There are precious few playoff spots remaining after week 16 of the NFL season, but there’s lots of seeding still to be done. The Kansas City Chiefs clinched the AFC West with their win over Tennessee, the Jets clinched a wildcard despite losing and the Eagles won the NFC East without even playing.
The top spot in the NFC is Atlanta’s to lose. The Falcons need only one win tomorrow against the Saints or the following week at home against the Panthers. Unless the entire Falcons team eats bad shellfish or tests positive for PEDs and are forced to forfeit, there’s pretty much no way they’ll lose the Panther game. However, since the Eagles hold a head to head tiebreaker over them they haven’t mathematically clinched yet.
The #2 seed is up for grabs, but the Bears control their own destiny. If they beat the Packers next week in Green Bay, they’ve got the #2 seed and a bye. They could lose and still get the #2 seed should the Eagles lose either of their next two.
The Saints appear to have the #5 seed all locked up, and by virtue of their blowout of the New York Giants the Packers are now in control of the final wildcard spot. A Giants loss or a Packer win over Chicago means they’re in. The Buccaneers are also still in the hunt, but they need to beat the Saints and have both the Packers and Giants lose. The big loser in the NFC this weekend has to be the Giants, who came in controlling their destiny and now do not.
Over in the AFC, the Patriots clinched the #1 seed and homefield advantage throughout the AFC playoffs. The Colts took a big step toward winning the AFC South thanks to their win over the Raiders and the Jaguars loss to the Redskins. The Chiefs won the AFC West after they beat the Titans and the Chargers spit the bit in Cincy. The Chargers will miss the playoffs despite ranked in the top 5 in both offense and defense for virtually the entire season. The Jets secured the final wildcard spot despite their loss in Chicago. The Jaguars could catch the Colts and win the AFC South with a win at the Texans and a Colts loss to the Titans.