Because of a surge in COVID-19 instances throughout the NFL and a few associated rescheduling, there are nonetheless 4 video games left in Week 15. But a lot has occurred already.

The Patriots put their division title hopes in jeopardy, the Cardinals misplaced to the lowly Lions, and the Packers grew to become the primary crew to clinch a spot within the postseason.

As of Sunday evening, right here’s what the NFL playoff image appears to be like like.

AFC Playoff Picture

Seed Team Record Week 15 consequence

1

10-4

W at LAC

2

9-5

L at IND

3

9-5

L at PIT

4

8-6

W at DEN

5

8-6

W vs. NE

6

8-6

L vs. KC

7

8-6

W vs. CAR

Chiefs

So a lot for all of the hand-wringing concerning the Chiefs. To push its profitable streak to seven, Kansas City lastly had a powerful offensive efficiency towards a crew apart from the Raiders, beating the Chargers 34-28 in additional time behind one in all Patrick Mahomes’ greatest video games of the season. The win places Kansas City two video games forward of the Chargers within the AFC West, and their divisional file (4-1) is superior to the Chargers’ (2-2).

It’s nonetheless truthful to marvel how the Chiefs will fare towards an elite protection within the playoffs — the Chargers entered Week 15 ranked solely twentieth in defensive DVOA — however Kansas City is peaking on the proper time and has loads of playoff expertise on its roster. Even if these Chiefs aren’t as dominant as previous Kansas City groups, they’re additionally taking part in in an AFC and not using a clear-cut frontrunner.

Remaining schedule: vs. PIT, at CIN, at DEN

Patriots

A 27-17 loss to the Colts snapped New England’s seven-game profitable streak and put the Patriots’ possibilities of profitable the AFC East in jeopardy. The Patriots lead the Bills by one sport within the division standings, with the 2 groups scheduled to play one another in New England in Week 16. Both groups have a 3-1 file within the division. If the Patriots drop right into a wild card spot, their present 7-2 file towards AFC groups ought to assist their seeding.

Remaining schedule: vs. BUF, vs. JAX, at MIA

Titans

Tennessee has misplaced three of its previous 4 video games, with its solely win throughout that span being a 20-0 victory towards the Jaguars that featured 4 Trevor Lawrence interceptions. The Titans had been on the other finish of such turnover luck Sunday, after they gave away the ball 4 instances in a 19-13 loss to the Steelers. Luckily for Tennessee, receiver A.J. Brown is eligible to return from IR in Week 16 and there’s hope Derrick Henry can be wholesome come playoff time. Closing out the season towards the Texans in Houston ought to give the Titans no less than another win, however they misplaced to the Texans earlier this season.

Remaining schedule: vs. SF, vs. MIA, at HOU

Bengals

A 15-10 win in Denver put the Bengals atop the AFC North standings over the Ravens, who misplaced by one level to the Packers after a failed two-point conversion within the sport’s last moments. Both the Ravens and Bengals are 8-6, and Cincinnati has the sting within the standings due to a head-to-head win in Week 7. The two groups meet once more in Week 16, in Cincinnati, for a sport with large playoff implications. Every crew within the AFC North has both seven or eight wins.

Remaining schedule: vs. BAL, vs. KC, at CLE

Colts

Their win over the Patriots on Saturday was the Colts’ first victory towards New England since 2009. In an AFC during which anybody appears able to beating anybody, the Colts ought to scare fellow playoff groups. Indy has received seven of its previous 9, with its solely losses coming in one-score video games. Losing twice to the 9-5 Titans basically places the Colts two video games again within the AFC South standings as a result of Tennessee holds the head-to-head tiebreaker.

FiveThirtyEight offers Indianapolis a 16 % probability of profitable the division. Even if the Colts can’t pull it off, remaining video games towards the Raiders and Jaguars give Indianapolis a great shot at attending to 10 wins. And Indy’s 7-3 convention file ought to assist its playoff seeding. The Colts’ hardest remaining sport is towards an NFC crew, as they journey to Arizona in Week 16.

Remaining schedule: at AZ, vs. LV, at JAX

Chargers

Brandon Staley has caught warmth for his fourth-down aggressiveness, which could have price the Chargers a win towards the Chiefs on Thursday. But as The Athletic’s Daniel Popper writes, that very same aggressive philosophy contributed to a number of wins this season, placing the Chargers in place to make the playoffs in Staley’s first season as head coach. The Chargers are unlikely to win the AFC West after that loss to the Chiefs, however they’ve one of many NFL’s best remaining schedules. All of their remaining video games are towards AFC groups, giving them an opportunity to bolster their 5-4 convention file.

Remaining schedule: at HOU, vs. DEN, at LV

Bills

Buffalo edges out Baltimore for the ultimate playoff spot as a result of it has a greater file in frequent video games. That’s nice and all, however the Bills would like to not fear about such tiebreakers, they usually can keep away from them by profitable the AFC East. To accomplish that, they’ll have to beat the Patriots in Foxborough in Week 16. A Bills victory would transfer each groups to 9-6 and provides Buffalo the higher divisional file. Both groups are at present 3-1 towards the AFC East.

Remaining schedule: at NE, vs. ATL, vs. NYJ

In the hunt

  • Ravens (8-6)
  • Browns (7-6)
  • Steelers (7-6-1)
  • Dolphins (7-7)
  • Broncos (7-7)
  • Raiders (6-7)

Every AFC North crew nonetheless has two divisional video games left. The Steelers host the Browns and play the Ravens in Baltimore. The Browns end their season at house towards the Bengals. The Ravens journey to Cincinnati in Week 16 and host the Steelers in Week 18.

