The full NFL playoff picture

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With the afternoon games over, it’s time to reshuffle the playoff scenario deck. The AFC contenders, followed by the NFC contenders, are listed below, along with a description regarding what needs to happen in order to qualify and/or maximizing postseason positioning.

Chiefs (11-4): The Chiefs have clinched a playoff berth. A win over the Raiders next weekend or a Chargers loss to the Broncos clinches the AFC West. A win over the Raiders also delivers the No. 1 seed in the AFC. A loss to the Raiders plus a Chargers win results in the Chiefs landing in the No. 5 seed.

Patriots (10-5): They’ve clinched the AFC East for the 10th straight time. A win against the Jets next weekend would give New England its ninth straight first-round bye. A win over the Jets and a Chiefs loss to the Raiders would give the Patriots the No. 1 seed.

Texans (10-5): The Texans have clinched a playoff berth, thanks to Pittsburgh’s loss to the Saints. The Texans now need a win against the Jaguars and a loss by the Patriots to the Jets to secure a bye. If the Chiefs and the Patriots lose next week, and the Texans win, the Texans would be the No. 1 seed. Losing next weekend would also result in losing the division crown to the winner of the Colts-Titans game. A Colts-Titans tie would deliver the AFC South to the Texans.

Ravens (9-6): Thanks to that victory over the Chargers, the Ravens are in with a win next week over Cleveland or a Pittsburgh loss to the Bengals. Thanks to the Titans and Colts winning, the Ravens are out with a loss and a Pittsburgh win.

Chargers (11-4): The Chargers can still win the AFC West by beating the Broncos in Denver, if the Chiefs lose at home to the Raiders. Absent that, the Chargers will be the No. 5 seed.

Titans (9-6): With Pittsburgh losing, next Sunday night’s game against the Colts becomes a win-and-in scenario. The Titans could win the division by beating the Colts, if the Texans lose to the Jaguars.

Colts (9-6): The Colts have the same scenario as the Titans.

Steelers (8-6-1): The Steelers are screwed, thanks to their loss to the Saints. They need to beat the Bengals and root for the Browns to beat the Ravens. If the Steelers win and the Browns and Ravens tie, the Steelers would win the tiebreaker with the Ravens based on a better division record.

Dolphins (7-8): Their loss to the Jaguars eliminated Miami from playoff consideration.

Saints (13-2): The win over Pittsburgh gives the Saints the No. 1 seed.

Rams (12-3): They’ve won the NFC West, but nothing more yet. They’ll secure a first-round bye and the No. 2 seed with a win over the 49ers or a Bears loss to the Vikings. If the Rams lose and the Bears win, the Rams will fall to the No. 3 seed.

Bears (11-4): The Bears can become the No. 2 seed if they beat the Vikings, and if the Rams lose to the 49ers. Otherwise, Chicago is locked in as the No. 3 seed.

Cowboys (9-6): They’ve clinched the NFC East, and they’re locked in as the No. 4 seed.

Seahawks (9-6): The Seahawks have clinched a playoff berth. A win next week over Arizona makes Seattle the No. 5 seed. If they lose and the Vikings beat Chicago, the Seahawks would be the No. 6 seed.

Vikings (8-6-1): The win over the Lions, combined with Philly’s win over the Texans, requires the Vikings to win next weekend to nail down a playoff berth, unless Eagles lose to Washington.

Eagles (8-7): A win next weekend at Washington plus a Vikings loss would give the Eagles the No. 6 seed.

Washington (7-8): The wins by the Vikings and Eagles have eliminated Washington.

Panthers (6-9): The Panthers were eliminated by their loss to Atlanta.

82 responses to “The full NFL playoff picture

  1. Steelers are in serious trouble. Rivers laid an egg in a gm they needed him not to. No way Balt loses again – at home this time – to the Clowns

  2. Wouldn’t it be amazing if the first time in years they beat New England, the Steelers miss the playoffs?

  3. Cleveland’s playing for a winning record in Baltimore next week (assuming a win against Cincy today). Baker’s gonna be out for blood and already beat this team once this year. Baltimore’s gonna lose that game.

