NFL Playoff Picture 2021-22 Week 16: Standings, Scenarios After Packers, Colts Wins

Doric SamDecember 26, 2021

Green Bay Packers' Aaron Rodgers is congratulated by Allen Lazard after throwing career touchdown pass 443 during the first half of an NFL football game against the Cleveland Browns Saturday, Dec. 25, 2021, in Green Bay, Wis. The pass breaks the previous Green Bay Packers record held by Brett Favre. (AP Photo/Aaron Gash)
AP Photo/Aaron Gash

Saturday's interconference matchups were sure to have ramifications on the NFL playoff race.

After the Green Bay Packers won against the Cleveland Browns and the Arizona Cardinals fell to the Indianapolis Colts, Green Bay is the frontrunner for the first-round bye in the NFC. The Colts have now entrenched themselves in the AFC Wild Card race and are still in play for a potential division title.

Here's a look at how the standings were affected by the Christmas Day games.


1. Kansas City Chiefs, 10-4

2. Tennessee Titans, 10-5

3. New England Patriots, 9-5

4. Indianapolis Colts, 9-6

5. Cincinnati Bengals, 8-6

6. Los Angeles Chargers, 8-6

7. Buffalo Bills, 8-6

8. Baltimore Ravens, 8-6

9. Pittsburgh Steelers, 7-6-1

10. Las Vegas Raiders, 7-7

11. Miami Dolphins, 7-7

12. Denver Broncos, 7-7

13. Cleveland Browns, 7-8

14. New York Jets, 3-11

15. Houston Texans, 3-11

16. Jacksonville Jaguars, 2-12


1. Green Bay Packers, 12-3

2. Dallas Cowboys, 10-4

3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 10-4

4. Los Angeles Rams, 10-4

5. Arizona Cardinals, 10-5

6. San Francisco 49ers, 8-7

7. Minnesota Vikings, 7-7

8. Philadelphia Eagles, 7-7

9. New Orleans Saints, 7-7

10. Washington Football Team, 6-8

11. Atlanta Falcons, 6-8

12. Carolina Panthers, 5-9

13. Seattle Seahawks, 5-9

14. New York Giants, 4-10

15. Chicago Bears, 4-10

16. Detroit Lions, 2-11-1

NFL Network's Tom Pelissero shared different playoff clinching scenarios on Thursday morning.

Tom Pelissero @TomPelissero

Seven NFL teams can clinch playoff spots in Week 16. <a href="https://t.co/FQdgi5BENl">pic.twitter.com/FQdgi5BENl</a>

Arizona could have clinched a playoff berth with a win. The Cardinals can still earn a trip to the postseason in Week 16 thanks to the San Francisco 49ers' loss on Thursday night. A loss or tie by either the Philadelphia Eagles, Minnesota Vikings or New Orleans Saints will give the Cardinals their first playoff appearance since 2015.

The Colts' win means the Tennessee Titans will have to wait another week to try to clinch the AFC South.

With Saturday's victory, the Packers now have the inside track on securing the first-round bye in the NFC. Green Bay will maintain at least a one-game lead over the Cardinals, Dallas Cowboys, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Los Angeles Rams regardless of each team's result this week.

The Rams and Kansas City Chiefs are the only teams that clinch a playoff spot simply by winning. The Buccaneers can win the NFC South with a win or a loss by the Saints.

The way things are shaping up, it looks as though the NFC playoff race will come down to the regular season's final weeks.