Three AFC groups have been eradicated — the 3-11 Jets, the 3-11 Texans and the 2-12 Jaguars.

NFC Playoff Picture

Seed Team Record Week 15 consequence

1

11-3

W at BAL

2

10-4

W at NYG

3

10-4

L vs. NO

4

10-4

L at DET

5

9-4

Tuesday vs. SEA

6

8-6

W vs. ATL

7

7-7

W at TPA

Packers

Three years as Packers head coach, three division titles for Matt LaFleur. Green Bay’s win towards the Lamar Jackson-less Ravens in Baltimore clinched the NFC North for the Packers, making them the primary crew to lock up a playoff seed. They have a one-game lead over each different crew within the hunt for the No. 1 seed, and their 8-2 file in convention video games is second-best within the NFC, behind solely the Cowboys (8-1).

Remaining schedule: vs. CLE, vs. MIN, at DET

Cowboys

Stout protection led the Cowboys to a cushty win towards the Giants that pushed Dallas’ convention file to 8-1. That sturdy exhibiting towards NFC groups is why they’re increased within the standings than the Bucs and Cardinals, who’re each 6-4 in convention video games.

The Cowboys’ convention file offers them an opportunity to overhaul the Packers for the No. 1 seed if Dallas wins out and Green Bay drops one sport the remainder of the best way, which would depart the groups with an identical 17-game information. Even if that may’t occur, a Week 17 house towards the Cardinals may very well be crucial in figuring out playoff seeding.

Remaining schedule: vs. WFT, vs. AZ, at PHI

Buccaneers

Mike Evans, Chris Godwin and Leonard Fournette all left the Bucs’ 9-0 loss to the Saints with accidents, nevertheless it was nonetheless surprising to see New Orleans shut out a Tom Brady-led crew, particularly with Saints defensive coordinator Dennis Allen serving as interim head coach as a result of Sean Payton examined optimistic for COVID-19. It was the primary time in Brady’s profession {that a} crew beat him with out scoring a landing.

Luckily for the Bucs, they’ve the NFL’s best remaining schedule, according to Tankathon, so they need to finish the season on a stronger word. For now, Tampa Bay stays forward of Arizona within the standings due to the energy of victory tiebreaker.

Tampa Bay might nonetheless qualify for the playoffs earlier than Week 16, however provided that Minnesota loses or ties on Monday evening and Washington and Philadelphia tie on Tuesday.

Remaining schedule: at CAR, at NYJ, vs. CAR

Cardinals

Losing to the Rams is one factor. Losing to the Lions is one other. Arizona defensive lineman Jordan Phillips known as the Cardinals’ 30-12 stinker in Detroit “an unacceptable loss,” and he’s proper. The Cardinals are a sensible lock to make the playoffs, however is that this the start of a late-season slide? With powerful video games towards the Colts and Cowboys up subsequent, we’re about to seek out out simply how a lot the Cardinals miss DeAndre Hopkins, who reportedly received’t be again till the NFC Championship Game on the earliest.

The identical Monday and Tuesday eventualities that may get the Bucs on this week additionally apply to the Cardinals.

Remaining schedule: vs. IND, at DAL, vs. SEA

Rams

The Rams are coping with a COVID-19 outbreak that’s delaying their sport towards the Seahawks till Tuesday. They have cornerback Jalen Ramsey and receiver Odell Beckham Jr. again, however as of this writing, edge rusher Von Miller and security Jordan Fuller are among the many gamers nonetheless on the reserve/COVID-19 listing. If the Rams can discover a approach to beat the Seahawks, they’d match the Cardinals’ 10-4 file however nonetheless be in second place within the NFC West due to a worse file in divisional video games — at present 2-2 for the Rams, in comparison with 4-1 for Arizona.

Los Angeles might clinch a playoff berth earlier than Week 16, nevertheless it might take the next collection of outcomes: A Rams win vs. Seattle, a Minnesota loss or tie on Monday evening and an Eagles-Washington tie on Tuesday.

Remaining schedule: vs. SEA, at MIN, at BAL, vs. SF

49ers

At 8-6 after a dominant win towards the Falcons, the 49ers have put a ways between themselves and the groups competing for the No. 7 seed. They ought to be capable of additional pad their lead towards the struggling Titans and lowly Texans within the subsequent two weeks.

Remaining schedule: at TEN, vs. HOU, at LAR

Saints

The Saints’ surprising win in Tampa offers their playoff hopes new life. On paper, they’ve one of many simpler remaining schedules, with video games towards divisional rivals Carolina and Atlanta nonetheless on faucet. But the Saints misplaced to each of these groups earlier this season. The loss to the Panthers was no less than in Week 2, although, and Carolina has gone 2-9 since a 3-0 begin.

Remaining schedule: vs. MIA, vs. CAR, at ATL

In the hunt

  • Washington (6-7)
  • Vikings (6-7)
  • Eagles (6-7)
  • Falcons (6-8)
  • Seahawks (5-8)

The Eagles and the Washington Football Team nonetheless have two video games remaining towards one another, together with one which has been delayed till Tuesday, in Philadelphia, due to a COVID-19 outbreak throughout the Washington group.

Only one NFC crew has been eradicated — the 2-11-1 Lions.

(Photo: Mitch Stringer / USA Today)

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