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NFL playoff picture: Projecting the seeds & matchups for AFC, NFC brackets for Week 15

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 can be sitting at or inside a recreation of .500 in both course, and the ultimate 4 matchups of the 2021 common season may come all the way down to the all-new Week 18 matchups.

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If the season had been to finish in the present day, although, here is how it might shake out:

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NFL playoff image: AFC projections

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  • No. 1 seed: New England Patriots (9-4)

Games remaining: at Colts, vs. Bills, vs. Jaguars, at Dolphins

What rookie wall? 

Mac Jones has solely gotten higher this season, and due to a particularly 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. 2 seed: Tennessee Titans (9-4)

Games remaining: at Steelers, vs. 49ers, vs. Dolphins, at Texans

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How the Titans have overcome the accidents of Derrick Henry, AJ Brown and Julio Jones is admirable. It helps that the AFC South is considered one of the weaker divisions in soccer. It additionally helps that the Titans have a win over the Chiefs earlier in the season.

  • ​No. 3 seed: Kansas City Chiefs (9-4)

Games remaining: at Chargers, vs. Steelers, at Bengals, vs. Broncos

Kansas City’s defensive rebirth pushed them firmly in the combine as considered one of the AFC’s finest 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. 4 seed: Baltimore Ravens (8-5)

Games remaining: vs. Packers, at Bengals, vs. Rams, vs. Steelers

The Ravens have gotten thus far with a so-so season from Lamar Jackson and a myriad of accidents in the working 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: Los Angeles Chargers (8-5)

Games remaining: vs. Chiefs, at Texans, vs. Broncos, at Raiders

The Chargers and Chiefs face off in an enormous “Thursday Night Football” matchup, and with Los Angeles sitting a recreation behind the Chiefs in the division, it may play a pivotal position to deciding seeding. 

  • No. 6 seed: Indianapolis Colts (7-6)

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. 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, except the Patriots come again all the way down to Earth. Buffalo has traded wins and losses heading again to Oct. 10 and are actually on a two-game dropping streak (4-5 in that span). 

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NFL playoff image: NFC projections

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  • 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 may not be doing too properly, however Green Bay’s Super Bowl hopes are doing simply advantageous.

  • 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 finest report in the NFL. Their extraordinarily simple 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 — nevertheless it’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 an enormous, gutsy win over the Cardinals in Week 14, protecting 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 solely simple, 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 street. 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 can be nonetheless in the playoff hunt. 

Seed
Team
Record
Clinched
1.
New England Patriots
9-4
N/a
2.
Tennessee Titans
9-4
N/a
3.
Kansas City Chiefs
9-4
N/a
4.
Baltimore Ravens
8-5
N/a
5.
Los Angeles Chargers
8-5
N/a
6.
Indianapolis Colts
7-6
N/a
7.
Buffalo Bills
7-6
N/a

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)

Seed
Team
Record
Clinched
1.
Green Bay Packers
10-3
N/a
2.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
10-3
N/a
3.
Arizona Cardinals
10-3
N/a
4.
Dallas Cowboys
9-4
N/a
5.
Los Angeles Rams
9-4
N/a
6.
San Francisco 49ers
7-6
N/a
7.
Washington Football Team
6-7
N/a

In the hunt: (*15*) Vikings (6-7), Philadelphia Eagles (6-7), Atlanta Falcons (6-7), New Orleans Saints (6-7)

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