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It’s Christmastime in the NFL, but not every team is being given a playoff berth this holiday season.
While some teams like the New England Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles are sitting comfortably atop their respective conferences going into Week 17, there are multiple teams that are still on the outside looking in with little time to make things happen.
Let’s take a look at the AFC and NFC standings, followed by the updated playoff picture for each conference going into Monday’s Week 16 games.
1. New England Patriots (12-3)
2. Buffalo Bills (8-7)
3. Miami Dolphins (6-9)
4. New York Jets (5-10)
1. Kansas City Chiefs (9-6)
2. Los Angeles Chargers (8-7)
3. Oakland Raiders (6-8)
4. Denver Broncos (5-10)
1. Pittsburgh Steelers (11-3)
2. Baltimore Ravens (9-6)
3. Cincinnati Bengals (6-9)
4. Cleveland Browns (0-15)
1. Jacksonville Jaguars (10-5)
2. Tennessee Titans (8-7)
3. Houston Texans (4-10)
4. Indianapolis Colts (3-12)
1. Philadelphia Eagles (12-2)
2. Dallas Cowboys (8-7)
3. Washington Redskins (7-8)
4. New York Giants (2-13)
1. Los Angeles Rams (11-4)
2. Seattle Seahawks (9-6)
3. Arizona Cardinals (7-8)
4. San Francisco 49ers (5-10)
1. Minnesota Vikings (12-3)
2. Detroit Lions (8-7)
3. Green Bay Packers (7-8)
4. Chicago Bears (5-10)
1. New Orleans Saints (11-3)
2. Carolina Panthers (11-4)
3. Atlanta Falcons (9-6)
4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-11)
Current AFC Playoff Bracket
1. New England Patriots (12-3, first-round bye)
2. Pittsburgh Steelers (11-3, first-round bye)
3. Jacksonville Jaguars (10-5, vs. Tennessee Titans)
4. Kansas City Chiefs (9-6, vs. Baltimore Ravens)
5. Baltimore Ravens (9-6, vs. Kansas City Chiefs)
6. Tennessee Titans (8-7, vs. Jacksonville Jaguars)
In the Hunt
7. Los Angeles Chargers (8-7)
8. Buffalo Bills (8-7)
Current NFC Playoff Bracket
1. Philadelphia Eagles (12-2, first-round bye)
2. Minnesota Vikings (12-3, first-round bye)
3. Los Angeles Rams (11-4, vs. Atlanta Falcons)
4. New Orleans Saints (11-4, vs. Carolina Panthers)
5. Carolina Panthers (11-4, vs. New Orleans Saints)
6. Atlanta Falcons (9-6, vs. Los Angeles Rams)
In the Hunt
7. Seattle Seahawks (9-6)
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The Detroit Lions were knocked out of the playoff hunt after losing to the Cincinnati Bengals 26-17 Sunday. But while the NFC playoff picture became much clearer after the Lions were eliminated, question marks remain.
The Dallas Cowboys were knocked out of the playoff hunt by the Seattle Seahawks in Week 16. In fact, the Seahawks are the only NFC team that still poses a threat as a fringe playoff team. The Los Angeles Rams will win the NFC West, but the Seahawks still have an opportunity to make the postseason as a sixth seed if they win against the Arizona Cardinals in Week 17.
The Atlanta Falcons won’t win their division because of the New Orleans Saints and will have to beat the Rams in Week 17 if the Seahawks defeat the Cardinals. But if Atlanta loses and Seattle wins, the Falcons will be pushed out of the playoffs and the Seahawks will, once again, be playing in the new year.
In the AFC, things are a little murkier.
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It’s not easy to say it out loud, but the AFC is chock-full of terrible teams—just look at the 0-15 Cleveland Browns.
But even with a lot of bad teams, there are still a handful on the fringe of a postseason berth. Even though the Tennessee Titans have been dreadful in recent weeks, they are in the postseason as a sixth seed as of Sunday night.
Competing for the sixth seed with the Titans are the Los Angeles Chargers and Buffalo Bills, with each team having an 8-7 record going into Week 17. If the Titans beat the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 17, they won’t have much to worry about. But a loss? That blows the door open for the Chargers and Bills to sneak in and steal their spot in the postseason.
There is still to play for with so little time left in the regular season. But no matter what happens, you won’t want to miss a thing.