NFL Playoff Picture, Standings Week 16: Raiders' lottery chance at playoffs, Packers clinch NFC North
Live updates throughout Week 16 of the NFL season with the latest on the playoff picture and full standings
If Saturday was full of NFL action, Sunday was even wilder, with a bunch of movement happening among playoff teams. Notably the Oakland Raiders kept their playoff hopes alive on Sunday, opening up a not-that-wild miracle opportunity at making the playoffs with an 8-8 record.
Here's what had to happen in Week 16: Raiders beat Chargers, Ravens beat Browns, Jets beat the Steelers, Saints beat the Titans and Colts beat the Panthers. That's a five-team parlay! And it all happened!! Cue the happy Gruden faces.
Here's what needs to happen in Week 17: Raiders beat Broncos, Ravens beat Steelers, Texans beat Titans and Colts beat Jaguars. None of that is too insane??? It's probably like a 20-1 moneyline parlay.
If the Raiders make the playoffs after Jon Gruden and Derek Carr hit a nine-team parlay over the course of two weeks, maybe the move to Las Vegas was meant to be after all.
As for the Seahawks, well, Buzz, your girlfriend, woof. Seattle laid a huge egg against the Cards at home and may have cost themselves a first-round bye. They can still get it because of a tiebreaker over the Packers and the Vikings, but if Green Bay wins out and the Saints beat the Panthers in Week 17, the Seahawks will be playing on Wild Card Weekend regardless of what happens against the 49ers in Week 17. Consider that Chris Carson and Duane Brown are done and this was a very bad weekend for the Seahawks.
Week 16 is in the books and there's a lot to go over. Fortunately Will Brinson, John Breech, Ryan Wilson and Sean Wagner-McGough are here to break everything down on the Pick Six Podcast. Listen below and be sure to subscribe right here for daily NFL goodness fired into your eardrums.
The playoff picture is even clearer than it was just 24 hours ago. Take a full look at our 2019 NFL playoff picture here.
AFC: Who's in
1. (*) Baltimore Ravens (13-2)
The Ravens were gifted a Week 16 matchup against a terrible Cleveland team that had no interest in doing anything smart, and the result was Baltimore overcoming an early deficit for Lamar Jackson to put his stamp on his 2018 MVP campaign. The Ravens are the best team in football and will be rewarded for it via a first-round bye and home-field advantage. They'll face the lowest-remaining seed that comes out of the AFC Wild Card Weekend.
2. (y) New England Patriots (12-3)
The Patriots did what the Patriots do, knocking out other AFC East teams. In this particular case, they took care of the Bills at home, even managing to cover in the process! Tom Brady looked pretty sharp in this game, the Patriots ran the ball effectively and Josh McDaniels was really starting to cook with the offense. Now, as Bill Belichick said, next week against Miami is essentially a playoff game because a win guarantees the Pats a bye. So don't expect them to let up in Week 17. The Chiefs are on their heels.
3. (y) Kansas City Chiefs (11-4)
The Chiefs smothered the Bears pretty easily on Sunday night, waltzing to a win and putting themselves in good position for the No. 3 seed. Kansas City needs help to get the second seed, in the form of the Patriots losing to the Dolphins at home in Week 17 (unlikely, but not impossible) and will have to play its starters against the Chargers in Week 17 because the Texans hold a head-to-head advantage over them. One would assume they would much rather play the Steelers/Titans/Raiders than the Bills.
4. (x) Houston Texans (10-5)
Houston put the Titans in a corner with a win in Tampa on Sunday, clinching the AFC South yet again under Bill O'Brien. Houston can breathe a sigh of relief, knowing it won't be in a win/in situation against Tennessee in Week 17. The Texans can still improve their playoff position, but it's an outside shot of them getting higher than the No. 4 seed in the AFC. Still, O'Brien says he intends to play his starters in Week 17, which is, well, something. The Texans are likely going to end up playing the Bills in the wild-card round if everything holds.
5. (x) Buffalo Bills (10-5)
The Bills put up another valiant effort against New England but couldn't pull off the upset. As a result, they are locked into the No. 5 seed for the playoffs.
