NFL Playoff Picture 2016: Here Is Who Is In And Here Is Who Is Out After Week 15

There is still one game left to play in Week 15 of the 2015 NFL regular season, but it will be of no consequence to the postseason. The 2016 NFL Playoff picture is one that is already halfway completed with six of the 12 teams in, but the remaining spots are still wide open, and there are a number of teams still vying for them. Let’s see who is in the playoffs so far and who is out.

On Monday Night Football, the New Orleans Saints will take on the Detroit Lions in what could be a very entertaining game. One thing of note, though, is that both teams have been officially eliminated from playoff contention, so now they’re playing for pride and draft position.

Sunday night’s game saw the Arizona Cardinals lock up the NFC West by blowing out the Philadelphia Eagles 40-17. As AZ Central reported, it was the first division title for the Cardinals since 2009 and the 12 victories a franchise record for a single season.

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The Carolina Panthers had another last-second victory to remain unbeaten at 14-0 and have already clinched a first-round bye. The Green Bay Packers and Seattle Seahawks have also locked up playoff spots, which leaves only two open in the NFC.

After Week 15, the NFC playoff picture is as follows.

  1. Carolina Panthers (14-0) – Clinched first-round bye
  2. Arizona Cardinals (12-2) – Clinched NFC West
  3. Green Bay Packers (10-4) – Clinched playoff spot
  4. Washington Redkins (7-7)
  5. Seattle Seahawks (9-5) – Clinched playoff spot
  6. Minnesota Vikings (9-5)
  7. Atlanta Falcons (7-7) – Still in the hunt
  8. Philadelphia Eagles (6-8) – Still in the hunt
  9. New York Giants (6-8) – Still in the hunt

Here are the teams that have been eliminated from the playoffs in the NFC.

  • St. Louis Rams
  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  • New Orleans Saints
  • Chicago Bears
  • Detroit Lions
  • San Francisco 49ers
  • Dallas Cowboys

Things are a bit more wide open in the AFC, as there are only two playoff spots that have been clinched so far and four more remaining open. Those four spots also have seven teams chasing them, so three will end up being left out in the cold.

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The New England Patriots are definitely in with a record of 12-2, and they’ve already won the AFC East. As USA Today reported, the Pats also secured a first-round bye in the playoffs due to the Denver Broncos’ loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers over the weekend.

Only one other team in the AFC has secured a playoff spot and that’s the Cincinnati Bengals, who are in for a fifth straight year. They have still not secured the AFC North and have a big Monday night game against the Denver Broncos next week, which could do a lot for their seeding.

After Week 15, the NFC playoff picture is as follows.

  1. New England Patriots (12-2) – Clinched first-round bye
  2. Cincinnati Bengals (11-3) – Clinched playoff spot
  3. Denver Broncos (10-4)
  4. Houston Texans (7-7)
  5. Kansas City Chiefs (9-5)
  6. Pittsburgh Steelers (9-5)
  7. New York Jets (9-5) – Still in the hunt
  8. Indianapolis Colts (6-8) – Still in the hunt
  9. Jacksonville Jaguars (5-9) – Still in the hunt

Here are the teams that have been eliminated from the playoffs in the NFC.

  • Oakland Raiders
  • Buffalo Bills
  • Miami Dolphins
  • Baltimore Ravens
  • San Diego Chargers
  • Cleveland Browns
  • Tennessee Titans

A lot of teams that were expected to be Super Bowl contenders this season have already been eliminated from playoff contention with two weeks to go. Twelve teams are still vying for the six remaining playoff spots between the AFC and NFC, so the final two weeks are very important.

The 2016 NFL Playoff picture isn’t the clearest thing in the world right now, but one or two games could straighten out things a lot. Much more will be known by the end of Week 16, and then it will be getting into “win or go home” time for many teams.

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