Friday, April 16, 2021

NFL playoff photo: AFC and NFC ranking update for week 16

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Week 16 has arrived with the end of the 2020 NFL regular season just around the corner. Every win means while trying to lock in the standings, division titles or places to advance to the playoffs, while every loss is devastating.

The playoff field expanded by one team each in the AFC and the NFC to a total of 14 made the end of season results more interesting. Based on the current standings, here’s an updated look at what each conference tournament would look like if the playoffs started now:

WEEK 16: Sporting News’ latest NFL power rankings

(Getty Images)

NFL Ranking for Week 16

AFC playoff photo

Who would be in it?

1. Kansas City Chiefs (13-1), champions, AFC West. The Chiefs roll with Patrick Mahomes, soon to be the two-time regular-season MVP, in their mighty Super Bowl 54 defense. They are just one victory away from the field advantage and lone bye in the playoffs of this year. They can also lock in the seed with a loss by the Bills or Steelers. Remaining calendar: against ATL, against LAC

2. Buffalo Bills (11-3), champions, AFC Est. The Bills took charge of the division title in Week 15 and can now focus on keeping the No.2 over the Steelers, whom they beat in Week 14. But they also need to keep winning to fail. not fall as low as No. 4. behind the Titans, to whom they lost. Remaining calendar: at NE, against MIA

3. Pittsburgh Steelers (11-3), first place, AFC North. The Steelers, losers of three consecutive games after an 11-0 start thanks to offensive struggles linked to Ben Roethlisberger’s fragile game, can now forget the No.1 seed. They must finish a game before the Bills to climb back to No.1. 2, but they have a key win against the Titans, who are right behind them. The Steelers can still bounce back to win the North with a win or a loss for the Browns in either of the last two games, which are tough. If the Steelers lose in Week 16 and the Browns win, Week 17 becomes a de facto divisional title game. Remaining calendar: vs IND, at CLE

4. Tennessee Titans (10-4), first place, AFC South. The Titans hold the South lead by a divisional record tiebreaker over the Colts, despite the same overall record. They can’t catch the Chiefs, but they have an outside shot at No.2, having beaten the Bills earlier in the season. The Titans would clinch at least one playoff berth with a win over the Packers or a loss to the Dolphins or Ravens. They can take down the South with a victory and a loss for the Colts. Remaining calendar: in GB, in HOU

5. Cleveland Browns (10-4), second place, AFC North. The Browns will lead the Steelers for the Division if they win and the Steelers lose the Colts in Week 16. The Browns can clinch at least their first wildcard spot since 2002 with a win over the Jets plus a loss by either. Colts, dolphins or crows. Remaining calendar: in NYJ, against PIT

6. Indianapolis Colts (10-4), second place, AFC South. The Colts, who parted ways with the Titans, need to stay tied with them going into Week 17 for a chance to steal the division. The Cols would win at least a prime spot with a victory over the Steelers and a loss to the Dolphins or Ravens. Remaining calendar: at PIT, against JAX

7. Miami Dolphins (10-5), second place, AFC Est. The Dolphins can’t clinch a playoff berth in Week 16 as they are virtually tied with the Ravens for last place in the AFC playoffs. They end with a difficult game against the Bills. They have no margin for error, as the Ravens have an incredibly easy length of the fence compared to what they have. Remaining calendar: at BUF

Who can do it?

8. Baltimore Ravens (9-5)

The Ravens close with winnable games against the Giants and Bengals as they try to catch the Dolphins, who so far hold a decisive game against them (6-4 v 6-5). If both teams won, the Dolphins would come in, holding a one-game advantage in the conference record. The Ravens hold the head-to-head tiebreakers over the Colts and Browns, but lost to the Titans.

