Week 8’s most important NFL games

NFL standings: Updating the playoff picture during Week 8

The Eagles had an opportunity to knock the Cowboys down a peg in the standings this week and blew it.

This week is the unofficial halfway point of the NFL season. From here on out, games take on an increased significance as the year winds down and the playoffs loom. Nobody is out of it, technically, but already some games matter more than others.

This week’s games still have us wondering which team, if any, can legitimately challenge the Patriots for the AFC. There might not be an answer to that question. Hell, it’s hard enough trying to figure out which team is second-best in the AFC.

Right now, the Broncos have a hold on the No. 2 spot in the playoff standings thanks to their win this week over the Chargers. The Raiders also have six wins, but they’re in the wild card spot. Speaking of, the AFC West is bonkers right now. Three teams from that division could make the playoffs. The Chiefs currently have the second wild card spot.

The most important game this week was Sunday’s primetime tilt between the Eagles and Cowboys. An Eagles win would have put them in first place in the NFC East, but they let the Cowboys rally to tie late in the fourth quarter. The game headed to overtime, where the Cowboys won and stayed atop the NFC. The loss punted the Eagles from the playoff standings this week.

Remember, this is all still very preliminary. Standings are sorted in part based on win percentage, and that’s skewed because some teams have played an extra game thanks to bye weeks.

We’ll update this throughout the day on Sunday and into Monday night.

Washington 27, Bengals 27

Oh great, another tie to gum up the standings!

Chiefs 30, Colts 14

Kansas City’s fate right now depends on what the Broncos do. If Denver loses, the Chiefs will be in second place in the division.

Raiders 30, Buccaneers 24

The Raiders stay in first place in the division. And they still have the second seed in the AFC for now.

Saints 25, Seahawks 20

Seattle stays on top of the NFC West standings despite the loss. Arizona lost, too, which helps them by leaving the division standings in stasis for now.

Texans 20, Lions 13

The Texans hang on to first place in the AFC South!

Jets 31, Browns 28

Lol.

Patriots 41, Bills 25

The Patriots created even more separation between them and the rest of the AFC.

Panthers 30, Cardinals 20

That’s only the second win of the season for the Panthers. They’re still at the bottom of the NFC South, but with the way things are going, you never know!

Broncos 27, Chargers 19

Denver holds on to a wild card spot and remains in the lead in the AFC West at 6-2.

Falcons 33, Packers 32

The Falcons hang on to first place in the division.

Cowboys 29, Eagles 23

Dallas solidifies its lead in the division and hangs on to the top spot in the NFC, even with a Vikings win, thanks to having a better conference record.

Bears 20, Vikings 10

Moral victory for the Bears, while the Vikings still hold the top spot in the division.

On a bye this week: Dolphins, Giants, Rams, Ravens, Steelers, 49ers

Here’s what the standings look like with one gameleft to play this week:

AFC

  1. Patriots (7-1, AFC East)
  2. Broncos (6-2, AFC West)
  3. Texans (5-3, AFC South)
  4. Steelers (4-3, AFC North)
  5. Raiders (6-2, Wild card)
  6. Chiefs (5-2, Wild card)

NFC

  1. Cowboys (6-1, NFC East)
  2. Vikings (5-2, NFC North)
  3. Seahawks (4-2-1, NFC West)
  4. Falcons (5-3, NFC South)
  5. Packers (4-3, Wild card)
  6. Giants (4-3, Wild card)