History has been made — and never a single group has clinched a playoff spot but.
For simply the third time since 1978, Week 14 has come and gone with no groups clinching a playoff spot by this date. That’s what we name parity, people.
In the AFC, the playoff image has cleared up and a few very acquainted faces relaxation atop the convention standings. The backside of the AFC (and to that finish, the NFC) have lots to be sorted out over the coming weeks.
In all, there are 14 groups throughout the league which are sitting at or inside a recreation of .500 in both path, and the ultimate 4 matchups of the 2021 common season may come right down to the all-new Week 18 matchups.
If the season had been to finish at present, although, this is how it could shake out:
2022 NFL MOCK DRAFT: Defense dominates Round 1
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NFL playoff image: AFC projections
- No. 1 seed: Kansas City Chiefs (10-4)
Games remaining: vs. Steelers, at Bengals, vs. Broncos
Kansas City’s defensive rebirth pushed them firmly in the combine as one among the AFC’s greatest getting into Week 15. If that is a daunting thought, think about that Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs offense has but to actually hit their stride as the common season nears its finish.
- No. 2 seed: Tennessee Titans (9-4)
Games remaining: at Steelers, vs. 49ers, vs. Dolphins, at Texans
How the Titans have overcome the accidents of Derrick Henry, AJ Brown and Julio Jones is admirable. It helps that the AFC South is one among the weaker divisions in soccer. It additionally helps that the Titans have a win over the Chiefs earlier in the season.
- No. 3 seed: New England Patriots (9-5)
Games remaining: vs. Bills, vs. Jaguars, at Dolphins
What rookie wall?
Mac Jones has solely gotten higher this season, and because of an especially late Week 14 Bye, he and the Patriots will relaxation earlier than they chase down the No. 1 seed. They have a reasonably powerful schedule remaining, although, so New England will completely must earn it.
- No. 4 seed: Baltimore Ravens (8-5)
Games remaining: vs. Packers, at Bengals, vs. Rams, vs. Steelers
The Ravens have gotten so far with a so-so season from Lamar Jackson and a myriad of accidents in the operating again room, and so they nonetheless must face two division opponents earlier than they will name themselves AFC North champs. Not a cakewalk by any stretch, and so they have the hardest remaining schedule of any of the division leaders.
- No. 5 seed: Indianapolis Colts (8-6)
Games remaining: vs. Patriots, at Cardinals, vs. Raiders, at Jaguars
MVP candidate Jonathan Taylor has proven zero indicators of slowing down in 2021, and the Bye Week ought to actually assist clean up his legs. Taylor’s final recreation was a doozy: He ran for 143 yards and two touchdowns in a dominant efficiency over the Texans.
- No. 6 seed: Los Angeles Chargers (8-6)
Games remaining: at Texans, vs. Broncos, at Raiders
The Chargers misplaced a huge “Thursday Night Football” matchup to the Chiefs and it may play a pivotal position to deciding seeding.
- No. 7 seed: Buffalo Bills (7-6)
Games remaining: vs. Panthers, at Patriots, vs. Falcons, vs. Jets
It can be unfair to say the Bills are having a disappointing season, contemplating they’re nonetheless in the AFC East hunt. That hunt could also be coming to an finish, although, until the Patriots come again right down to Earth. Buffalo has traded wins and losses heading again to Oct. 10 and at the moment are on a two-game dropping streak (4-5 in that span).
NFL PICKS WEEK 15: Against the unfold | Straight up
NFL playoff image: NFC projections
- No. 1 seed: Green Bay Packers (10-3)
Games remaining: at Ravens, vs. Browns, vs. Vikings, at Lions
The Packers profit from a lighter schedule, ending with three straight house video games. Aaron Rodgers’ toe won’t be doing too nicely, however Green Bay’s Super Bowl hopes are doing simply wonderful.
- No. 2 seed: Tampa Bay Buccaneers (10-3)
Games remaining: vs. Saints, at Panthers, at Jets, vs. Panthers
The Buccaneers can clinch a playoff berth with a win over the Saints, placing Tom Brady and the TB offense in prime place to make one other dramatic Super Bowl run this yr. It’s not over but, although, as they’re tied for the greatest file in the NFL. Their extraordinarily straightforward schedule the the rest of the season ought to assist issues.
- No. 3 seed: Arizona Cardinals (10-3)
Games remaining: at Lions, vs. Colts, at Cowboys, vs. Seahawks
Even with a loss to the Rams, the Cardinals are nonetheless in the driver’s seat of the NFC West, and so they additionally nonetheless have a shot No. 1 seed in the convention — but it surely’s not unfair to query simply how playoff-ready the group is. The subsequent month will reply that query, with video games towards playoff hopefuls, a division rival and the scrappy Lions.
- No. 4 seed: Dallas Cowboys (9-4)
Games remaining: at Giants, vs. Washington, vs. Cardinals, at Eagles
The Cowboys face NFC East rivals three out of their remaining 4 video games in 2021, with their solely different opponent the powerful Cardinals. While the division is weaker this yr, bizarre issues occur in the NFC East, and with Dak Prescott not fairly himself not too long ago, the Super Bowl hype has died down only a tad.
- No. 5 seed: Los Angeles Rams (9-4)
Games remaining: vs. Seahawks, at Vikings, at Ravens, vs. 49ers
The Rams picked up a large, gutsy win over the Cardinals in Week 14, maintaining them in the center of the NFC West race. What’s arguably extra encouraging for Los Angeles is that quarterback Matthew Stafford appeared like himself in the matchup, following a tough stretch of video games.
- No. 6 seed: San Francisco 49ers (7-6)
Games remaining: vs. Falcons, at Titans, vs. Texans, at Rams
San Francisco has come alive after a tough 2-4 begin to their season and untimely job safety questions surrounding head coach Kyle Shanahan. The 49ers’ path to the playoffs is not fully straightforward, although: They play video games towards the Rams and Titans, but in addition play simpler opponents like the Falcons and Texans.
- No. 7 seed: Washington Football Team (7-6)
Games remaining: at Eagles, at Cowboys, vs. Eagles, at Giants
Washington has 4 video games towards NFC East opponents to shut out the season, and three are on the highway. They’ll hope to have quarterback Taylor Heinicke again for the stretch run of the season.
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Current NFL playoff image
Here’s how the standings in each conferences break down getting into Week 15, together with the different groups which are nonetheless in the playoff hunt.
In the hunt: Cleveland Browns (7-6), Cincinnati Bengals (7-6), Denver Broncos (7-6), Pittsburgh Steelers (6-6-1), Las Vegas Raiders (6-7), Miami Dolphins (6-7)
In the hunt: (*15*) Vikings (6-7), Philadelphia Eagles (6-7), Atlanta Falcons (6-7), New Orleans Saints (6-7)