Who is outside

9. Las Vegas Raiders (7-8)
10. New England Patriots (6-8)
11. Denver Broncos (5-9)
12. Los Angeles Chargers (5-9)
13. Houston Texans (4-10)
14. Cincinnati Bengals (3-10-1)
15. New York Jets (1-13)
16. Jacksonville Jaguars (1-13)

The Patriots became too incoherent to return to the wildcard race, and the Week 15 loss to the Dolphins officially knocked them out. The Broncos and Texans have been doing better than expected lately, but both teams are thinking more about next year. The Chargers can think of what could have been with all of their tight losses, despite two recent wins. The Bengals were over when Joe Burrow fell in Week 11. The Jaguars and Jets battle for the first pick in the draft and the order has finally changed with the Jaguars losing again and the Jets winning in Week 15. .

MORE: The NFL Extended Playoffs, Explained

(SN / Getty)

NFC playoff image

Who would be in it?

1. Green Bay Packers (11-3), champions, NFC North. The Packers are in very good shape to keep the field advantage and the only goodbye to the NFC playoffs. They lead the Saints by a full game and own the head-to-head tiebreaker. They also lead by the Seahawks by one game and own the conference record tie-breaker (9-2 to 7-3). The Packers would go No.1 with a win over the Titans and a loss for the Seahawks to the Rams. Remaining calendar: vs TEN, at CHI

2. New Orleans Saints (11-4), champions, NFC South. The Saints really hurt their chances of becoming No.1 by losing back-to-back games to the Eagles and Chiefs. Now the focus will be on trying to hold the Seahawks to No.2, armed with the conference record tiebreaker (8-2 to 7-3). They finally sealed off the division with their Christmas victory over the Vikings. Remaining calendar: to CAR

3. Seattle Seahawks (10-4), first place, NFC West. The Seahawks are coming off a big Week 15 as their win in Washington, coupled with the Rams’ shocking loss to the Jets, gave them a one-game lead in the quest for their Premier League title since 2016. The Seahawks need help to take the plunge. Packers and Saints, but they would win over the West and at least get that seed by beating the Rams at home on Sunday. Remaining calendar: vs LAR, in SF

4. Washington Soccer Team (6-8), First Place, NFC Est. Washington, despite losing to the Seahawks to stay below 0.500 in Week 15, is able to win the division in Week 16. A win over the Panthers while the Giants lose to the Ravens would. A loss opens the door for the Giants and the winner of Sunday’s Eagles-Cowboys game to steal the division in Week 17. Remaining calendar: vs CAR, at PHI

5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (10-5) second place, NFC South. The Buccaneers can no longer win the division after the Saints win to open Week 16. They are now locked in a wildcard bunk, however, with their resounding victory over the Lions. Remaining calendar: against. ATL

6. Los Angeles Rams (9-5), second place, NFC West. The Rams, one game behind, can’t clinch the division with a win over the Seahawks for a season sweep. They would still need a Seahawks win or loss in Week 17 to get there. But the Rams can grab a playoff berth by beating the Seahawks. They can also get at least one wild card slot with a bear loss or a Cardinals win. Remaining calendar: at SEA, vs ARI

7. Arizona Cardinals (8-7), third place, NFC West. The Cardinals lost control of the last wildcard spot with their home loss to the 49ers on Saturday. Now they have to beat the Rams in Week 17 and hope the Bears lose once again. Remaining calendar: at LAR

Who can do it?

8. Chicago Bear (7-7)

Bears can skip Cardinalas if they win. The Vikings ditched this mix and were eliminated with their Christmas loss to the Saints.

Who is probably missing?

10. Dallas Cowboys (5-9)
11. New York Giants (5-9)
14. Philadelphia Eagles (4-9-1)

Who is outside?

9. Minnesota Vikings (6-9)
12. Detroit Lions (5-9)
13. San Francisco 49ers (6-9)
15. Carolina Panthers (4-10)
16. Atlanta Falcons (4-10)

The Cowboys, Giants, and Eagles are still watching Washington. The Cowboys and Eagles, who face off in Week 16, must win and Washington loses twice. The Giants have to finish even with Washington to win the division as they hold the head-to-head tiebreaker.

The Lions and Falcons are here after both firing their coaches during the season. The 49ers joined them by elimination with back-to-back home losses to the Bills and Washington. The Panthers’ Week 15 loss in rebuilding to Green Bay was their eighth one-possession loss this season.



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