  4. TruthfulDolphinsFanNotWearingBlinders says:
    December 23, 2018 at 8:34 am
    The Patriots will still win the AFC as we all know.

    5 losses. No we do not “know” that. Chiefs are better (and don’t give me that “the Pats won the first time…no it was a 3 point win. They held on to win). The Chargers are better. Steelers can be better although I think they are suspect too. Ravens are better. Brady can’t handle being hit and he would be hit. The Patriots are not the best team in the AFC and I still think they lose the first round bye.

  5. Lots going on today. Should make for some exciting games. My best bet is that there is still plenty to be decided come next week. Desperate teams often pull off games they have no business winning.

  6. Every year there is at least one team I loathe and hope don’t sniff a deep playoff run. And every year it happens, last year being the penultimate horror of an Eagle SB win. I still have nightmares, but it’s getting better. CBD helps.

  7. I think its great that Cleveland vs Baltimore is gonna be the game of the day the last week of the year. Good for Cleveland for getting it together. AFC North looks like its gonna be competitive for a long time to come.

  8. If the patriots are going to win the afc like the poster above says they will they will have to win on the road against good teams. Something they have struggled with this yr. I maybe a homer but if the chiefs have home field advantage and a week off I’m liking there chances and yes I know history say otherwise but pat mahomes wasn’t the qb then and he is now. Also one last thing on the pats they have never gone to the sb while not being a 1 or 2 seed they have there own history to get over.

  9. objectivefbfan says:
    December 23, 2018 at 9:33 am
    TruthfulDolphinsFanNotWearingBlinders says:
    December 23, 2018 at 8:34 am
    The Patriots will still win the AFC as we all know.

    5 losses. No we do not “know” that. Chiefs are better (and don’t give me that “the Pats won the first time…no it was a 3 point win. They held on to win). The Chargers are better. Steelers can be better although I think they are suspect too. Ravens are better. Brady can’t handle being hit and he would be hit. The Patriots are not the best team in the AFC and I still think they lose the first round bye.
    ————
    Pats already lost the 1st round bye so they need help to get it back.

    Pats did already beat the Chiefs so know one is giving you anything buys facts. Chiefs shouldn’t scare anyone with that defense. Steelers are a mess. Pats are a mess. Baltimore playing well defensively and have best defense remaining in my opinion. Chargers are suspect and So are Texans. AFC is wide open. Heck, look out for the Colts surging at the right time too.

    I’m hopeful for my Patriots but seeing how they are fully healthy it just means the team hasn’t been talented enough this year, no help is on the way.

  10. “I would like to see new teams make the playoffs, even if they go one and done.”
    ————————
    Strange wish from a fan(unless his team is never in the playoffs). I would always like to see MY team in playoffs.

  11. Patriots are one and done.

    Brady is declining, Edelman isn’t good without steroids and Belichick has no defense. Not to mentioned the cooked TE and the horrible run defense.

    It’s over!

  12. Not that Pederson needs any break, but he got one when Wentz got a broken back. In come his SB MVP and they are back in the hunt for a playoff spot. Bad break for Wentz.

  13. Eagles still face an uphill climb next week, but they have showed guts going 4-1 since being 4-6. They have beaten two 10+ win, division champs in the last 7 days. All the tools who said they are the worst defending SB champs ever can pound sand.

  14. Cowboys (9-6): They’ve clinched the NFC East. A win next week and two victories by the Bears would give the Cowboys the No. 3 seed.

    * two losses by the Bears

  15. This is my favorite time of year, when all the haters from the offseason and regular season finally are so embarrassed that they have to change their user names and prepare for next season as if we don’t already know who you are. Go read some of the playoff threads from the last 3 years and 99% of those names were never seen again. So start planning ahead, fellas, maybe pick something clever sounding this time.

