With Week 16 wrapping up, there are still a few division titles up for grabs, and there are a couple of contenders in each division fighting to grab a playoff spot heading into Week 17.
The AFC divisions are already locked up. The Indianapolis Colts, Cincinnati Bengals, New England Patriots and Denver Broncos have clinched all their respective divisions. However, none of the NFC titles have been locked up entering Sunday Night Football, which means that things could get interesting in the last week of the season.
Let's take a look at each of the NFC divisions and what needs to be done in order to determine the winners.
|NFC North Standings|
|Green Bay Packers||7||7||1|
This had been a three-team race for quite some time, but the Detroit Lions went on a 1-5 run over the past six games to completely collapse and be eliminated from playoff contention. Meanwhile, the Green Bay Packers lost a tough game to the Pittsburgh Steelers, and while it is bad, they haven't been eliminated from the playoffs yet.
The Chicago Bears have an opportunity to lock up the division title with a win on Sunday Night Football against the Philadelphia Eagles. But if they lose, it will all come down to Week 17, with the Bears and Packers playing in Chicago for the division title.
If the Bears lose, Packers fans will be praying that Aaron Rodgers can return in time for the game.
|NFC East Standings|
|New York Giants||6||9|
The New York Giants and Washington Redskins have been eliminated from this race for a while, leaving the Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles alone in the division title hunt.
Although it looked like they were going to collapse at the end of the game, Tony Romo helped lead the Cowboys to an incredible fourth-quarter comeback with a game-winning touchdown pass, keeping them in the race.
Regardless of what the Eagles do on Sunday Night Football, they will still have to beat the Cowboys in order to take the NFC East, making this division race just as exciting as the one in the NFC North.
|NFC South Standings|
|New Orleans Saints||10||5|
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers||4||11|
It's been a tremendously disappointing season for the Atlanta Falcons, but that's been good news for the Carolina Panthers. They've been able to keep up with the New Orleans Saints, and they're on top of the division right now.
The 17-13 win over the Saints Sunday was an impressive one for the Panthers. It moved them to 11-4 and gave them the top spot in the NFC South. As long as they beat the Falcons next week, they'll take the title—but if they lose, the Saints could take the title by beating the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Winning the division is much more important for the Saints, as they play much more effectively at home as opposed to on the road. Regardless, both of these teams are great, and they both have the potential to make deep playoff runs.
|NFC West Standings|
|San Francisco 49ers||10||4|
|St. Louis Rams||7||8|
It's crazy to think that this division isn't locked up yet.
The Seattle Seahawks have arguably been the best team in football this year, but after losing to the Arizona Cardinals this week, there is still a chance that the San Francisco 49ers take the NFC West title.
The Seahawks will have the chance to lock up the division title once again this week against the St. Louis Rams, but that's not a team they should sleep on, even without Sam Bradford. The Rams have been playing quite well recently, going 4-2 in their last six games. In the last meeting between the two, the Seahawks nearly lost, winning just 14-9.
If Seattle does lose, the San Francisco 49ers will have to win their final two games. They will be playing their last game ever at Candlestick Park on Monday Night Football against the Falcons, and they should be able to win that one. After that, however, they will have a tough matchup against the Cardinals, and that team is on fire right now.
It's not incredibly likely that the 49ers take the NFC West, but there's still a chance.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!