A Look at the 2023 NFL Standings as We Enter the Final Stretch of the Season

Nov 5, 2023; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Minnesota Vikings head coach Kevin O'Connell on the sideline against the Atlanta Falcons in the second half at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Week 12 of the NFL season is in the books.

As we head towards the final third of the NFL season, some of the divisional standings across the league are becoming clearer, but there are others that remain a complete mess going into Week 13. Before we get the next week of games going, here is a look at the updated 2023 NFL standings.

2023 NFL Standings Heading into Week 13

Nov 27, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Joshua Dobbs (15) prepares to throw a pass against the Chicago Bears during the first quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

AFC East

  1. Miami Dolphins (8-3)
  2. Buffalo Bills (6-6)
  3. New York Jets (4-7)
  4. New England Patriots (2-9)

The mystery as to who wins the AFC East may be just about over after this past weekend. The Miami Dolphins dominated every facet of the game during their victory over the New York Jets on Black Friday. The Buffalo Bills also fell in a narrow loss to the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday afternoon, meaning they now sit three games behind the Dolphins in the loss column.

AFC North

  1. Baltimore Ravens (9-3)
  2. Pittsburgh Steelers (7-4)
  3. Cleveland Browns (7-4)
  4. Cincinnati Bengals (5-6)

The Ravens gained a game in the AFC North division because of their victory over the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday night while the Cleveland Browns fell to the Denver Broncos. An added wrinkle to the division is that Browns QB Deshaun Watson is out for the year, and his backup Dorian Thompson-Robinson left Sunday’s game with a concussion, meaning P.J. Walker or Joe Flacco could be in line to start this upcoming weekend.

Nov 5, 2023; Baltimore, Maryland, USA; Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson (8) smiles on the sidelines during the fourth quarter against the Seattle Seahawks at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jessica Rapfogel-USA TODAY Sports

Meanwhile, Pittsburgh was able to move into second place by beating the Joe Burrow-less Bengals, who had Jake Browning at QB. Cincinnati’s hopes appear to be just about over if their offense looks as lethargic as it did this past weekend.

AFC South

  1. Jacksonville Jaguars (8-3)
  2. Indianapolis Colts (6-5)
  3. Houston Texans (6-5)
  4. Tennessee Titans (4-7)

The Jaguars were able to maintain their lead in the AFC South by winning a nail-biter over the Texans on Sunday afternoon. It promised to be one of the best games of the weekend, and it certainly delivered, but Matt Ammendola’s 58-yard field goal came up just short.

With the result of this game, and the Colts beating the Buccaneers, not only did Jacksonville move to two games ahead of everyone else in the division, but Houston actually fell to third place due to a head-to-head tiebreaker going in favor of Indianapolis.

AFC West

  1. Kansas City Chiefs (8-3)
  2. Denver Broncos (6-5)
  3. Las Vegas Raiders (5-7)
  4. Los Angeles Chargers (4-7)

Things in the AFC West remain largely the same at the end of Week 12. Kansas City defeated the Las Vegas Raiders despite falling into an early 14-0 deficit, so they remain two games ahead of the Broncos. However, Denver remains one of the hottest teams in football by earning their fifth consecutive victory. The Chargers also continue to sit in the bottom after their Sunday night loss to Baltimore.

Oct 8, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) throws a pass against the Minnesota Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

NFC East

  1. Philadelphia Eagles (10-1)
  2. Dallas Cowboys (8-3)
  3. New York Giants (4-8)
  4. Washington Commanders (4-8)

Had Jake Elliott not nailed a 59-yard field goal through the pouring rain on Sunday, things could have gotten interesting in the NFC East this weekend. Instead, the Philadelphia Eagles defeated the Bills and remain two games ahead of the Cowboys.

There is a change at the bottom, though. The New York Giants’ defense led the way to a win over the New England Patriots this weekend, and with the Commanders falling at the hands of the Dallas Cowboys, New York moved up to third in the division because of their two wins over Washington this season.

NFC North

  1. Detroit Lions (8-3)
  2. Minnesota Vikings (6-6)
  3. Green Bay Packers (5-6)
  4. Chicago Bears (4-8)

The Minnesota Vikings had a golden opportunity to inch closer to the top of the NFC North this weekend because the Packers defeated the Lions on Thanksgiving. Instead, they lost to the Bears and not only remained 2.5 games behind Detroit, but all of a sudden, the Packers are only half a game behind them in the Wild Card hunt.

NFL Standings
Nov 27, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Joshua Dobbs (15) prepares to throw a pass against the Chicago Bears during the first quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

NFC South

  1. Atlanta Falcons (5-6)
  2. New Orleans Saints (5-6)
  3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-7)
  4. Carolina Panthers (1-10)

The always messy NFC South only got messier this weekend. The Falcons toppled New Orleans on Sunday behind a terrific defensive showing, and now, they move into first place despite holding a 5-6 record. The Saints also sit at 5-6, but of course, Atlanta holds the tiebreaker now.

Then, both Tampa Bay and Carolina were unable to win this weekend, meaning they were unable to move up in the standings, either.

NFC West

  1. San Francisco 49ers (8-3)
  2. Seattle Seahawks (6-5)
  3. Los Angeles Rams (5-6)
  4. Arizona Cardinals (2-10)

The 49ers now hold a comfortable two-game lead in the NFC West, but the second and third positions got more interesting from this weekend’s events. Los Angeles rolled to a win over the Cardinals on Sunday, but the Seahawks were unable to overcome San Francisco on Thanksgiving night, meaning the Rams sit just one game behind the No. 6 seed in the NFC.

Josh Frey is a Class of 2020 graduate of The College of Idaho and managing editor of PurplePTSD.com. When he’s not writing about the NFL, Josh enjoys running, gaming, or rooting for the Milwaukee Brewers and Bucks. Check out his Twitter account: @Freyed_Chicken.