  16. cheeseisfattening says:
    December 23, 2018 at 4:52 pm
    Wait, where are the Packers?
    ——————-
    Deep inside your head!!!

  17. Maybe the Bears will rest their starters next week, which would be perfect for the luckiest team in the NFL, the Minnesota Vikings.

  18. stellarperformance says:
    December 23, 2018 at 5:17 pm

    Maybe the Bears will rest their starters next week, which would be perfect for the luckiest team in the NFL, the Minnesota Vikings.
    ————————————————————————————–
    Congrats on that meaningless GB win over the Jets.

  19. Mike Tomlin is living proof that you can’t fix stupid. Although it’s hard to blame him when he looks to his right and only sees Joey “Mensa” Porter. Must be something in that Allegheny water.

  20. Maybe next year Browns homers, the Ravens just beat the “unbeatable” AFC team according to EVERY pundit on the road. The report was they were already on to next Sunday on the team plane, they are laser focused and have always been a better home than road team. And I know they are itching to avenge that early season loss but keep drinking your orangeade.

  21. stellarperformance says:
    December 23, 2018 at 5:17 pm

    Maybe the Bears will rest their starters next week, which would be perfect for the luckiest team in the NFL, the Minnesota Vikings.

    ÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷

    Cellar is really beating this luckiest team in the league garbage. How he arrived at this conclusion is anybody’s guess as he has no basis for it. He must be jealous because his team has been out of playoff contention for a couple of weeks already.

  22. “A win over the Jets and two Chiefs losses would give the Patriots the No. 1 seed.“…

    Not if those things happen and the Chargers beat the Donks. The chargers would be 12-4 and have rhe best record in the AFC. They would be the #1 seed.

  23. I hate to say it fellow Vikings fans, but the Vikings are set up perfectly to miss the playoffs.

    In my 50 years of watching this team, they will find some way to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

  24. My God is nothing but a bunch of AFC whiners on here like anybody even really cares about the AFC dude

  25. Bears will mail it in for sure. The chances of the rams losing are slim to none. The bears know this.

    Think about it if you are the bears coaching staff you know you are going to play first week of the playoffs, who would you rather play against the Vikings, the Seahawks or the defending super bowl champs that had some sort of intangible no one could match in the offseason when nick foles came in.

    I think the bears would rather play the Vikings who have a horrible line against the bears best asset.

  26. The good news for Washington Numbskins’ Cousins haters is that they did not spend $80 plus million on him.

    The bad news is that they spent $80 plus million on a fragile coward who was so impotent that he barely could get a passing touchdown per game and couldn’t bring his team from behind once in nine games.

    And his fourth string replacement who was slinging fries at McDonald’s weeks ago managed to come from behind twice in one game.

    Washington was done in by its hood filled defense which simply was unremarkable when playing teams who had a QB with a pulse.

    I have to give Johnson some props – he will never be good and wasn’t with the Redskins, but he sure could have time consuming drives and lead his team to from behind.

    Sadly the Numbskins will invite Alice Smith back for another year (hopefully he will do it with one longer leg than another.

    Washington has been awful all season. Somehow they managed to beat bad teams but could not handle the good ones.

    But then again Cousins haters will say Cousins couldn’t beat a winning team.

    They forget his first act as the Redskins QB was to defeat the eventual Snoopy Bowl winning team in 2012 – a win that wasn’t in the books when the Great Gimmick was losing to Baltimore. But why should the facts stand in the way of whining about spending $80 million on someone with more infections than wins against quality teams?

  27. lebrickie says:
    December 23, 2018 at 10:41 pm
    The good news for Washington Numbskins’ Cousins haters is that they did not spend $80 plus million on him……

    dude, I hate the Skins too, but have a little respect. Don’t be such an orifice.

