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NFL Playoff Picture 2018: Week 16 Wild-Card Hunt, Standings and Super Bowl Odds

Steve Silverman@@profootballboyFeatured ColumnistDecember 17, 2018

Ben Roethlisberger threw two TD passes in Pittsburgh's win over New England.
Ben Roethlisberger threw two TD passes in Pittsburgh's win over New England.Don Wright/Associated Press

The NFL season is midway through the home stretch, and just five of the 12 postseason berths have been clinched with two weeks and Monday night's game between the New Orleans Saints and Carolina Panthers remaining.

The Kansas City Chiefs and Los Angeles Chargers have sealed their spots, but since both teams are 11-3 and in the AFC West, the division title and the top seed in the conference is up for grabs. No other AFC teams have assured themselves of a spot in the playoffs.

The Chicago Bears clinched the NFC North Sunday with a rare home win over the Green Bay Packers, and they joined the New Orleans Saints and Los Angeles Rams as division winners.

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

The Bears locker room is undefeated 🐻 #ClubDub (via @ChicagoBears) https://t.co/7AXpCOFLn6

The Bears were the only team to earn a spot in the playoffs Sunday. The New England Patriots and Seattle Seahawks had the opportunity to do so, but both teams lost in Week 15.

The Patriots lost 17-10 to the Pittsburgh Steelers, and it was their second loss in a row. They finished the road part of their schedule with a 3-5 record away from home, but it's unlikely head coach Bill Belichick and his players are going to panic.

They close the regular season with home games against Buffalo Bills and New York Jets, and one win or one Miami Dolphins loss will give them their 10th consecutive AFC East title.

The Seahawks would have clinched a wild-card spot with a win at San Francisco, but the 49ers came up with the 26-23 overtime upset. Seattle has home games remaining against the Chiefs and Arizona Cardinals.

Here's a link to the NFL standings, as well as a simplified version below.

     

AFC Standings

East

1. New England Patriots (9-5)
2. Miami Dolphins (7-7)
3. Buffalo Bills (5-9)
4. New York Jets (4-10)

North

1. Pittsburgh Steelers (8-5-1)
2. Baltimore Ravens (8-6)
3. Cleveland Browns (6-7-1)
4. Cincinnati Bengals (6-8)

South

1. Houston Texans (10-4)
2. Indianapolis Colts (8-6)
3. Tennessee Titans (8-6)
4. Jacksonville Jaguars (4-10)

West

1. x-Kansas City Chiefs (11-3)
2. x-Los Angeles Chargers (11-3)
3. Denver Broncos (7-7)
4. Oakland Raiders (3-11)

      

NFC Standings

East

1. Dallas Cowboys (8-6)
2. Washington (7-7)
3. Philadelphia Eagles (7-7)
4. New York Giants (5-9)

North

1. z-Chicago Bears (10-4)
2. Minnesota Vikings (7-6-1)
3. Green Bay Packers (5-8-1)
4. Detroit Lions (5-9)

South

1. z-New Orleans Saints (11-2)
2. Carolina Panthers (6-7)
3. Atlanta Falcons (5-9)
4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5-9)

West

1. z-Los Angeles Rams (11-3)
2. Seattle Seahawks (8-6)
3. San Francisco 49ers (4-10)
4. Arizona Cardinals (3-11)

x-clinched playoff spot
z-clinched division title

      

The Pittsburgh Steelers' victory over the Patriots allowed them to snap a three-game losing streak. They are half a game ahead of the Baltimore Ravens, and John Harbaugh's team has the edge for the No. 2 wild-card spot in the AFC.

However, if the Ravens beat the Los Angeles Chargers in Week 16 and close with a win over the Cleveland Browns while the Steelers drop one of their two remaining games (at New Orleans in Week 16, vs. Cincinnati in Week 17), Baltimore would win the AFC North and the Steelers would be fighting for a wild-card place.

The Indianapolis Colts, Tennessee Titans and Dolphins are chasing the No. 2 AFC wild-card spot.

FOX Sports @FOXSports

If the playoffs started today, the @HoustonTexans would have a 1st round Bye. https://t.co/v6AI9rqXyz

The Houston Texans have moved into the AFC's No. 2 seed as a result of their victory over the New York Jets Saturday and New England's loss to Pittsburgh. If the Texans win at Philadelphia in Week 16 and beat the Jacksonville Jaguars at home in Week 17, they will earn the bye in the AFC playoffs.

The Indianapolis Colts continue to roll, blanking the Dallas Cowboys 23-0. If they can beat the Giants in Week 16 and the Tennessee Titans get the best of the Redskins, the Week 17 game between the Colts and Titans at Tennessee may determine the AFC's No. 2 wild-card team.

However, if the Steelers and Ravens both go 2-0 in the final two weeks, neither the Colts nor the Titans are likely to make the playoffs.

The Cowboys are still in a position to win the NFC East even though they saw their five-game winning streak come to an end against the Colts. They lead the Redskins and Eagles by one game, and they have winnable games at home against Tampa Bay and a road game against the Giants remaining.

Minnesota Vikings @Vikings

Mission accomplished. #Skol https://t.co/SNX3Xcwgmy

The Vikings are in the playoff structure following their 41-17 win over the Miami Dolphins, and they close the season with games at Detroit and at home against the Bears. The Rams' loss to the Eagles means that the Bears have a chance to catch the Rams for the No. 2 seed, and that's bad for the Vikings.

If the Bears can earn that spot with a win in the season finale, the Vikings will likely have to play their best game of the year to come up with the victory. 

The Redskins, winners over the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 15, Eagles and the Panthers are all still in the hunt for an NFC wild-card spot but will need help to get there.

FOX Sports @FOXSports

The @Saints are marching into the postseason! New Orleans wins the NFC South for the 2nd-straight year. https://t.co/fm3IGyEb3O

Odds to Win Super Bowl LIII (per OddsShark)

Team, Odds
New Orleans Saints, +300
Los Angeles Rams, +315
Kansas City Chiefs, +480
New England Patriots, +700
Chicago Bears, +900
Los Angeles Chargers, +1000
Dallas Cowboys, +1900
Houston Texans, +1900
Pittsburgh Steelers, +1900
Seattle Seahawks, +2800
Baltimore Ravens, +4000
Indianapolis Colts, +5000
Minnesota Vikings, +5000
Philadelphia Eagles, +5000
Tennessee Titans, +8500
Carolina Panthers, +15000
Washington Redskins, +30000

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