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Breaking down the NFL standings heading toward Week 16

The NFL is almost finished with Week 15. We break down the standings as the league starts to look to Week 16.

Chester Rogers #80 of the Tennessee Titans fumbles a punt return under pressure from James Pierre #42 of the Pittsburgh Steelers in the third quarter of the game at Heinz Field on December 19, 2021 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images

The NFL won’t close out Week 15 until Tuesday night thanks to the Washington-Eagles and Seahawks-Rams movement to Tuesday. In the meantime we’ve still got a pretty good idea of how the NFL divisions are shaping up with the games played so far.

Sunday brought a mammoth upset as the Lions stunned the Cardinals at Ford Field. Detroit is not going anywhere this year, but that win is a big morale-builder. Meanwhile, Arizona could drop into a tie for first with the Rams after that loss if LA beats Seattle on Tuesday. Arizona holds the division record tiebreaker edge.

The Titans had a chance to clinch the AFC South coming into Week 15, but a Colts win meant that wasn’t happening. And then the Titans went and lost to Pittsburgh on Sunday to reinforce that.

The Bills beat the Panthers on Sunday and that coupled with the Patriots Saturday loss to the Colts moves Buffalo to within a game of New England in the AFC East. Those two face off in Week 16 with the Patriots in position to clinch the division with a win.

Over in the NFC East, the Cowboys thumped the Giants 21-6. They need some specific help to clinch the division, but even if they don’t this week, it will happen sooner than later.

Below are the eight divisional standings, along with some quick thoughts about each division after 15 weeks of football. The week is officially a wrap.

AFC East

  1. New England Patriots, 9-5
  2. Buffalo Bills, 8-6
  3. Miami Dolphins, 7-7
  4. New York Jets, 3-11 — eliminated

AFC North

  1. Cincinnati Bengals, 8-6
  2. Baltimore Ravens, 8-6
  3. Pittsburgh Steelers, 7-6-1
  4. Cleveland Browns, 7-7

AFC South

  1. Tennessee Titans, 9-5
  2. Indianapolis Colts, 8-6
  3. Houston Texans, 3-11 — eliminated
  4. Jacksonville Jaguars, 2-11 — eliminated

AFC West

  1. Kansas City Chiefs, 10-4
  2. Los Angeles Chargers, 8-6
  3. Las Vegas Raiders, 7-7
  4. Denver Broncos, 7-7

NFC East

  1. Dallas Cowboys, 10-4
  2. Philadelphia Eagles, 7-7
  3. Washington Football Team, 6-8
  4. New York Giants, 4-10

NFC North

  1. Green Bay Packers, 11-3
  2. Minnesota Vikings, 7-7
  3. Chicago Bears, 4-10 — eliminated
  4. Detroit Lions, 2-11-1 — eliminated

NFC South

  1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 10-3
  2. New Orleans Saints, 7-7
  3. Atlanta Falcons, 6-8
  4. Carolina Panthers, 5-9

NFC West

  1. Arizona Cardinals, 10-4
  2. Los Angeles Rams, 10-4
  3. San Francisco 49ers, 8-6
  4. Seattle Seahawks, 5-9