NFL Playoff Picture: Six Teams Qualify For Postseason

There are just two weeks left now in the NFL regular season but 24 teams are still in contention to make the postseason. This is tied for the second-most number of teams to be in contention with two weeks left on the schedule since 1970. The only time there has been a higher number was in 2004 when there were 26 teams still alive. 

The eight teams which have been eliminated thus far are the New England Patriots, New York Giants, New York Jets, Washington Commanders, Tennessee Titans, Arizona Cardinals, Carolina Panthers and San Diego Chargers.

On the other side of the table, six teams which have already booked their spot in the playoffs. Of them only two have clinched their division: the San Francisco 49ers and Detroit Lions in the NFC West and North respectively. The other four teams to have qualified are the Dallas Cowboys, Baltimore Ravens, Miami Dolphins and Philadelphia Eagles.

Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry drives down the field during his NFL.
IMAGO / ZUMA Wire

AFC Playoff Picture

The Ravens will have a chance to take the No. 1 seed in the AFC on Sunday with a win over the Miami Dolphins. After pulling off a huge Week 16 win over the 49ers, the Ravens (12-3) only need to go through the Dolphins and Steelers to reserve home field advantage.

The Dolphins (11-4) have already clinched a playoff berth, but need one more victory to win their division. The Bills (9-6) have an outside chance to steal the AFC East if Miami loses both their remaining games and they win out. While unlikely, if Miami loses to Baltimore this week and the Bills beat the Patriots, then the two teams will be playing for the AFC East title in Week 18.

The Kansas City Chiefs (9-6) seemed to be cruising to a division title but have lost three of their last four games. They are still two games up in the AFC West however and will look to lock up the division with a win against the Bengals or Chargers. It should be noted that Kansas City is out of contention for the AFC top spot, which means they will be playing on Wild Card weekend.

The AFC South is the tightest division in the league at the moment with three teams tied at 8-7. Jacksonville currently holds the playoff spot and several key tiebreakers over the other two teams. They swept the Colts this season and they’re guaranteed to finish with a better division record than the Texans if they can beat the Titans in Week 18. 

The Wild Card sports are currently in the hands of the Buffalo Bills (9-6), Cleveland Browns (10-5) and Indianapolis Colts (8-7). The Texans, Bengals, Steelers, Raiders andΒ  Broncos are still in the race.

NFC Playoff Picture

Even with the Week 16 loss, the 49ers (11-4) are still in the best position to win the NFC. San Francisco has the head-to-head edge over the Eagles and the easiest schedule for the next two weeks. Also, if they end up in a tiebreaker with the Lions, they hold the conference record edge.

The Eagles (11-4) haven’t been at their best as of late but are still in a good position to win the NFC East. The Cowboys (10-5) are only 1 game behind but will have a hard time catching up with the tiebreaker going the Eagles way.

The Lions (11-4) are officially into the playoffs, taking the NFC North with their win over the Vikings on Sunday. This means Detroit will host its first NFL playoff game in 30 years! This week the Lions will meet the Cowboys which should be very interesting with both teams looking to jockey for position in the NFC.

If the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (8-7) can beat the Saints in Week 17, then they will clinch the division title. The Wild Card teams currently in are the Cowboys, Seahawks and Rams. Still in the running are the Packers, Vikings, Saints, Falcons and Bears.

The Seahawks can guarantee a Wild Card spot by winning out their remaining two games against the Steelers and Cardinals. The Rams will need to win one out of their remaining two games.