2021 NFL playoff picture: Full postseason standings, wild card race, projected opening matchups

The home stretch of the 2021 NFL season is here. You know what that means: the playoff picture is actually 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 AFC North to the ever-shifting landscape of the AFC East to the mercurial collection of NFC wild card foes, there are lots of scenarios on the table as we venture 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 (8-4)Titans (8-4)Ravens (8-4)Chiefs (8-4)Bills (7-4)Chargers (7-5)Bengals (7-5)

On the brink

8. Steelers (6-5-1)
9. Colts (7-6)
10. Raiders (6-6)
11. Browns (6-6)
12. Broncos (6-6) 
13. Dolphins (6-7)

Out of the race

14. Jets (3-9)
15. Texans (2-10)*
16. Jaguars (2-10)

Note: * = officially eliminated.

Projected wild card matchups

(No. 1 Patriots on bye)No. 7 Bengals at No. 2 TitansNo. 6 Chargers at No. 3 RavensNo. 5 Bills at No. 4 Chiefs

NFC

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

On the brink

8. Eagles (6-7)
9. Vikings (5-7)
10. Panthers (5-7)
11. Falcons (5-7)
12. Saints (5-7)
13. Giants (4-8)
14. Bears (4-8)
15. Seahawks (4-8)

Out of the race

16. Lions (1-10-1)

Note: * = officially eliminated.

Projected wild card matchups

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

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