NFL playoff standings for 2016 got even better for the Seattle Seahawks in Week 14. The new NFL playoff standings have the Seahawks as the No. 5 seed in the NFC, with the team taking over for the Minnesota Vikings as the top wild card team in the conference. The Seahawks destroyed the Ravens on Sunday, December 13, sending a statement to the rest of the NFL. Russell Wilson lead the Seahawks to a 35-6 victory without Marshawn Lynch or Thomas Rawls in the backfield.
Forced to throw the ball a lot after Rawls got injured in the first quarter, Russell Wilson had one of his best games in the NFL. Wilson completed 23-of-32 passes for 292 yards and five touchdowns. Doug Baldwin caught three touchdown passes, and Tyler Lockett caught two of his own to help lead the team. The defense also stepped up in a big way once again, showing how far the Seattle Seahawks have come since the bye week.
In the updated 2016 NFL playoff standings, the 8-5 Seattle Seahawks hold the first NFC wild card spot, and the 8-5 Minnesota Vikings are the sixth seed. The Seahawks own the head-to-head tiebreaker in that scenario. The Carolina Panthers easily improved to 13-0 by crushing the Atlanta Falcons, keeping the team well in front as the top seed. The Panthers are followed by the 11-2 Arizona Cardinals at No. 2, the 8-4 Green Bay Packers at No. 3, and the 6-7 Washington Redskins as the No. 4 team.
A big game took place in the AFC on Sunday, as the top-seeded Cincinnati Bengals lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Bengals may have also lost quarterback Andy Dalton for a while, putting the team in a very difficult position down the stretch. The Bengals fell to 10-3 and dropped to the No. 3 seed in the AFC. The Steelers improved to 8-5 with the win, gaining a very important win for several tie-breaking scenarios that could come up soon.
The NFL playoff standings in the AFC just got a bit more exciting, as well. The two AFC wild card leaders also won, with the Kansas City Chiefs beating the San Diego Chargers and the New York Jets beating the Tennessee Titans. Both teams improved to 8-5 on the season, keeping the Steelers as the No. 7 team in the AFC for the time being. The team still needs some help to get into the top six seeds, but also has a chance to catch the hobbled Bengals in the AFC North.
The 6-7 Tampa Bay Buccaneers and 6-7 Atlanta Falcons have fallen out of contention in the updated NFL playoff standings. The teams are still the seventh and eighth place teams in the NFC, but are two full games behind the Seahawks and Vikings, and also lose out in current tie-breakers. This indicates the field for the NFC Playoffs could be very close to being finalized (with the exception of the NFC East champion).
The seeing for the 2016 AFC Playoffs is very much undecided, especially after the Cincinnati Bengals lost on Sunday. The Denver Broncos and New England Patriots have an opportunity to pull ahead with victories later in the day, though. The three-way tie for the two AFC wild card spots could become a primary story in Week 15. Those games include New York Jets vs. Dallas Cowboys, Denver Broncos vs. Pittsburgh Steelers, and Kansas City Chiefs vs. Baltimore Ravens. The results of those three games could shake up the 2016 NFL playoff standings once again.
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