NFL Playoff Picture Week 16: Seeding, Scenarios & Tiebreakers

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The Patriots can clinch home-field advantage with a win over the Jets today. (Getty)

With just two weeks remaining, we are that much closer to a completed playoff bracket. On Saturday the NFC East was finally won, as Washington beat Philadelphia to clinch the division title. That leaves only the three divisions up for grabs, but all could be clinched by the end of Week 16.

In the NFC, only the North division is still to be decided. The Vikings trail the Packers by one game, and the teams meet in the final week of the season. The Packers won the first meeting back in November.

The AFC still has two divisions unclaimed, including the wild AFC South. Brandon Weeden and the Texans can lock that one down today, by winning on the road at Tennessee. The Chiefs are one game behind the sliding Broncos, and could force a tie in the division should the Broncos fall to Cincinnati on Monday night. The teams split their season series earlier this year.

Hold your breath for the standings to hold, because there are some fantastic Wild Card matchups being projected. The best of which is a Steelers-Broncos rematch, who played an intense game at Heinz Field last week. With the Cardinals holding the second NFC seed, they could see Green Bay in the divisional round. The Cardinals and Packers meet today.

For a full list of NFL tiebreaking procedures, click here.

Here’s how the playoff standings look right now:


AFC Seeding

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Alex Smith and the Chiefs haven’t lost a game since early November. (Getty)

The Division Leaders:

1. New England Patriots — 12-3 — Clinched AFC East
2. Cincinnati Bengals — 11-3
3. Denver Broncos — 10-4
4. Houston Texans — 8-7

The Wild Card Contenders:

5. Kansas City Chiefs — 10-5 — Clinched playoff berth
6. New York Jets — 10-5
7. Pittsburgh Steelers — 9-6

*Kansas City is ahead of the New York and Pittsburgh based on conference record (Chiefs: 8-2 Jets:6-4 Steelers: 6-4)

*Pittsburgh has tiebreaker over New York based on common games record (3-1 to New York’s 2-2).

Clinching Scenarios:

– New England clinches home field advantage with win OR tie and Cincinnati loss

– Cincinnati clinches AFC North with win OR Pittsburgh loss

– Cincinnati clinches first round bye with win

– Denver clinches AFC West with win and Kansas City loss

– Denver clinches playoff spot with win and New York loss OR Pittsburgh loss

– Kansas City clinches playoff spot with win and New York loss OR Pittsburgh loss

– Houston clinches AFC South with win and Colts loss

Potential Wild Card Matchups:

Jets at Broncos

Chiefs at Texans


NFC Seeding

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Russel Wilson is leading the Seahawks back into the posteason. (Getty)

The Division Leaders:

1. Carolina Panthers — 14-1 — Clinched NFC South & First Round Bye
2. Arizona Cardinals — 13-2 — Clinched NFC West & First Round Bye
3. Green Bay Packers — 10-5 — Clinched Playoff Berth
4. Washington Redskins — 8-7 — Clinched NFC East

The Wild Card Contenders:

5. Seattle Seahawks — 9-6
6. Minnesota Vikings — 9-5

Clinching Scenarios:

– Carolina can clinch home-field advantage with win and Arizona loss

– Green Bay clinches NFC North with win and Minnesota loss

Potential Wild Card Matchups:

Seahawks at Packers

Vikings at Redskins



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