 13th in the conference (the AFC has 12 teams at .500 or better). The Dolphins basically have to win out in order to make the playoffs, but can make things interesting with their schedule coming up.
Remaining schedule: vs. Giants, Bye Week, vs. Jets, at Saints, at…