Seahawks, Jets biggest surprises in 2022 NFL playoff picture

2022 NFL playoff picture entering Week 10 of the season originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

There’s always a silver lining.

Through nine weeks of the 2022 regular season, the NFL has seen its 32 teams score less and adopt more run-first approaches on offense much to the detriment of fans who just want to see the Divisional Round game between the Kansas City Chiefs and Buffalo Bills every Sunday.

Despite the hurdle of less points, football is fine.

And that’s because at the midpoint of the season, the NFL playoff races are tighter than ever before – and in large part, the credit goes to teams nobody saw coming.

The New York Giants, the New York Jets, the Seattle Seahawks. Who had those three forecasted as playoff teams during their preseason predictions? That’s right, nobody did.

Well, the surprises go a long way – as does the tension of who will make the 14-team playoff field and how that group will be whittled down to two competitors for the Super Bowl LVIl crown. Time is of the essence for teams that got off to a sluggish start to the season.

Looking at you, Green Bay and Tampa Bay. Oh, and let’s not forget the defending Super Bowl champion Rams who, after the start of Week 10 between the Falcons and Panthers on Thursday night, sit firmly in the 10th spot in the NFC playoff standings.

Yikes, not what Sean McVay and Co. had in mind when they left SoFi Stadium in a hail of confetti last February.

Over in the AFC, the aforementioned Bills and Chiefs lead the conference’s playoff standings through nine games – although each team has enjoyed a first half bye week, and therefore only has eight games played so far.

Let’s take a look at who sits below them in the 2022 playoff picture: 

Who leads the AFC?

If the season ended today, the Buffalo Bills would be the No. 1 seed in the AFC.

Below them are the Chiefs, Ravens and Titans – all division leaders through entering Week 10 of the 2022 NFL season.

Here’s a complete look at the AFC standings as of Friday, Nov. 11. 1. Bills (6-2)

2. Chiefs (6-2)

3. Ravens (6-3)

4. Titans (5-3)

5. Jets (6-3)

6. Dolphins (6-3)

7. Chargers (5-3)

The Chargers are the playoff cut off in the AFC. Below Los Angeles sit nine teams eager to break into the playoff picture. Here they are:

8. Patriots (5-4)

9. Bengals (5-4)

10. Colts (3-5-1)

11. Browns (3-5)

12. Broncos (3-5)

13. Jaguars (3-6)

14. Raiders (2-6)

15. Steelers (2-6)

16. Texans (1-6-1)

Who leads the NFC? 

If the season ended today, the Philadelphia Eagles would be the No. 1 seed in the NFC playoff picture.

The undefeated NFC East leaders are followed by the Vikings, Seahawks and Buccaneers in the NFC standings. The later two teams face off in Germany on Sunday morning in a matchup of two division leaders.

Here are the seven NFC playoff teams as of Friday, Nov. 11.

1. Eagles (8-0)

2. Vikings (7-1)

3. Seahawks (6-3)

4. Buccaneers (4-5)

5. Cowboys (6-2)

6. Giants (6-2)

7. 49ers (4-4)

Ironically, like the Chargers who they will host on Sunday Night Football in Week 10, the 49ers are the final team in the NFC’s playoff bracket at the halfway point of the season. Below them are several teams who have massively have underachieved in 2022:

8. Commanders (4-5)

9. Falcons (4-6)

10. Rams (3-5)

11. Packers (3-6)

12. Saints (3-6)

13. Cardinals (3-6)

14. Bears (3-6)

15. Panthers (3-7)

16. Lions (2-6) 

How to stream Eagles vs. Commanders live online

Free streaming option: FuboTV (free trial)

Live stream: Watch ESPN, NFL+

Mobile app: ESPN, NFL mobile app