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How the NFL playoff picture looks heading into Week 16

The NFL is wrapping up Week 15, and a few teams are standing out in the playoff picture heading into Week 16.

Josh Reynolds #8 of the Detroit Lions makes the catch for a receiving touchdown in the second quarter against Byron Murphy Jr. #7 of the Arizona Cardinals at Ford Field on December 19, 2021 in Detroit, Michigan. Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images

The NFL playoffs are a month away, and the playoff picture has devolved into chaos. Week 15 opened with a fun Chiefs-Chargers overtime game that saw the Chiefs get the overtime road win. Not exactly shocking. Things took a turn on Saturday when the Colts beat the Patriots in fairly impressive fashion.

Then we arrived at Sunday.

The 1 p.m. slate was not pretty and it brought us another mammoth upset. The 1-11-1 Lions beat the 10-3 Cardinals in stunning dominant fashion. Dan Campbell has done great work keeping his Lions squad fired up in most games, and they snagged their second victory in an otherwise lost season. Arizona will remain in first place in the NFC West, but it could come down to tiebreakers pending the outcome of Tuesday’s Seahawks-Rams game.

The early slate also saw the Cowboys get a divisional win over the Giants. They can clinch a playoff berth with a Saints or 49ers loss. The Titans had a rough week in their attempts to improve their playoff position. The Colts won on Saturday and Tennessee lost on Sunday. The Titans remain a game up on Indianapolis and holding the tiebreaker, but their chances at the No. 1 seed take a hit.

4:05/4:25 p.m. update: The 49ers beat the Falcons to improve to 8-6. The Bengals edged out the Broncos and the Packers beat the Ravens when they stopped them on a two-point attempt to close the game. Cincinnati moves into first place in the AFC North while Baltimore drops to eighth place in the overall AFC standings.

SNF update: The Saints upset the Bucs to improve to 7-7 and into the final wild card berth.

Monday results: The Raiders beat the Browns in the Monday opener on a last second field goal. Four teams are tied at 7-7, a game back of the Colts, Chargers, and Bills. The Vikings beat the Bears and now hold the last wild card berth heading into Tuesday.

Tuesday results: The Rams beat the Seahawks 20-10 to improve to 10-4 and into a tie for first in the NFC West. The Eagles beat Washington 27-17 to move into eighth place in the overall NFC standings.

Here’s a look at what the playoff picture looks like heading into Week 16.

AFC playoff picture

1. Kansas City Chiefs, 10-4
2. New England Patriots, 9-5
3. Tennessee Titans, 9-5
4. Cincinnati Bengals, 8-6

5. Indianapolis Colts, 8-6
6. Los Angeles Chargers, 8-6
7. Buffalo Bills, 8-6

Outside looking in: Baltimore Ravens (8-6), Pittsburgh Steelers (7-6-1), Las Vegas Raiders (7-7), Miami Dolphins (7-7), Cleveland Browns (7-7), Denver Broncos (7-7)

NFC playoff picture

1. Green Bay Packers, 11-3
2. Dallas Cowboys, 10-4
3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 10-4
4. Arizona Cardinals, 10-4

5. Los Angeles Rams, 10-4
6. San Francisco 49ers, 8-6
7. Minnesota Vikings, 7-7

Outside looking in: Philadelphia Eagles (7-7), New Orleans Saints (7-7), Washington Football Team (6-8), Atlanta Falcons (6-8), Seattle Seahawks (5-9), Carolina Panthers (5-9)