NFL Playoff Scenarios 2023-24 Week 14: Projected Matchups After Jaguars vs. Bengals

NFL Playoff Scenarios 2023-24 Week 14: Projected Matchups After Jaguars vs. Bengals
Doric SamDecember 5, 2023

JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA - DECEMBER 04: Joe Mixon #28 of the Cincinnati Bengals celebrates with teammates after scoring a touchdown against the Jacksonville Jaguars during the second quarter at EverBank Stadium on December 04, 2023 in Jacksonville, Florida. (Photo by Mike Carlson/Getty Images)

Mike Carlson/Getty Images

The Jacksonville Jaguars had the opportunity to take over as the top seed in the AFC, but the Cincinnati Bengals had other plans and earned a 34-31 overtime win on Monday Night Football to keep their own playoff hopes alive.

The Bengals improved to 6-6 to remain in the hunt for one of the final spots, while the Jaguars fell to 8-4 but stayed in first place in the AFC South.

Monday’s game closed the chapter on Week 13, and the playoff race is only getting more exciting as we turn the page to Week 14.

Here’s a look at the current playoff picture.

AFC

1. Miami Dolphins (9-3, first-round bye, tiebreaker over Baltimore Ravens)

2. Baltimore Ravens (9-3) vs. 7. Indianapolis Colts (7-5, tiebreaker over Houston Texans)

3. Kansas City Chiefs (8-4, tiebreaker over Jacksonville Jaguars vs. 6. Cleveland Browns (7-5, tiebreaker over Indianapolis Colts)

4. Jacksonville Jaguars (8-4) vs. 5. Pittsburgh Steelers (7-5, tiebreaker over Cleveland Browns)

NFC

1. Philadelphia Eagles (10-2, first-round bye)

2. San Francisco 49ers (9-3, tiebreaker over Detroit Lions) vs. 7. Green Bay Packers (6-6, tiebreaker over Los Angeles Rams)

3. Detroit Lions (9-3) vs. 6. Minnesota Vikings (6-6, tiebreaker over Green Bay Packers)

4. Atlanta Falcons (6-6) vs. 5. Dallas Cowboys (9-3)

The race for the No. 1 seed in the AFC is the most fascinating storyline as the 2023 season reaches the home stretch. The top four teams are separated by a single game in the loss column, with two teams tied with 9-3 records.

The Baltimore Ravens will have a say in how things shake out in the end, as they still have scheduled matchups against the Jaguars in Week 15 and the Miami Dolphins in Week 17.

Those games could very well determine who gets home-field advantage and the lone first-round bye in the AFC. The Kansas City Chiefs are still in the hunt despite their loss against the Green Bay Packers on Sunday night.

However, the bottom of the AFC playoff race also offers some intrigue as four teams have 7-5 records. The Houston Texans are currently on the outside looking in, but their Week 18 matchup against the Indianapolis Colts could be the determining factor in their Cinderella season.

At 6-6, the Bengals, Denver Broncos and Buffalo Bills are also still alive. Cincinnati holds the tiebreaker over Buffalo after winning the Week 9 matchup between the two teams, but Denver holds the tiebreaker over the Bengals thanks to a better winning percentage in conference games.

Over in the NFC, the loss by the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday against the San Francisco 49ers helped close the gap in the quest for the top seed. The 49ers, Detroit Lions and Dallas Cowboys all sit one game back in the loss column, and the Cowboys have the chance to knock the Eagles from their perch when they face each other in an NFC East showdown in Week 14.

San Francisco and Detroit are also locked into winnable division matchups in Week 14 against the Seattle Seahawks and Chicago Bears, respectively, so they both will be in the running to take over the top spot if Philadelphia slips up against Dallas.

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