6. Tennessee Titans (8-7)
The Titans lost to the Saints on Sunday afternoon at home, which doesn't kill them, because winning on Sunday against the Texans in Week 17 still gets them in thanks to a strength of victory tiebreaker over the Steelers. Both teams have a 7-5 conference record, so it heads to the furthest reaches of the tiebreak. Tennessee is currently ahead based on strength of victory (.444) over the Steelers' .305. Win and they are in.
AFC: Who's out
7. Pittsburgh Steelers (8-7): The Steelers lost to the Jets on Sunday afternoon, which really hurt them in the playoff race! They are not the No. 6 seed any more and don't control their own destiny anymore either. If the Titans win next week Tennessee will end up in the postseason by strength of victory.
9. Indianapolis Colts (7-8)
10. Cleveland Browns (6-9)
11. Jacksonville Jaguars (5-10)
12. Denver Broncos (6-9)
13. New York Jets (6-9)
14. Los Angeles Chargers (5-10)
15. Miami Dolphins (4-11)
16. Cincinnati Bengals (1-14)
NFC: Who's in
1. (x) San Francisco 49ers (12-3)
Look at the wild swings in the NFC! The 49ers went from the fifth seed to the first seed by virtue of their win over the Rams on Saturday night. It was a close game, a tough game and boy did they need every bit of it to win. Now the 49ers get to go play the Seahawks in Seattle in Week 17, with the division on the line. Despite their upset loss to the Cardinals on Sunday, Seattle would still end up with a tiebreaker over the 49ers. The 49ers have home-field advantage staring down at them, with head-to-head wins over the Packers and Saints already in their pocket.
2. (y) Green Bay Packers (12-3)
The Packers put a whipping on the Vikings Monday night in Minnesota, beating up Kirk Cousins and limiting Minnesota's offense almost entirely. Aaron Jones ripped off two touchdowns and Green Bay overcame a bunch of early turnovers to beat the Vikings and clinch the NFC North. The Packers can't finish worse than the third seed but move up to the second seed by virtue of their conference record tiebreaker over the Saints.
3. (y) New Orleans Saints (12-3)
The Saints took care of business against the Titans on the road Sunday afternoon, temporarily sliding themselves into the second seed, right behind the 49ers. San Francisco has a tiebreaker over the 49ers based on their head-to-head record, but the Saints got help in the form of a Seahawks loss. If the Saints beat the Panthers on Sunday, Seattle cannot catch them.
4. Philadelphia Eagles (8-7)
Doug Pederson and Carson Wentz won maybe their biggest game together on Sunday, with the Eagles shutting down the Cowboys and finding a way to win at home to put themselves in the pole position for the coveted NFC East fourth seed. 9-7 is a playoff spot, doesn't matter how you got there! Of course, the Eagles first have to beat out the Giants in Week 17 or have the Cowboys lose to the Redskins in Week 17 to secure the division title.
5. (x) Seattle Seahawks (11-4)
The Seahawks laid a big old egg against the Cardinals at home on Sunday, falling to Arizona as nearly a 10-point favorite. Losing didn't cost them the division title, but it damaged their chances for a first-round bye, as they would need the Saints to lose to the Panthers and the Packers to lose one of their final two. Instead, we're looking at a team that could fall as far as No. 6 (if they lose to San Francisco).
6. (x) Minnesota Vikings (10-5)
The Vikings are now locked into the sixth seed as a result of their loss to Green Bay. The Packers clinched the division and Minnesota cannot catch the Seahawks (head-to-head), nor can they catch the 49ers (12 wins, Minnesota tops out at 11). Monday night was not the type of performance you wanted to see if you believed the Vikings could be Super Bowl contenders, as the offense looked completely lethargic without Dalvin Cook in the backfield. That is a major red flag for their future.
NFC: Who's out
9. Dallas Cowboys (7-8): The Cowboys blew their shot at a division title getting clinched on the road in Philly on Sunday, losing to the Eagles in pretty embarrassing fashion. The offense couldn't get going, the coaching was questionable and the Cowboys lost to the Eagles.
7. Los Angeles Rams (8-7)
8. Chicago Bears (7-8)
10. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (7-8)
11. Atlanta Falcons (6-9)
12. Carolina Panthers (5-10)
13. Arizona Cardinals (5-9-1)
14. New York Giants (4-11)
15. Detroit Lions (3-11-1)
16. Washington Redskins (3-12)
(x) clinched playoff berth
(y) clinched division title
(z) clinched first-round bye
(*) clinched home-field advantage
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