Updated NFL Playoff Picture 2014

(Getty)

(Getty)

The 2014 NFL season is drawing to a close. At the beginning of Week 16, there were 20 teams who could still mathematically make the playoffs. Four — the Miami Dolphins, the Buffalo Bills, the Philadelphia Eagles and the New Orleans Saints — were eliminated by the end of the day.

The NFL’s playoff format gives the top two seeds in each conference bye weeks. The remaining teams are then matched up 3 vs. 6 and 4 vs. 5.


AFC

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(Getty)

The Division Leaders:

1. New England Patriots — 12-3 (Clinched AFC East and a 1st-round bye, defeated NYJ 17-16)
2. Denver Broncos — 11-4 (Clinched AFC West, lost to CIN 37-28)
3. Cincinnati Bengals — 10-4-1 (Clinched playoff berth, defeated DEN 37-28)
4. Indianapolis Colts — 10-5 (Clinched AFC South, lost to DAL 42-7)

The Wild Card Contenders:

5. Pittsburgh Steelers — 10-5 (Defeated KC 20-12)
6. San Diego Chargers — 9-6 — (Defeated SF 38-35)

On the Outside Looking In:

7. Baltimore Ravens — 9-6 — (Lost to HOU 25-13)
8. Houston Texans — 8-7 (Defeated BAL 25-13)
9. Kansas City Chiefs — 8-7 (Lost to PIT 20-12)

Notes:
The Colts can clinch the No. 3 seed with a win next week against Tennessee and if neither Cincinnati nor Pittsburgh reach 11 wins. The Steelers can still win the AFC North if they win out, and if they win out, they will become the AFC’s No. 3 seed. If the Bengals win out and the Colts lose one of their final two games, the Bengals would become the AFC’s No. 3 seed.


NFC

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(Getty)

The Division Leaders:

1. Seattle Seahawks — 11-4 (Clinched playoff berth, defeated ARZ 35-6)
2. Detroit Lions — 11-4 (Clinched playoff berth, defeated CHI 20-14)
3. Dallas Cowboys — 11-4 (Clinched NFC East, defeated IND 42-7)
4. Carolina Panthers — 6-8-1 — (Defeated CLE 17-13, play @ATL next week and winner wins the NFC South)

The Wild Card Contenders:

5. Green Bay Packers — 11-4 — (Clinched playoff berth, defeated TB 20-3, host DET next week and winner wins NFC North)
6. Arizona Cardinals — 11-4 — (Clinched playoff berth, lost to SEA 35-6)

On the Outside Looking In:

7. Atlanta Falcons — 6-9 (Defeated NO 30-14, Host CAR next week and win NFC South with win)

Notes:

If the Seahawks defeat the Rams next weekend, they will win the NFC West and earn the NFC’s No. 1 seed throughout the postseason if Dallas loses.

The winner of the Lions vs. Packers game next weekend wins the NFC North and earns a 1st-round bye in the postseason.


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