It's Week 16 and a handful of NFL teams need victories to either clinch playoff berths or at least salvage some hope for the final week of the regular season. Detroit, New Orleans, Tennessee, Kansas City, Buffalo, San Diego, the pitiful New York Jets, Philadelphia, Tampa Bay, Oakland, Carolina, Miami, St. Louis, Jacksonville, Cleveland and Arizona all have absolutely nothing to play for besides pride and draft position.
The rest of the league has everything to play for. Neither conference has any locked playoff positions. Home-field advantage and first-round byes are still up for grabs in both the AFC and NFC.
In the NFC, Atlanta needs a win to secure the No. 1 seed while San Francisco and Green Bay are in tight races to grab a first-round bye. The Seattle Seahawks have an outside shot of getting the second seed if the Green Bay Packers and San Francisco 49ers lose their remaining games. However, they are most likely to get the fifth seed.
The NFC East race continues with critical games for the Cowboys, Redskins, and Giants. A win is critical for each team at this point of the season. A loss could cost them a shot at a home playoff game or even a playoff game altogether.
Wild-card races continue. The sixth seed in the NFC is up for grabs between the Redskins, Cowboys, Giants, Bears, and Vikings. The AFC’s races are a lot easier to follow than the NFC. Indianapolis looks locked into the fifth seed while the Steelers and Bengals are fighting for the sixth and final seed. There is still a possibility of the Ravens losing their final two games. That gives the Steelers and Bengals a small chance to win the AFC North.
A lot of questions still remain to be answered. Week 16 will answer many of those questions.