The Week 16 NFL Playoff Jumble

by WagerHome Blog on December 19, 2023

In the AFC there are seven teams that are either 8-6, 7-7, or 6-8. The NFC has five teams at 7-7 and two others at 6-8.

All of them can finish over .500 and in the playoffs, and all of them can finish below .500 and out of the playoffs. Through 15 weeks only four teams have clinched a playoff berth – only one in the AFC – and only six teams have been eliminated from the playoffs.

It’s a crazy wonderful mess and we head into the Christmas weekend.

NFC – Who’s In

The San Francisco 49ers have clinched the NFC West and they are proving to be the class of the NFL. They are currently the top seed in the conference, and they hold a one-game lead and the tiebreaker over the two teams who could possibly catch them, the Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles.

Both the Cowboys and Eagles are in the postseason, and one of them is going to be at home to begin the playoffs, and the other will be on the road as a wild card. That is still TBD.

NFC – Who’s Next

The Detroit Lions need just one win in their final three games to wrap up the NFC North. Beyond them it’s a total crapshoot.

Tampa Bay is currently 7-7, tied with New Orleans for first in the NFC South. The other NFC teams with realistic shots at the postseason are the Vikings (currently the 6th seed), the Rams (currently the 7th seed), the Bucs/Saints, Seahawks, Falcons, and Packers.

Seattle has the easiest remaining schedule with games against the Steelers, Cardinals, and Titans. The Vikings have the toughest with two games left against the Lions.

AFC – Who’s In

The Baltimore Ravens have clinched a playoff berth, but because of the magic of Joe Flacco they have yet to clinch the AFC North. They also have a challenging schedule ahead, with the 49ers this week and the Dolphins the week after.

If Baltimore were to lose those two games, and Cleveland wins out (Texans, Jets, Bengals), we’d go all the way to the fourth tiebreaker, best record in the conference, and that would go to the Browns.

AFC – Who’s Next

The Chiefs and Dolphins will clinch their divisions if they win this week, or any of the remaining weeks. Miami can clinch this week even if they lose, if the Bills also lose.

The Jaguars have dropped into a three-way tie for first with the Colts and Texans, and at 8-6 any or all of them can make the playoffs. 

The Browns are the top wild card and probably in regardless of what happens with the Ravens. The Bengals and Bills are 8-6, and the Steelers and Broncos are both 7-7 and within a game of the playoffs.

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WagerHome BlogThe Week 16 NFL Playoff Jumble

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