NFL Playoff Picture: Can Titans, Bills Hang On To AFC Wild-Card Spots?


December 21, 2017

Here’s a look at the current NFL standings and playoff picture entering Week 16:

1. New England Patriots (11-3; AFC East winner)*
2. Pittsburgh Steelers (11-3; AFC North winner)*
3. Jacksonville Jaguars (10-4; AFC South leader)+
4. Kansas City Chiefs (8-6; AFC West leader)
5. Tennessee Titans (8-6; first wild card)
6. Buffalo Bills (8-6; second wild card)

In the hunt: Baltimore Ravens (8-6), Los Angeles Chargers (7-7)
Long shots: Oakland Raiders (6-8), Miami Dolphins (6-8)
Eliminated: New York Jets (5-9), Cincinnati Bengals (5-9), Denver Broncos (5-9), Houston Texans (4-10), Indianapolis Colts (3-11), Cleveland Browns (0-14)

1. Philadelphia Eagles (12-2; NFC East winner)#
2. Minnesota Vikings (11-3; NFC North winner)*
3. Los Angeles Rams (10-4; NFC West leader)
4. New Orleans Saints (10-4; NFC South leader)
5. Carolina Panthers (10-4; first wild card)
6. Atlanta Falcons (9-5; second wild card)

In the hunt: Detroit Lions (8-6), Seattle Seahawks (8-6), Dallas Cowboys (8-6)
Eliminated: Green Bay Packers (7-7), Washington Redskins (6-8), Arizona Cardinals (6-8), Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-10), San Francisco 49ers (4-10), Chicago Bears (4-10), New York Giants (2-12)

* = clinched division
+ = clinched playoff spot
# = clinched first-round bye

Some observations:

— Every NFC team currently qualified for the playoffs won in Week 15.

— The Panthers, Falcons, Rams and Chiefs all can clinch playoff spots with wins this weekend. The Chiefs, Rams and Jaguars can clinch division titles with victories, and the Eagles can secure home-field advantage in the NFC with a W.

— The Titans, Bills, Ravens and Chargers are locked in a four-way battle for the two wild-card spots in the AFC.

Tennessee, which lost to the Jimmy Garoppolo-led 49ers on Sunday, has by far the most difficult remaining schedule (vs. Rams, vs. Jaguars). Buffalo will finish with trips to New England and Miami, Baltimore hosts Indianapolis and Cincinnati, and the Chargers play the Jets on the road before wrapping up the regular season at home against Oakland.

— Some Week 16 matchups with playoff implications: Bills at Patriots, Rams at Titans, Falcons at Saints, Seahawks at Cowboys, Steelers at Texans.

— For a complete look at the Patriots’ clinching scenarios, click the link below.

Patriots’ Week 16 playoff picture >>

Thumbnail photo via Thumbnail photo via Sergio Estrada/USA TODAY Sports Images
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