NFL Standings 2022: Results, Playoff Picture and Scenarios After Week 15

Joe TanseyDecember 19, 2022

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - DECEMBER 18: Keelan Cole #84 of the Las Vegas Raiders celebrates after catching a touchdown pass against the New England Patriots during the fourth quarter of the game at Allegiant Stadium on December 18, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Getty Images)
Chris Unger/Getty Images

The AFC wild-card race has suddenly become a crowded mess.

The teams sitting between sixth and 13th are separated by two games. Four teams are within one game of each other.

The Los Angeles Chargers vaulted up to the No. 6 seed with their win over the Tennessee Titans.

The New England Patriots' stunning last-second loss to the Las Vegas Raiders dropped them out of the playoff spots.

New England and the New York Jets were the biggest losers of Sunday's action, and now some unexpected teams have a sliver of playoff belief going into Week 16.

The NFC playoff race did not change despite losses by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Dallas Cowboys.

The only real drama in the NFC occurred on Sunday night, when the New York Giants beat the Washington Commanders.

New York's win gave it the edge in the wild-card race. Washington is still in a playoff spot thanks to the tie it had with the Giants two weeks ago.

AFC Standings

Division Leaders

1. Buffalo - 11-3

2. Kansas City - 11-3

3. Cincinnati - 10-4

4. Tennessee 7-7

Wild-Card Race

5. Baltimore - 9-5

6. Los Angeles Chargers - 8-6

7. Miami - 8-6

8. New England - 7-7

9. New York Jets - 7-7

10. Jacksonville - 6-8

11. Las Vegas - 6-8

12. Cleveland - 6-8

13. Pittsburgh - 6-8

The wild-card race in the AFC still has nine teams vying for spots.

The Los Angeles Chargers are now in a safe spot after they beat the Titans and the Patriots lost to the Raiders.

Los Angeles' win over Miami last week now comes into play because it is in sixth place on the head-to-head tiebreaker.

Miami holds a one-game edge on both the Patriots and Jets. The Dolphins have a loss to the Jets and a win over Patriots already on their resume.

The Dolphins and Patriots play in Week 17, and then the Dolphins face the Jets in Week 18.

New England is likely in the toughest spot to make the playoffs, as it finishes with Cincinnati, Miami and Buffalo.

The Jets face an easier finish against Jacksonville, Seattle and Miami.

Jacksonville and three other teams are still alive at 6-8. The Jaguars play the Jets on Thursday night.

Las Vegas and Pittsburgh will play an elimination game on Saturday night, while Cleveland can maintain a glimmer of hope with a win over New Orleans in Week 16.

The upper echelon of the AFC standings did not change in Week 15.

The Buffalo Bills survived a home scare against the Miami Dolphins, and the Kansas City Chiefs won on the road in overtime against the Houston Texans.

Buffalo remains in first place on the head-to-head tiebreaker gained in Week 6.

The biggest game left on the schedule for either team is Buffalo's Week 17 trip to face the Cincinnati Bengals.

The Bengals will be the most impactful team to the AFC playoff picture in the next three weeks. They visit the New England Patriots next week, host Buffalo in Week 17 and welcome the Baltimore Ravens in Week 18.

NFC Standings

Division Leaders

1. Philadelphia - 13-1

2. Minnesota - 11-3

3. San Francisco - 10-4

4. Tampa Bay - 6-8

Wild-Card Race

5. Dallas - 10-4

6. New York Giants - 8-5-1

7. Washington - 7-6-1

8. Seattle - 7-7

9. Detroit - 7-7

Philadelphia moved one step closer to the No. 1 overall seed with its win over the Chicago Bears and the Dallas Cowboys' loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars.

The Eagles moved their lead to three games over Dallas in the NFC East. A win over Dallas on Saturday secures the division title for Jalen Hurts and Co.

Philadelphia also lands the top seed with a win next week, because it essentially has a three-game lead on the Minnesota Vikings.

The Eagles beat the Vikings back in Week 2. That head-to-head tiebreaker will allow the Eagles to clinch home-field advantage with a win over Dallas.

Minnesota and the San Francisco 49ers are in a fight for the No. 2 seed. The Vikings used the biggest comeback in NFL history on Saturday to stay one game ahead of the 49ers.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are still fourth in the NFC by default, as the Atlanta Falcons and Carolina Panthers each lost on Sunday. The Falcons, Panthers and New Orleans Saints are all tied for second in the NFC South at 5-9.

Atlanta, Carolina and New Orleans all need miracles to even have a shot at the wild-card race. They are all two games back of the Seattle Seahawks.

Seattle has a fight in its hands with the Detroit Lions, who leveled the two sides at 7-7 with a win over the New York Jets.

Seattle owns the head-to-head tiebreaker over Detroit thanks to a 48-45 win in Week 4.

The Giants moved up to the sixth spot with their win over the Commanders.

New York needed the buffer over Washington because it plays Minnesota next week and Philadelphia in Week 18.

Washington goes to San Francisco next week, but then it plays Cleveland and Dallas at home.

Seattle and Detroit must hope for the Vikings and 49ers to win next week to drop the Giants and Commanders in the loss column.

Detroit has the easier matchup against the Panthers, while the Seahawks visit the Chiefs.