NFL Scores Week 16: AFC, NFC Playoff Picture, Standings and Results After Saturday

Erik BeastonDecember 24, 2022

NFL Scores Week 16: AFC, NFC Playoff Picture, Standings and Results After Saturday

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    KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI - DECEMBER 24: Patrick Mahomes #15 of the Kansas City Chiefs warms up against the Seattle Seahawks at Arrowhead Stadium on December 24, 2022 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by David Eulitt/Getty Images)
    David Eulitt/Getty Images

    Several NFL teams on the brink of postseason berths battled for their playoff lives Saturday afternoon as the league kicked off a holiday slate of games that featured top franchises and some of the most prominent playmakers in the game.

    Did Patrick Mahomes, Josh Allen, Joe Burrow and AJ Brown keep their teams in the proverbial drivers' seats as they chased No. 1 seeds? Were teams like Tennessee, New England, Seattle and Washington able to keep their playoff dreams alive against top-tier competition?

    Find out with this recap of Saturday's Week 16 action, including updated playoff pictures, standings, and all of the day's scores.

Saturday Results

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    CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - DECEMBER 24: Josh Allen #17 of the Buffalo Bills warms up prior to the game against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field on December 24, 2022 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
    Michael Reaves/Getty Images

    Early Games

    Baltimore Ravens 17, Atlanta Falcons 9

    New Orleans Saints 17, Cleveland Browns 10

    Kansas City Chiefs 24, Seattle Seahawks 10

    Carolina Panthers 37, Detroit Lions 23

    Buffalo Bills 35, Chicago Bears 13

    Minnesota Vikings 27, New York Giants 24

    Houston Texans 19, Tennessee Titans 14

    Afternoon Games

    San Francisco 49ers 37, Washington Commanders 20

    Dallas Cowboys 40, Philadelphia Eagles 34

    Saturday Night Football

    Pittsburgh Steelers 13, Las Vegas Raiders 10

NFC, AFC Standings

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    CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - DECEMBER 18: A.J. Brown #11 of the Philadelphia Eagles walks off the field after a win over the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field on December 18, 2022 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
    Michael Reaves/Getty Images

    NFC Playoff Picture

    1. Philadelphia Eagles (13-2, clinched playoffs) 
    2. Minnesota Vikings (12-3, clinched NFC North)
    3. San Francisco 49ers (10-4, clinched NFC West)
    4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-8, lead NFC South)
    5. Dallas Cowboys (11-4, clinched playoffs)
    6. New York Giants (8-6-1)

    In the hunt: Washington Commanders (7-6-1), Seattle Seahawks (7-8), Detroit Lions (7-8), Green Bay Packers (6-8)

    AFC Playoff Picture

    1. Buffalo Bills (12-3, clinched AFC East)
    2. Kansas City Chiefs (12-3, clinched AFC West)
    3. Cincinnati Bengals (11-4, clinched playoffs)
    4. Jacksonville Jaguars (7-8, lead AFC South)
    5. Baltimore Ravens (9-5, clinched playoffs)
    6. Los Angeles Chargers (8-6)
    7. Miami Dolphins (8-6)

    In the hunt: New England Patriots (7-8), Tennessee Titans (7-8), Pittsburgh Steelers (7-8), New York Jets (7-8), Las Vegas Raiders (6-9), Cleveland Browns (6-9)

AFC Playoff Picture

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    FOXBOROUGH, MASSACHUSETTS - DECEMBER 24: Joe Burrow #9 of the Cincinnati Bengals attempts a pass during the first quarter against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium on December 24, 2022 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Winslow Townson/Getty Images)
    Winslow Townson/Getty Images

    Following the first part of Saturday's slate of games, nothing much changed in the AFC playoff picture as the Buffalo Bills, Cincinnati Bengals and Kansas City Chiefs all won early games stay in the same positions they were entering Week 16.

    The Chiefs were the most dominant, earning a two-touchdown win over a playoff-hopeful Seattle. At the same time, the Bills pulled away late against Chicago and the Bengals narrowly avoided a come-from-behind upset attempt at the hands of the Patriots.

    Cincinnati will host Buffalo next week in one of the marquee matchups of the season, with the top spot in the conference at play.

    Joe Burrow and the defending AFC champions will have to avoid a sputtering offense the likes of which allowed the Pats erase a 22-0 deficit and come within a play here or there of dealing a major blow to the Bengals' chances of a first-round bye.

    The Baltimore Ravens stayed alive not only in their pursuit of a playoff berth but, also, in the hunt for the AFC North title. That division may not be determined until Week 18 and a January 8 showdown with the aforementioned Bengals.

NFC Playoff Picture

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    MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA - DECEMBER 24: Saquon Barkley #26 of the New York Giants warms up against the Minnesota Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium on December 24, 2022 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by David Berding/Getty Images)
    David Berding/Getty Images

    After erasing a 33-point deficit and clinching a spot in the playoffs, the Minnesota Vikings could have taken Saturday off, afforded a letdown game or even rested key starters. Instead, the NFC North champions kept the proverbial foot on the gas,

    They overcame a double-tough New York Giants team that appeared to be trending toward a win after Saquon Barkley tied the game late with a 27-yard score. Kirk Cousins played a clean game, leading the Vikings offense with 299 yards and three touchdowns while Dalvin Cook added 64 yards on 14 rushes.

    The Giants remain in playoff contention and hold the edge over the next in line, something that only strengthened with Washington's loss to San Francisco Saturday night. Sudden uncertainty at quarterback after Carson Wentz replaced Taylor Heinicke will only create questions about the Commanders' abilities to complete the NFC East dominance of the playoff picture.

    New York holds the tiebreaker over Washington by way of their Sunday Night Football victory in Week 15.

    In Saturday's late game, a marquee matchup between Philadelphia and Dallas, the Cowboys ensured the Eagles will have to wait another week to clinch the NFC East. Dak Prescott overcame an early interception to pass for 347 yards and three touchdowns.

    Despite a picture-perfect, late-game 21-yard pass from Gardner Minshew II to DeVonta Smith, the home team was able to deal Philly its second loss of the season and keep the potential for a division title alive.

    The Eagles will have to wait another week to clinch the No. 1 seed and a first-round bye.

    San Francisco remains in the two spot following a dominant victory over the aforementioned Commanders.