NFL Playoff Standings: Oakland Raiders, Dallas Cowboys Move Up

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NFL playoff standings look really good for the Dallas Cowboys and Oakland Raiders. The Raiders and Cowboys each picked up valuable wins during Week 7 of the NFL schedule. The Raiders went on the road to beat the Jacksonville Jaguars 33-16, while the Cowboys got to take the week off. The Cowboys benefited by the Minnesota Vikings losing in an ugly game against the Philadelphia Eagles.

In the updated NFL playoff standings, the Dallas Cowboys take over as the No. 1 seed in the NFC. The team is at 5-1, which is the same record as the Vikings, bringing tiebreakers into play. Dallas has a better record against conference opponents, thus giving the team an edge over Minnesota for the time being.

As for the Raiders, the team now has sole possession of first place in the AFC West after moving to 5-2 on the season. It puts the Raiders just ahead of the Denver Broncos (4-2), squarely in the No. 2 slot in the current AFC playoff standings. The Raiders only trail the New England Patriots (6-1), as Tom Brady led his team to a third consecutive victory since returning from suspension.

Patriots Beat Steelers
[Image by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images]

The Patriots moved to 6-1 by taking down down the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday (Oct. 23). This caused the Steelers (4-3) to tumble down the conference standings, but the team still leads the AFC North by a game. The Baltimore Ravens and Cincinnati Bengals each have 3-4 records, showing that the Steelers may not run away in the division without Ben Roethlisberger at quarterback.

The other division leader in the AFC standings are the Houston Texans, but the team has an important game against the Denver Broncos on Monday night football (Oct. 24). Winning that game would be huge for either team, as it would be a huge step not just toward a division title, but also toward securing one of the first-round byes in the 2017 NFL Playoffs.

On the outside of the NFL playoff standings in the AFC are the Buffalo Bills, as the team fell to 4-3 and now resides in seventh place. No other team has a 0.500 or better record in the conference, but there is a huge log jam of teams at 3-4 that would like to move up in Week 8.

The NFC division leaders are the Dallas Cowboys (East), Minnesota Vikings (North), Seattle Seahawks (West), and Atlanta Falcons (South). There are four teams with 4-3 records in the NFC playoff standings, with Atlanta securing a spot (for now) as a division leader and the Detroit Lions, Washington Redskins, and New York Giants on the outside of the seeding.

Cowboys Beat Packers
[Image by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images]

The Seattle Seahawks and Arizona Cardinals took it to overtime Sunday night in an important NFC West game. It was a huge game between the divisional foes, with the defenses controlling things during the entire contest. The Seahawks would emerge as the No. 3 seed in the NFC playoff standings, though, no matter the outcome. Likewise, the Cardinals are still outside of the playoff picture, despite being one of the preseason picks by many NFL analysts to possibly make it all the way back to the NFC Championship Game and challenge for the Super Bowl.

Full 2016 NFL Playoff Standings

AFC Playoff Standings

1 – New England Patriots (6-1)
2 – Oakland Raiders (5-2)
3 – Houston Texans (4-2)
4 – Pittsburgh Steelers (4-2)
5 – Kansas City Chiefs (4-2)
6 – Denver Broncos (4-2)

7 – Buffalo Bills (4-3)
8 – Baltimore Ravens (3-4)
9 – Cincinnati Bengals (3-4)
10 – Miami Dolphins (3-4)
11 – Indianapolis Colts (3-4)
12 – San Diego Chargers (3-4)
13 – Tennessee Titans (3-4)
14 – Jacksonville Jaguars (2-4)
15 – New York Jets (2-5)
16 – Cleveland Browns (0-7)

NFC Playoff Standings

1 – Dallas Cowboys (5-1)
2 – Minnesota Vikings (5-1)
3 – Seattle Seahawks (4-1)
4 – Atlanta Falcons (4-3)
5 – Green Bay Packers (4-2)
6 – Philadelphia Eagles (4-2)

7 – Detroit Lions (4-3)
8 – Washington Redskins (4-3)
9 – New York Giants (4-3)
10 – Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-3)
11 – Los Angeles Rams (3-4)
12 – Arizona Cardinals (3-3)
13 – New Orleans Saints (2-4)
14 – Carolina Panthers (1-5)
15 – Chicago Bears (1-6)
16 – San Francisco 49ers (1-6)

[Featured Image by Rob Foldy/Getty Images]