NFL Playoff Standings: Seattle Seahawks Beat Atlanta Falcons, Dallas Cowboys Beat Green Bay Packers

NFL playoff standings for 2016 just got a lot better for the Seattle Seahawks and Dallas Cowboys. The 2016 NFL Playoffs are still months away from taking place, but these early games are starting to show which teams are the real contenders to make it all the way to the Super Bowl. The Seahawks beat the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday (Oct. 16), improving to 4-1 on the season and moving up in the playoff standings. If the season were to end today, Seattle would now have the No. 3 seed in the NFC.

In the other big matchup from the NFC, the Cowboys beat the Green Bay Packers 30-16 in a very one-sided game. Ezekiel Elliott rushed for 157 yards for the Cowboys, averaging 5.6 yards per carry and proving to be unstoppable by the Packers defense. The win allowed the Cowboys to improve to 5-1 on the season and maintain the No. 2 seed in the updated NFC playoff standings.

As for the team still leading the way in the NFC, that honor belongs to the 5-0 Minnesota Vikings. The Vikings had a bye this week, allowing the team to remain undefeated for at least seven more days. The Philadelphia Eagles had been holding one of the Wild Card spots, but a Week 6 loss, coupled with a Washington Redskins victory, has caused the teams to swap places. Meanwhile, the Packers have fallen to the No. 6 slot in the NFC. At the bottom of the pack, the Carolina Panthers fell to an ugly 1-5 on the season after winning the conference in 2015.

Saints Beat Panthers
[Image by Sean Gardner/Getty Images]

The Pittsburgh Steelers and Oakland Raiders entered Week 6 atop the NFL playoff standings for the AFC. The teams each had 4-1 records and had an opportunity to further solidify early success. As the Week 6 scores show, it did not go according to plan. The Steelers lost to a Miami Dolphins that team that only had one win on the season, while the Raiders got blown out at home by the Kansas City Chiefs. The Raiders loss was the worst, as it came against an AFC West divisional foe.

The early upsets in the AFC have allowed the New England Patriots to once again move up the NFL playoff standings. When the dust had settled, the Patriots had beaten the Cincinnati Bengals 35-17 to move to 5-1 on the season and become the early No. 1 seed in the AFC. This is very familiar territory for the Patriots, showing that there hasn’t been any rust on Tom Brady since he returned from suspension. The team could be off to the races following this impressive victory at home.

Tom Brady And The Patriots
[Image by Billie Weiss/Getty Images]

The Denver Broncos had a shot to take over the No. 2 seed in the AFC, but the team lost to the San Diego Chargers, falling to 4-2 and remaining behind the Raiders in the division. Then there are the Buffalo Bills, a team that has struggled to find consistency this season but was able to destroy the San Francisco 49ers (45-16) on Sunday to improve to 4-2. No separation has been achieved at the top of the AFC playoff standings, showing that the rest of the 2016 NFL season is going to be an exciting one for fans to watch.

Full 2016 NFL Playoff Standings

AFC Playoff Standings

1 – New England Patriots (5-1)
2 – Oakland Raiders (4-2)
3 – Pittsburgh Steelers (4-2)
4 – Houston Texans (4-2)
5 – Denver Broncos (4-2)
6 – Buffalo Bills (4-2)

7 – Kansas City Chiefs (3-3)
8 – Baltimore Ravens (3-3)
9 – Tennessee Titans (3-3)
10 – Jacksonville Jaguars (2-3)
11 – Indianapolis Colts (2-4)
12 – Cincinnati Bengals (2-4)
13 – San Diego Chargers (2-4)
14 – Miami Dolphins (2-4)
15 – New York Jets (1-4)
16 – Cleveland Browns (0-6)

NFC Playoff Standings

1 – Minnesota Vikings (5-0)
2 – Dallas Cowboys (5-1)
3 – Seattle Seahawks (4-1)
4 – Atlanta Falcons (4-2)
5 – Washington Redskins (4-2)
6 – Green Bay Packers (3-2)

7 – Philadelphia Eagles (3-2)
8 – Los Angeles Rams (3-3)
9 – Detroit Lions (3-3)
10 – New York Giants (3-3)
11 – Arizona Cardinals (2-3)
12 – Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-3)
13 – New Orleans Saints (2-3)
14 – Chicago Bears (1-5)
15 – Carolina Panthers (1-5)
16 – San Francisco 49ers (1-5)

[Featured Image by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images]