NFL Playoff Picture: Standings & Potential Wild Card Matchups After Week 15

NFL Playoff Picture, AFC Playoff Picture, NFC Playoff Picture, NFL Playoff Seeding,NFL Playoff Updated, NFL Playoff chances, NFL Playoff teams, NFL Playoff wild card, NFL Playoff projected

Getty Kareem Hunt carried the Chiefs to a win over LA on Saturday.

After a pair of Saturday night contests, a smaller Sunday slate let’s us focus on pivotal Wild Card matchups.

In the early slate, it’s all about the return of Aaron Rodgers. A comeback win over the Browns kept Green Bay in the playoff hunt last week, but they’ll surely need to win out to keep pace in the Wild Card. The Pack end the season with two divisional opponents, including a Lions team in a similar situation.

But with last weeks injury to Carson Wentz, the NFC bracket has been thrown into chaos. Sure, Philly already has the NFC East on ice, but a first-round bye is now anything but guaranteed. Minnesota looks likely to take home-field advantage, and it’s possible the Eagles could fall all the way down to the fourth seed.

The Los Angeles Rams are in the midst of a massive turnaround, but a loss today against Seattle could see them exit the playoff race entirely. That could be a brief exit, as the Rams finish the season against beatable opponents Tennessee and San Francisco.

In the AFC, all eyes fall on the marquee matchup between Pittsburgh and New England. Tom Brady has electric splits when facing the Steelers, but a some of the more recent editions of this rivalry have been missing Steelers playmakers. Pittsburgh is full-strength (on offense) for this matchup, and a steady diet of Le’Veon Bell should have this game exceeding expectations.

Last week we talked about the crowded AFC West, and it could come down to a two-horse race after tonight. The Raiders are hosting the Cowboys in primetime, and a loss would drop them to a likely season-ending 6-8.

Jacksonville will be hosting a playoff game. Accept it and move on. Beyond that, it’ll be interesting to see how the young Jaguar defense stands against elite AFC offenses in January. The pressure will ultimately fall upon Blake Bortles, who will need to prove he is capable to keep defenses honest in the postseason.

On the fringe of the playoff hunt, the Titans and Bills are both interesting Wild Card contenders. Both play sound defense and run the ball, two things needed for success in the postseason. Creeping behind are the Chargers, who were cooled off in Kansas City but remain a dangerous postseason contender. It’s highly likely the Chargers, who finish the season against the Jets and Raiders, will replace one of those teams for a Wild Card spot.

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

Here’s how the early playoff standings after the early games:

AFC Seeding

The Division Leaders:

1. New England Patriots — 11-3
2. Pittsburgh Steelers — 11-3
3. Jacksonville Jaguars — 10-4
4. Kansas City Chiefs — 8-6

The Wild Card Contenders:

5. Tennessee Titans — 8-6
6. Buffalo Bills — 8-6
7. Baltimore Ravens — 8-6
8. LA Chargers — 7-7

Potential Wild Card Matchups:

Bills at Jaguars

Titans at Chiefs

NFC Seeding

The Division Leaders:

1. Philadelphia Eagles — 12-2
2. Minnesota Vikings — 11-3
3. Los Angeles Rams — 10-4
4. New Orleans Saints — 10-4

The Wild Card Contenders:

5. Carolina Panthers — 10-4
6. Atlanta Falcons — 8-5
7. Seattle Seahawks — 8-6
8. Detroit Lions — 8-6

Potential Wild Card Matchups:

Falcons at Rams

Panthers at Saints

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