NFL Playoff Standings 2016: Pittsburgh Steelers Back In First Place, Detroit Lions Move Up [Breaking]

NFL playoff standings for both conferences shifted this weekend. The race to the NFL postseason got very competitive in the AFC, as the Pittsburgh Steelers took back first place in the AFC North after the New England Patriots beat up on the Baltimore Ravens. The win by the Patriots keeps them as the No. 1 seed in the AFC, while the Ravens have fallen completely out of the playoff picture.

In the updated NFL standings, the Steelers (8-5) now have a one-game lead over the Ravens (7-6) for first place in the AFC North. The Steelers now reside as the No. 3 in the AFC, just ahead of the No. 4 seeded Houston Texans (7-6). Houston held on to the division lead in the AFC South, as the Indianapolis Colts (6-7) failed to take advantage of an opportunity. The Texans already beat the Colts twice this season, so the team holds the head-to-head tiebreaker with just three weeks left in the regular season.

The two AFC Wild Card teams are from the West, with the Oakland Raiders (10-3) and Denver Broncos (8-5) holding down the spots. The Miami Dolphins (8-5) are just outside of the NFL playoff standings, with a chance to move up during an important game on the Week 15 NFL schedule. The Baltimore Ravens fell all the way to eighth place in the AFC, putting the team in a very difficult position. Now the Ravens have to win a head-to-head game against the Steelers in Week 16 (Christmas Day) to keep the playoff hopes alive.

Patriots Beat Ravens
[Image by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images]

In the NFC, the Dallas Cowboys (11-2) got beat again by the New York Giants (9-4), but still remained as the No. 1 overall seed. The Cowboys already clinched a spot in the 2017 NFL Playoffs and are now just trying to secure a first-round bye. The Seattle Seahawks (8-4-1) also lost to the Green Bay Packers (7-6), knocking the team out of the No. 2 seed. The latest NFL playoff standings have the Detroit Lions (9-4) as the new No. 2 seed in the NFC. That puts the Lions in possession of a first-round bye with just three games left to play.

The Atlanta Falcons (8-5) held on to first place in the NFC South, with the second place Tampa Bay Buccaneers (8-5) only there due to the current tiebreakers. The Buccaneers do hold the second Wild Card spot in the conference, just behind the Giants with that first Wild Card spot. Three teams are trying to chase them down still and they are the Washington Redskins (7-5-1), Minnesota Vikings (7-6), and Green Bay Packers (7-6). A lot of head-to-head games in the coming weeks will be huge in deciding which teams hold the tiebreakers.

Tom Brady Leading Patriots
[Image by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images]

The Dallas Cowboys and New England Patriots are in complete control of their respective conferences with just three weeks left in the regular season. With one more victory, the Cowboys and Patriots each clinch first-round byes, guaranteeing a week off during Wild Card Weekend. The rest of the field still continues to battle for position, including the Kansas City Chiefs and Oakland Raiders as they fight for first place in the AFC West. In regard to the Wild Card spots, it appears that the NFL playoff standings will come down to the final games in Week 17 to decide the postseason field.

Full 2016 NFL Playoff Standings

AFC Playoff Standings

1 – New England Patriots (11-2)
2 – Kansas City Chiefs (10-3)
3 – Pittsburgh Steelers (8-5)
4 – Houston Texans (7-6)
5 – Oakland Raiders (10-3)
6 – Denver Broncos (8-5)

7 – Miami Dolphins (8-5)
8 – Baltimore Ravens (7-6)
9 – Tennessee Titans (7-6)
10 – Indianapolis Colts (6-7)
11 – Buffalo Bills (6-7)
12 – Cincinnati Bengals (5-7-1)
13 – San Diego Chargers (5-8)
14 – New York Jets (4-9)
15 – Jacksonville Jaguars (2-11)
16 – Cleveland Browns (0-13)

NFC Playoff Standings

1 – Dallas Cowboys (11-2)
2 – Detroit Lions (9-4)
3 – Seattle Seahawks (8-4-1)
4 – Atlanta Falcons (8-5)
5 – New York Giants (9-4)
6 – Tampa Bay Buccaneers (8-5)

7 – Washington Redskins (7-5-1)
8 – Minnesota Vikings (7-6)
9 – Green Bay Packers (7-6)
10 – Arizona Cardinals (5-7-1)
11 – New Orleans Saints (5-8)
12 – Carolina Panthers (5-8)
13 – Philadelphia Eagles (5-8)
14 – Los Angeles Rams (4-9)
15 – Chicago Bears (3-10)
16 – San Francisco 49ers (1-12)

[Featured Image by Rob Carr/Getty Images]