Week 15 in the NFL certainly had drama. Aaron Rodgers returned and threw three touchdowns and three interceptions while the Green Bay Packers almost pulled out a victory on the road. There was the catch/touchdown that wasn’t at the end of the New England Patriots and Pittsburgh Steelers game which, while the officials got it correct, proved once again that the definition of a “catch” needs to be changed and also that the Patriots handle craziness/crisis moments much better than do the Steelers.
There was Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr fumbling the ball through the side of the end zone, which gave possession to the Dallas Cowboys (another rule that absolutely needs to be changed). In that same game fans saw an official use an index card to determine if Dallas had made a first down. Monday night’s game between the Atlanta Falcons and Tampa Bay Buccaneers came down to a 54-yard field goal attempt as time expired. With only two weeks left in the regular season, Week 16 will probably have its fair share drama too. Here are the NFL Week 16 playoff scenarios along with the current playoff standings.
NFL Week 16 Playoff Scenarios
New England Patriots
- With their win over the Steelers the Pats clinched the AFC East yet again.
- Patriots clinch home-field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs with a win AND Steelers loss AND Jacksonville Jaguars loss or tie
- Patriots clinch a first-round bye with a win AND Steelers loss OR Patriots win AND Jaguars loss or tie OR Patriots tie AND Jaguars loss
- Steelers clinch a first-round bye with a win AND Jaguars loss or tie OR Steelers tie AND Jaguars loss
- Jaguars clinch the AFC South with a win or tie OR Tennessee Titans loss or tie
Kansas City Chiefs
- Kansas City Chiefs clinch AFC West title with a win OR Los Angeles Chargers loss OR Chiefs tie AND Chargers tie
The Buffalo Bills are currently the sixth seed, but do not have any clinching scenarios in Week 16. The Ravens, Chargers, Raiders and Miami Dolphins are all still alive to make the playoffs.
- The Philadelphia Eagles have clinched the NFC East and a first-round bye.
- The Eagles clinch home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs with a win OR Minnesota Vikings loss OR Eagles Tie AND Vikings tie
- The Vikings clinch a first-round bye with a win AND Carolina Panthers loss or tie OR Vikings tie AND Panthers loss AND New Orleans Saints loss or tie AND Los Angeles Rams loss or tie
Los Angeles Rams
- The Rams clinch the NFC West division with a win or tie OR Seattle Seahawks loss or tie
- The Rams clinch a playoff berth with a Detroit Lions loss or tie AND Panthers loss AND Falcons loss
New Orleans Saints
- The Saints clinch the NFC South with a win AND Panthers loss
- The Saints clinch a playoff berth with a win or tie OR Cowboys vs. Seahawks game ends in a tie
- The Panthers clinch a playoff berth with a win or tie OR Cowboys vs. Seahawks game ends in a tie
- The Falcons clinch a playoff berth with a win OR Falcons tie AND Cowboys vs. Seahawks game ends in a tie AND Lions loss or tie
The Lions, Seahawks and Cowboys are all still alive in the NFC