The NFL playoff picture is a bit clearer with a few more teams punching their ticket to the postseason. The Bears are the latest team to clinch a playoff birth as Chicago’s win sealed the NFC North.
Elsewhere, it appeared no one else in the NFC wanted to secure their postseason fate. Both the Cowboys and Seahawks headed into Week 15 with an opportunity to lock up a playoff spot. The Cowboys were shutout on the road against the Colts. Seattle was upset in overtime by a San Francisco team who has been out of the playoff hunt for months.
This was good news for fans of the Eagles and Panthers. Both teams play in the final games of Week 15 and still have a chance at the postseason.
The Saints and Rams are in primetime action with both teams eyeing the NFC’s No. 1 seed. They headed into Week 15 tied for the top spot, but the Saints had the edge via the tiebreakers.
The NFL uses the same tiebreakers with teams in the same conference as they do for Wild Card seeding. Here’s an overview of how it works per NFL.com.
Head-to-head, if applicable.
Best won-lost-tied percentage in games played within the conference.
Best won-lost-tied percentage in common games, minimum of four.
Strength of victory.
Strength of schedule.
Best combined ranking among conference teams in points scored and points allowed.
Best combined ranking among all teams in points scored and points allowed.
Best net points in conference games.
Best net points in all games.
Best net touchdowns in all games.
Looking ahead to Week 16, there are a few games that directly impact the NFC playoff race. The key games are cross-conference matchups that will impact both the AFC and NFC.
The Seahawks host the Chiefs as both teams look to bounce back from losses. The Saints square off with the Steelers in a rare matchup featuring two heavyweights. Philadelphia takes on Houston as the Eagles look to keep their playoff hopes alive.
Here’s a look at the current NFC playoff standings. The division winners will earn the top four playoff spots. The Wild Card positions will go to the remaining two teams with the best records. Teams in bold would make the playoffs if the postseason started today. Teams in italics have already clinched a playoff birth.
NFC Wild Card Standings: Week 15
|1.||Seattle Seahawks (8-6)|
|2.||Minnesota Vikings (7-6-1)|
|3.||Washington Redskins (7-7)|
|4.||Philadelphia Eagles (7-7)|
|5.||Carolina Panthers (6-7)|
NFC Playoff Standings
|1. New Orleans Saints||11||2||0|
|2. L.A. Rams||11||3||0|
|3. Chicago Bears||10||4||0|
|4. Dallas Cowboys||8||6||0|
|5. Seattle Seahawks||8||6||0|
|6. Minnesota Vikings||7||6||1|
|7. Washington Redskins||7||7||0|
|8. Philadelphia Eagles||7||7||0|
|9. Carolina Panthers||6||7||0|
|10. Green Bay Packers||5||8||1|
|11. Tampa Bay Bucs||5||9||0|
|12. New York Giants||5||9||0|
|13. Detroit Lions||5||9||0|
|14. Atlanta Falcons||5||9||0|
|15. San Francisco 49ers||3||11||0|
|16. Arizona Cardinals||4||10||0|
NFC Playoff Matchups Based on Current Standings
No. 1 New Orleans Saints (Bye)
No. 2 Los Angeles Rams (Bye)
No. 6 Minnesota Vikings vs. No. 3 Chicago Bears
No. 5 Seattle Seahawks vs. No. 4 Dallas Cowboys