NFC and AFC Wild Card Standings: NFL Playoffs Has Panthers, Chiefs, Ravens and 49ers With Dallas Cowboys, Cardinals, Chicago Bears, Dolphins Chasing

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Dec 11, 2013 03:51 PM EST
Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton
Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton (1) scrambles against San Francisco 49ers defensive end Ray McDonald (91) during the first quarter at Candlestick Park. "

The NFL playoffs are getting closer and as Week 15 comes into focus with a number of big games, right now the standings in the AFC and NFL wild card races has the Carolina Panthers, Chiefs, Ravens and 49ers in the postseason, while the Arizona Cardinals, Chicago Bears, Miami Dolphins, Chargers and Jets are all in contention.

The Chiefs look like they have a spot wrapped up in the AFC with 10 wins and with a three game lead going with three to go, they should clinch soon, while the Ravens have put themselves in fine position heading into the back stretch. The Miami Dolphins are a game ahead of the San Diego Chargers and the NY Jets and those teams need to win out to have a chance.

In the NFC the Chicago Bears are chasing the Panthers and 49ers, while the Arizona Cardinals are right there as well. The Cowboys are in the mix and so are the Packers, while the Eagles are currently in first place in the NFC East, but they could end up in the wild card as well.

Check here for the NFL standings and playoff standings.

The end of the Vikings and Ravens game was insane. That had followed a 77-yard kickoff return for a touchdown by Baltimore's Jacoby Jones, which came on the heels of a 41-yard touchdown burst up the middle by running back Toby Gerhart, after league rushing leader Adrian Peterson left the game with an apparent ankle injury.

"Will we ever see another game like that again?" said relieved Baltimore coach John Harbaugh.

Keeping pace in the AFC with the Ravens were the Miami Dolphins (7-6), who maintained their sunny disposition by holding on for a 34-28 win over the Steelers in Pittsburgh.

Miami quarterback Ryan Tannehill tossed three touchdown passes in the snow.

The Steelers (5-8) gave the Dolphins a final scare with a desperation effort on the last play of the game.

Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who passed for 349 yards and three scores, connected on a short pass and after a series of laterals, fleet-footed Antonio Brown sped up the sideline and into the end zone before officials ruled he had put a toe on the sidelines 13 yards short of paydirt.

The heaviest snow fell in Philadelphia where the white stuff piled up above the players' ankles in the Eagles' 34-20 victory over the Detroit Lions in a match-up of division leaders.

At one point, the referee announced, "Please clear the goal line. We can't see the goal line."

Sloppy conditions seemed to suit Philadelphia running back LeSean McCoy, who darted through the Lions for a franchise-best 217 yards, including touchdown runs of 57 and 40 yards.

Philadelphia (8-5) took a half-game lead over Dallas in the NFC East, while the Lions dropped to 7-6 atop the tight NFC North.

In the other snowy game, the visiting Kansas City Chiefs routed the Washington Redskins 45-10 to snap a three-game losing streak and improve to 10-3.

In another fantastic finish, the New England Patriots overcame the visiting Cleveland Browns 27-26 with two late scores after losing tight end Rob Gronkowski to an apparent knee injury.

Quarterback Tom Brady threw two touchdown passes in 30 seconds, including the winner with 31 seconds left after New England (10-3) recovered an onside kick.

In Denver, Broncos kicker Matt Prater set an NFL record with a 64-yard field goal and quarterback Peyton Manning led them on a second-half charge to rally past the Titans.

The victory on a frigid day in the Mile High City came in coach John Fox's return to the sideline for a double celebration for the playoff-bound Broncos (11-2). Fox had missed the past month after undergoing heart surgery.

In Cincinnati, the AFC North-leading Bengals beat the Colts 42-28 as quarterback Andy Dalton led the way with three TD passes and also ran in for another. The Bengals took their record to 9-4, while the Colts slipped to 8-5 though they later clinched the AFC South crown with Denver's win over Tennessee.


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