  28. The NFL is equivalent to the WWF. The NFL officials fix the games the way they chose. Look at the ridiculous Saints – Steelers game. It’s time to turn off the NFL. A true waste of time.

  29. Why are Steelers screwed? The Browns could beat the Ravens, and the Steelers should beat the Bengals. Stop the college running QB, and the Browns should win. Nothing would make the Browns happier then knocking the “old browns” out of the playoffs.

  30. objectivefbfan says:
    December 23, 2018 at 9:33 am

    TruthfulDolphinsFanNotWearingBlinders says:
    December 23, 2018 at 8:34 am
    The Patriots will still win the AFC as we all know.

    5 losses. No we do not “know” that. Chiefs are better (and don’t give me that “the Pats won the first time…no it was a 3 point win. They held on to win). The Chargers are better. Steelers can be better although I think they are suspect too. Ravens are better. Brady can’t handle being hit and he would be hit. The Patriots are not the best team in the AFC and I still think they lose the first round bye.

    __________________________________

    objectivefbfan,you obviously hate the Patriots and Brady,so how objective are you?
    I do agree with you about the Ravens,though. They play keep-away with the ball and have a great defense. They are the team no one wants to face in the playoffs.

  31. melvinbiediger says:
    December 23, 2018 at 11:12 pm
    The NFL is equivalent to the WWF. The NFL officials fix the games the way they chose. Look at the ridiculous Saints – Steelers game. It’s time to turn off the NFL. A true waste of time.
    ____________________________________________________________________________________________

    Stop. Football is hard, especially when at the professional level. The term “Any given Sunday” was not just a joke. These are pros, and sometimes match ups have more to do with outcomes than we will ever know. The game is not fixed, these are just professionals competing at the highest level. Anything can happen. If you believe otherwise, you have never been a competitive athlete. I played hockey up to Junior A. No fixing happens on any level.

  32. No one mentioning the colts right now. beat some pretty good (playoff) teams recently. arguably the hottest team in the league right now.

  33. stellarperformance says:
    December 23, 2018 at 5:17 pm

    Maybe the Bears will rest their starters next week, which would be perfect for the luckiest team in the NFL, the Minnesota Vikings.
    ———————————————————

    Kirk will still throw 4 picks.

  34. In the last 10 games the Vikings defense has given up less than 300 total yards in 8 games. They appear to be ready for the Bears next weekend. They are at home, I would disagree with the other Vikings fan that said they are all set up for failure.

  35. omeimontis says:

    December 23, 2018 at 4:42 pm

    Spoiler alert. Arizona will play spoilers next week by beating the chicken hawks

    This is hilarious!!! My Hawks see the bigger picture, they will play thier starters the first quarter, rest ’em for the playoffs, 2nd and 3rd string will wrap up the game…will they win? Maybe…if they loose to you they are still in the playoffs but you loose the 1st round pick LMAO!!! Same thing happened last week when the lowly 49ers some how managed to beat the Hawks….Did they win anything? Nope! They did however lose the 1rst round pick. Your going to have to really suck on live tv to lose this game and it will be very obviuos you are playing to lose, very embarrassing too.

  36. Bears have no business winning next week and setting up a date with Philly in the playoffs. Better to rest your starters and save them for the home opener rematch. Strategy over pride Nagy, don’t blow the season.

  37. Rooting for the Browns next week. My best friend is a Ravens fan but I want to see the Brown finish with a winning record.

    – Cowboys fan

  38. kcrobert10 says:
    December 23, 2018 at 11:12 am
    Also one last thing on the pats they have never gone to the sb while not being a 1 or 2 seed they have there own history to get over.
    ——————–
    Actually you’re wrong. They were a wild card in 1985 and won three road games to get to Super Bowl XX.

  39. Looksike the refs gave the Vikes yet another win. Thank goodness the Vikes let that one Denver QB walk in favor of Cousins. He was what, 5 games better?

  40. In breaking news Mike Tomlin will be interviewing for the Jets and Flacco signs with the steelers…..

    Put a fork in them.

