NFL playoff picture: Updated AFC, NFC standings for Week 15

Week 15 in the NFL has begun and with fewer than three weeks remaining in the 2019 regular season, the NFL playoff picture is almost complete based on the current AFC and NFC standings.

Here is an updated look at what each conference field would look like now, what teams are still in contention and what teams should already be thinking about the offseason:

MORE: Clinching scenarios for Week 15

NFL standings for Week 15

Lamar Jackson

AFC playoff picture

Who would be in?

1. Ravens, champions, AFC North (12-2) — The Ravens had little trouble against the Jets in a division-clinching win to open Week 15. They are looking great to secure the top seed and home-field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs; they’re now a game and a half plus a head-to-head to tiebreaker up on the Patriots with just two more games to go. Who’s left to play: at Browns, vs. Steelers

2. Patriots, first place, AFC East (10-3) — The Patriots are here after losing to the Ravens, Texans and Chiefs, the latter at home in Week 14. The good news is they have a very easy schedule remaining with which to at least secure this spot and a first-round bye in the playoffs, and stay ahead of the Bills, their Week 16 opponent at home, in the division. Who’s left to play: at Bengals, vs. Bills, vs. Dolphins

3. Chiefs, champions, AFC West (9-4) — The Chiefs got a huge road win over the Patriots in Week 14 that locked down the division title with the Raiders losing. They put pressure on the Patriots for No. 2 and jumped the Texans, to whom they lost, into becoming a stronger No. 3 seed. Who’s left to play: vs. Broncos, at Bears, vs. Chargers

4. Texans, first place, AFC South (8-5) —The Texans lost ground to the Ravens, to whom they lost, and the Chiefs, a team they beat, with a shocking home loss to the Broncos in Week 14. The division race against the Titans got tighter, too; Houston is now up by only the division-record tiebreaker going into a Week 15 matchup at Tennessee. The Texans are fortunate the Colts also lost Week 14. Who’s left to play: at Titans, at Buccaneers, vs. Titans

5. Bills, second place, AFC East (9-4) — The Bills cooled off with their home loss to the Ravens in Week 14, but they are still well-positioned to earn a wild-card spot, either as a No.5 or a No. 6. They get the team directly behind them in Week 15, another tough AFC North foe. Who’s left to play: at Steelers, at Patriots, vs. Jets

6. Steelers, second place, AFC North (8-5) —The Steelers stayed here after taking care of the lowly Cardinals on the road in Week 14. They hold the tiebreaker over the Titans for the second wild card because of a better conference record. They can move up to No. 5 in Week 15. Who’s left to play: vs. Bills, at Jets, at Ravens

Who can get there?

7. Titans (8-5); 8. Browns (6-7); 9. Raiders (6-7); 10. Colts (6-7); 11. Broncos (5-8)

The Titans jumped ahead of the Colts by beating them in Indianapolis in Week 13 and then pushed the Raiders down in Week 14. The Browns won to jump the losing Colts and Raiders in Week 14, but all of those teams are still long shots. The Broncos need to win out and get a ton of help to get in.

Who’s out?

12. Chargers (5-8); 13. Jets (5-9);14. Jaguars (4-9); 15. Dolphins (3-10); 16. Bengals (1-12)

The Jaguars were eliminated by their Week 14 loss to the Chargers, who also were eliminated by the Steelers’ win. The Jets were eliminated by both the Steelers and Titans winning, despite beating the Dolphins. The Dolphins were eliminated in Week 13. The Bengals are still headed toward the No. 1 overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.

Drew Brees

NFC playoff picture

Who would be in?

1. 49ers, first place, NFC West (11-2) — The 49ers got another much-needed NFC win, this time in New Orleans in Week 14, to take back the lead in the division by a full game over the Seahawks and with it, the pole position in the conference. They also have a key win over the No. 2 Packers. The division title looks like it might come down to Week 17 in Seattle. Who’s left to play: vs. Falcons, vs. Rams, at Seahawks

2. Packers, first place, NFC North (10-3) — The Packers maintained their one-game and head-to-head-tiebreaker lead over the Vikings in the division by beating the Redskins. They jumped the losing Saints for No. 2 thanks to a better conference record. They still have work to do in the divison to secure the title. Who’s left to play: vs. Bears, at Vikings, at Lions 

3. Saints, champions, NFC South (10-3) — The Saints lost a heartbreaking home shootout to the 49ers in Week 14, which really hurts their chances for both the top seed and at least a first-round bye. They will look to get back on track against a reeling AFC South foe in Week 15 and can win out with a very favorable remaining schedule. They need the Packers to lose and hope the Seahawks, whom they beat, win the NFC West to get the No. 1. Who’s left to play: vs. Colts, at Titans, at Panthers

4. Cowboys, first place, NFC East (6-7)  — The Cowboys have dropped three consecutive games, but they stay in first place going into Week 15 despite the 6-7 Eagles rallying to win in overtime on Monday night, as they hold the head-to-head tiebreaker. With no wild-card fallback, the Cowboys probably need to win out to win the division again, inlcuding in Week 16 at Philadephia. Who’s left to play: vs. Rams, at Eagles, vs. Redskins

5. Seahawks, second place, NFC West (10-3) — The Seahawks failed to beat the Rams in Week 14 to jump back ahead of the 49ers, whom they beat on the road, They remain here over the Vikings, whom they beat in Week 13. They are staring at a long playoff road if they can’t beat the 49ers in Week 17 in their only difficult game remaining. Who’s left to play: at Panthers, vs. Cardinals, vs. 49ers

6. Vikings, second place, NFC North (9-4)  —The Vikings took care of business against the lowly Lions in Week 14 to keep pace with the Packers and, just as important, dampen the hopes of the Rams and the Bears behind them in the wild-card race. They need to keep winning, however, with the Rams and Bears hot. That won’t be easy with a tricky schedule, including a trap game in Week 15. Who’s left to play: at Chargers, vs. Packers, vs. Bears

Who can get there?

7. Rams (8-5); 8. Bears (7-6); 9. Eagles (6-7)

The Rams’ win over the Seahawks moved them back within a game of the Vikings for the final wild-card spot and they also are a game and a head-to-head tiebreaker up on the Bears after beating them. The Eagles’ playoff chances are down to winning the NFC East over the Cowboys, which will require beating the Cowboys in Week 16.

IYER: How Eagles can win NFC East over Cowboys

Who’s out?

10. Buccaneers (6-7); 11. Panthers (5-8); 12. Falcons (4-9); 13. Cardinals (3-9-1); 14. Lions (3-9-1); 15. Redskins (3-10); 16. Giants (2-11)

The Panthers and Redskins were eliminated from contention with their respective losses to the Falcons and the Packers in Week 14. The Lions, Falcons, Giants and Cardinals were eliminated with respective losses to the Bears, Saints, Packers and Rams in Week 13.

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