Three more teams earned spots in the NFL’s postseason in Week 15, while nine teams remain in contention for the final three spots.
In the NFC, the undefeated Carolina Panthers, winners of the NFC South division, have already earned a first-round bye. They could earn home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs with a Week 16 win over the Atlanta Falcons or with an Arizona Cardinals loss or tie.
The Cardinals clinched the NFC West division title with their Sunday night win over the Philadelphia Eagles. Arizona could clinch a first-round bye with a Week 16 victory over the Green Bay Packers.
Green Bay clinched at least a playoff berth by defeating the Oakland Raiders and could win the NFC North with a win over the Cardinals and a Minnesota Vikings loss.
Minnesota, currently the 6th seed in the NFC, could secure a postseason spot with a Week 16 victory over the New York Giants. The Vikings could also clinch if the Seattle Seahawks win or if the Falcons lose.
The Seahawks clinched a postseason berth when they beat the Cleveland Browns and the New York Giants lost to the Panthers.
The 7-7 Washington Redskins would clinch the NFC East if they win their Week 16 game against the Philadelphia Eagles.
In the AFC, the East champion New England Patriots secured a first-round bye when they defeated the Tennessee Titans and the Denver Broncos lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Patriots could secure home-field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs with a Week 16 win over the Baltimore Ravens or if they tie and the Cincinnati Bengals lose to or tie Denver.
The Steelers’ win pushed them ahead of the New York Jets into the No. 6 spot in the AFC. Both teams are 9-5 and have the same record against their division opponents, but the Steelers hold the tiebreaker with a better record against common opponents. Pittsburgh clinches a playoff berth with a win and a Jets loss.
Learn about the NFL’s tiebreaking procedures.
Cincinnati clinched a postseason spot by defeating the San Francisco 49ers and could win the AFC North and a first-round bye with a win or tie over Denver in Week 16. Even if they lose to Denver, the Bengals could still clinch the AFC North if the Steelers lose or tie.
The Broncos could earn a playoff spot with a win, and they would win the AFC West with a win and a Kansas City Chiefs loss. Kansas City clinches a playoff spot with a win over the Cleveland Browns and a loss by either the Jets or the Steelers.
The 7-7 Houston Texans would win the AFC South and clinch a postseason berth if they beat the Tennessee Titans and if the Indianapolis Colts lose to the Miami Dolphins.