  41. Anyone who’s been a Vikings fan for over 40 years knows one thing, the only luck the Vikings have is bad luck. Somehow they will always blow it. Always. In the most heart wrenching implausible disastrous way possible. I foolishly thought the curse was lifted after beating the Saints and the chance to host the SB @ home, then Nick Foles pasted them into the turf a week later and the same old Vikings returned. That’s why I’m encouraged this year. If they do make it nobody will consider them a threat and that’s perfect and will allow them to thrive. Hopefully both the Eagles & Vikings loose next week so the Vikings sneak in or are back doored in. Win & in. All on Cousins. This is why you paid 84 million for him. Which is now, what the 6th highest paid QB? So shut up about that Cousins gets to much $. He gets the going rate for QB’s. That’s just the way it is. Now win a SB for us. Knock out the Saints. Beat 3 teams in the playoffs and 1 team in the SB that are way better than you. Be considered the worst team to ever win the SB. JUST WIN IT ALREADY AND END THIS CURSE! It’s from building that stadium on Indian Burial grounds. The universe hates the Vikings. I’m tired of it. Win one starting right now, this year!

  42. So, it says the Pats will be 1 seed with a win PLUS a Chiefs loss. BUT if Chiefs lose and Chargers win that brings Chargers to 12-4 which will be better than the Pats 11-5… Am I missing something or Chargers would have best record and “home field advantage?”

  43. Kinda nuts both the Chargers and Steelers fumbled the ball in a last minute attempt to claim the lead. I’m no Steelers fan but they sorta got hosed by that pass interference call. The ball wasn’t even catchable, really…

  44. Yes, a very nice job updating the playoff picture, but still a lot more options. Ravens win and Texans loss puts Ravens at 3 seed. Ravens win along with losses from BOTH Texans and Pats puts Ravens at 2 seed and 1st round bye. One possibility, albeit a very unlikely one, is what is the tiebreaker if Ravens lose (9-7) and Steelers tie Cincy (8-6-2)? Would it still be the better divisional record of the Steelers or Ravens having more wins?

  45. A-Rod says: I will be a rooting for the Patriots this post season because he is the GOAT.

    The Packers still suck until they give me what I want. The refs help me every single game, but that is not enough!

  46. Until one of these AFC teams actually beats the Patriots in a playoff game, the Patriots are favored to win the AFC. I don’t like it any more than you do, but there are the facts.

  47. Pats will be one and done if they play like they have been for the past several weeks. Too many teams playing far better..As a Pats fan,I hope I’m wrong but “it is what it is”.

  48. If the Vikes can’t beat a winning team at home with the playoffs on the line they don’t deserve to be in them anyway. It would be kind of ironic however, for the Vikes to win and watch the Philly team “sit Eagles sit”.

  49. Taylor Foster – “I think the Bears would rather play the Vikings.”
    Be careful what you wish for. The Bears offense scored 18 points at home against the Vikings with 165 yards passing and 1 TD from that. That scares no one in the playoffs. Its all about how they can handle the Bears front. Defilippo and Cousins didn’t in the first game. We will see how the Vikings do this time. Also the Eagles are hot and a team no one would want to play if they got in.

  50. davew128 says:
    December 24, 2018 at 3:18 am
    kcrobert10 says:
    December 23, 2018 at 11:12 am
    Also one last thing on the pats they have never gone to the sb while not being a 1 or 2 seed they have there own history to get over.
    ——————–
    Actually you’re wrong. They were a wild card in 1985 and won three road games to get to Super Bowl XX
    _________________
    You didn’t finish the story. They got crushed by the Bears 42-10 in the Super Bowl. But they did get there…sort of.

  51. Can anyone in the AFC beat the new England Patriots? My heart wants the Seahawks versus the Chiefs in the Super Bowl, but I’m sure the Saints, Bears, etc. have a lot to say about that.

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