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How the NFL playoff picture looks coming out of Week 16

The NFL is wrapping up Week 16, and a few teams are standing out in the playoff picture heading into Week 17.

Baltimore Ravens v Jacksonville Jaguars Photo by Courtney Culbreath/Getty Images

The NFL is working its way through the holiday season with Week 16 wrapping up on Christmas. The week brings four days of football across Thursday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday, and all four days feature significant playoff implications.

The week got going on Thursday with the Rams beating the Saints. LA improved to 8-7 and firmed up their wild card position, while New Orleans dropped to 7-8 and faces a must-win situation in Week 17 when they travel to face the NFC South-leading Bucs.

Saturday brought a pair of AFC matchups. Mason Rudolph and the Steelers thumped the Bengals as Jake Browning showed significant regression. Both teams are now 8-7 but Pittsburgh secured the head-to-head sweep for tiebreaker purposes. The Bills closed the day with a last-second win over the Chargers. Buffalo moved into the second wild card berth pending Sunday’s results while LA was eliminated from playoff contention.

We’ve had a fun Sunday slate, but one that didn’t result in much change to the playoff bracket. The Lions beat the Vikings to clinch the NFC North title. The Browns thumped the Texans and can punch their playoff ticket next week. The Seahawks came from behind to beat the Titans with a touchdown in the final minute. The Falcons climbed back into the NFC South race, beating the Colts to move into a tie with the Saints and potentially the Bucs if they lose in the afternoon window.

4 p.m. window: The Bucs thumped the Jaguars to take a full game lead in the NFC South. The Jaguars drop into a three-way tie for first in the AFC South. Jacksonville holds the head-to-head tiebreaker. The Dolphins beat the Cowboys on a field goal as time expired, which dropped the Cowboys into second place in the NFC East.

Week 16 is going to be a busy one with six different clinching scenarios in play. It will also set up a huge Week 17. The Lions and Cowboys will face off on Saturday, the Saints and Bucs will face off with the NFC South likely on the line, and the Dolphins and Ravens will meet in Baltimore with No. 1 seed potentially on the line.

Here’s a look at what the playoff picture looks like as the NFL works its way through Week 16.

Sunday night update: The New England Patriots upset the Denver Broncos on Sunday Night Football which effectively eliminates the Broncos from playoff contention. According to NBC, the Broncos now have a 4% chance to make the AFC playoffs.

Christmas Day update: The Raiders upset the Chiefs, preventing Kansas City from clinching the AFC West. The Eagles held off the Giants to take a one-game lead in the NFC East. They hold the strength of victory tiebreaker over the Lions.

Christmas night update: The Baltimore Ravens soared past the San Francisco 49ers on MNF to bolster their chances at the No. 1 seed. The Niners still hold onto the top seed in the NFC, but they lost their one-game lead.

AFC playoff picture

1. Baltimore Ravens, 12-3 — clinched playoff berth
2. Miami Dolphins, 11-4 — clinched playoff berth
3. Kansas City Chiefs, 9-6
4. Jacksonville Jaguars, 8-7

5. Cleveland Browns, 10-5
6. Buffalo Bills, 9-6
7. Indianapolis Colts, 8-7

8. Houston Texans, 8-7
9. Pittsburgh Steelers, 8-7
10. Cincinnati Bengals, 8-7
11. Las Vegas Raiders, 7-8
12. Denver Broncos, 7-8
13. New York Jets, 6-9 — eliminated
14. Los Angeles Chargers, 5-10 — eliminated
15. Tennessee Titans, 5-10 — eliminated
16. New England Patriots, 4-11 — eliminated

NFC playoff picture

1. San Francisco 49ers, 11-4 — clinched NFC West
2. Philadelphia Eagles, 11-4 — clinched playoff berth
3. Detroit Lions, 11-4 — clinched NFC North
4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 8-7

5. Dallas Cowboys, 10-5 — clinched playoff berth
6. Los Angeles Rams, 8-7
7. Seattle Seahawks, 8-7

8. Minnesota Vikings, 7-8
9. Atlanta Falcons, 7-8
10. New Orleans Saints, 7-8
11. Green Bay Packers, 7-8
12. Chicago Bears, 6-9
13. New York Giants, 5-10 — eliminated
14. Washington Commanders, 4-11 — eliminated
15. Arizona Cardinals, 3-12 — eliminated
16. Carolina Panthers, 2-13 — eliminated