Unless you're a Jets fan, you're likely looking
ahead to Week 16 to determine your team's chances of making the
postseason. The Broncos, Redskins, Vikings and Cowboys certainly made
big strides Sunday while the Giants, Steelers and Bears just made their
roads to the playoffs much more complicated.
With five NFC teams
sitting at 8-6, there is still plenty to be determined in the regular
season's final two weeks, but here's where we stand heading into Monday
First Round Byes
(1) Houston Texans (12-2)
Sunday's 29-17 win over Indianapolis clinches the AFC South title.
Remaining opponents: Minnesota (8-6), at Indianapolis (9-5)
(2) Denver Broncos (11-3)
AFC West champs dominated Baltimore 34-17 and got some extra help from
San Francisco as New England's loss gives Denver a one-game lead in the
Remaining opponents: Cleveland (5-9), Kansas City (2-12)
Wild Card Round
(6) Cincinnati Bengals (8-6) at (3) New England Patriots (10-4)
night's loss to the 49ers was likely the last formidable challenge for
the Patriots in the regular season. The Bengals currently hold the
conference's final playoff spot but will have that tested next week at
Cincinnati remaining opponents: at Pittsburgh (7-7), Baltimore (9-5)
New England remaining opponents: at Jacksonville (2-12), Miami (6-8)
(5) Indianapolis Colts (9-5) at (4) Baltimore Ravens (9-5)
loss makes a wild-card spot closer for the Colts, who were a one-win
team just a year ago. It also clinched a playoff berth for the reeling
Ravens, who seemed a certainty to win the AFC North just weeks ago.
Indianapolis remaining opponents: at Kansas City (2-12), Houston (12-2)
Baltimore remaining opponents: New York Giants (8-6), at Cincinnati (8-6)
Pittsburgh Steelers (7-7)
The Steelers now face a must-win game at home next Sunday versus Cincinnati.
Remaining opponents: Cincinnati (8-6), Cleveland (5-9)
New York Jets (6-7)
The Jets need to beat Tennessee Monday night to maintain their slim postseason chances.
Remaining opponents: at Tennessee (4-9), San Diego (5-9), at Buffalo (5-9)
Miami Dolphins (6-8)
Technically they're still in it.
Remaining opponents: Buffalo (5-9), at New England (10-4)
First Round Byes
1) Atlanta Falcons (12-2)
NFC South champs have now opened a decent margin over the rest of the
conference and can clinch homefield advantage throughout the playoffs
with a win next week at Detroit.
Remaining opponents: at Detroit (4-10), Tampa Bay (6-8)
2) San Francisco 49ers (10-3-1)
NFC West leaders earned some breathing room heading into next Sunday
night's showdown with the Seahawks, clinching a playoff spot with their
win against New England.
Remaining opponents: at Seattle (9-5), Arizona (5-9)
Wild Card Round
(6) Minnesota Vikings (8-6) at (3) Green Bay Packers (10-4)
Packers clinched the NFC North with a 21-13 win over the Bears. Dallas'
win over Pittsburgh now throws the final NFC wild-card spot into a
four-team tie, in which the Vikings currently own the tiebreaker.
Minnesota remaining opponents: at Houston (12-2), Green Bay (10-4)
Green Bay remaining opponents: Tennessee (4-9), at Minnesota (8-6)
(5) Seattle Seahawks (9-5) at (4) Washington Redskins (8-6)
Seahawks have put up two consecutive 50+ point showings heading into a
key NFC West matchup with the 49ers. The Redskins now control their own
destiny with two division games to close out the regular season.
Seattle remaining opponents: San Francisco (10-3-1), St. Louis (6-7-1)
Washington remaining opponents: at Philadelphia (4-10), Dallas (8-6)
New York Giants (8-6)
Giants are currently tied for both the NFC East lead and NFC's final
wild card spot, but if the season ended today they would lose out on
both based on tiebreakers.
Remaining opponents: at Baltimore (9-5), Philadelphia (4-10)
Chicago Bears (8-6)
The Bears remain in the hunt for the final wild card spot as one of five NFC teams with an 8-6 record.
Remaining opponents: at Arizona (5-9), at Detroit (4-10)
Dallas Cowboys (8-6)
The Week 17 showdown with the Redskins could end up determining the NFC East.
Remaining opponents: New Orleans (6-8), at Washington (8-6)