- Joe Robbins/Getty
With just two weeks of regular season football remaining, the playoff picture is finally starting to gain some clarity.
Four teams have already clinched: the Patriots, Raiders, Cowboys, and Seahawks are all in, while the Chiefs and Giants (both with 10 wins) look well-positioned to lock down the first Wild Card in their respective conferences.
After that, though, there’s still a lot up in the air.
The Packers are now just one game behind the Lions in the NFC North, and the two teams square off in a Week 17 contest that could be an elimination game. Elsewhere, the Steelers are trying to hold off the Ravens in the AFC North, the Falcons are trying to hold off the Bucs in the NFC South, and in the AFC South the Texans, Titans, and Colts are all still alive. Don’t count out the Dolphin or Redskins out of the Wild Card just yet, either.
All in all, with only two weeks left a loss could completely derail a season.
Happy holidays, and happy football!
32. Cleveland Browns
- Bill Wippert/AP
Week 15 result: Lost to the Bills, 33-13
Week 15 star: We’ll give it to Robert Griffin III for his 196 passing and 48 rushing yards, plus a rushing touchdown, with no interceptions.
Week 16 opponent: vs. San Diego Chargers
One thing to know: There is currently a GoFundMe to throw the Browns a parade if they go 0-16.
31. San Francisco 49ers
- Kevin C. Cox/Getty
Week 15 result: Lost to the Falcons, 41-13
Week 15 star: Colin Kaepernick had a decent game, all things considered. He posted a 95.9 passer rating, throwing two touchdowns and 183 yards on 20-of-33 passing.
Week 16 opponent: at Los Angeles Rams
One thing to know: The 49ers haven’t won a game since September 13. Luckily, that came against the Rams. Who knows, maybe they’ll do it again!
30. Jacksonville Jaguars
- Stephen B. Morton/AP
Week 15 result: Lost to the Texans, 21-20
Week 15 starr: Rookie cornerback Jalen Ramsey had his first career interception, plus five other pass defenses.
Week 16 opponent: vs. Tennessee Titans
One thing to know: The Jags fired head coach Gus Bradley after their Week 15 loss. He finished with a 14-48 record.
29. Los Angeles Rams
- Elaine Thompson/AP
Week 15 result: Lost to Seattle, 24-3
Week 15 star: Defensive tackle Aaron Donald had the best performance for the Rams, according to Pro Football Focus. He had half of a sack and two quarterback hits.
Week 16 opponent: vs. San Francisco 49ers
One thing to know: The rumor mill is starting to swirl that the Rams are interested in hiring Jon Gruden to be their new head coach. Gruden has already shot down those rumors, saying he’s not leaving ESPN.
28. New York Jets
- Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP
Week 15 result: Lost to the Dolphins, 34-13
Week 15 star: Wide receiver Robby Anderson had a nice day with 80 yards and a touchdown.
Week 16 opponent: at New England Patriots
One thing to know: Bryce Petty got the start, but Ryan Fitzpatrick came in to get some action against the Dolphins – and threw his 15th interception of the season.
27. Chicago Bears
- Charles Rex Arbogast/AP
Week 15 result: Lost to the Packers, 30-27
Week 15 star: Deonte Thompson caught eight passes for 110 yards.
Week 16 opponent: vs. Washington Redskins
One thing to know: Matt Barkley continues to show some promise for the Bears. He threw for over 300 yards, and added two touchdowns, though his three interceptions killed them. Still, Barkley will be an interesting figure come the off-season. Will the Bears pay him? Will someone else?
26. Philadelphia Eagles
- Patrick Semansky/AP
Week 15 result: Lost to the Ravens, 27-26
Week 15 star: Running back Ryan Matthews had 128 yards and a touchdown.
Week 16 opponent: vs. New York Giants
One thing to know: According to ESPN’s Bill Barnwell, Carson Wentz’s 72.6 passer rating is ahead of only Jared Goff and Brock Osweiler.
25. San Diego Chargers
- Denis Poroy/AP
Week 15 result: Lost to the Raiders, 19-16
Week 15 star: Philip Rivers played well, throwing 206 yards and two touchdowns. His line did little to help him, as he was pressured of 45% of dropbacks and threw an interception while getting hit. His receivers dropped three passes, too.
Week 16 opponent: at Cleveland Browns
One thing to know: Defensive back Casey Heyward leads the league with seven interceptions, and is heading to his first Pro Bowl.
24. Cincinnati Bengals
- Frank Victores/AP
Week 15 result: Lost to the Steelers, 24-20
Week 15 star: We’ll give it to Geno Atkins for his sack, QB hit, and tackle for loss.
Week 16 opponent: at Houston Texans
One thing to know: Tight end Tyler Eifert recently stood by his comments that playing the Pro Bowl is not worth the injury risk.
23. Arizona Cardinals
- Rick Scuteri/AP
Week 15 result: Lost to the Saints, 48-41
Week 15 star: Carson Palmer was the best player in football in Week 15, per PFF. He completed 70 percent of his passes for 318 yards and two touchdowns.
Week 16 opponent: at Seattle Seahawks
One thing to know: The Cardinals loss to the Saints summed up their season: they finally got a great performance from Carson Palmer, which was completely nullified by the fact that their defense gave up 48 points.
22. New Orleans Saints
- Ross D. Franklin/AP
Week 15 result: Beat the Cardinals, 48-41
Week 15 star: Drew Brees threw for 389 yards and four touchdowns.
Week 16 opponent: vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
One thing to know: The Saints’ and Cardinals’ combined 89 points were the most in the NFL this year.
21. Buffalo Bills
- Jeffrey T. Barnes/AP
Week 15 result: Beat the Browns, 33-13
Week 15 star: LeSean McCoy ran wild, logging 153 yards and two touchdowns.
Week 16 opponent: vs. Miami Dolphins
One thing to know: Although their playoff hopes are technically still alive, the Bills are preparing to part ways with Rex Ryan following the season. One name that has emerged as a possible replacement is Tom Coughlin.
20. Minnesota Vikings
- Andy Clayton-King/AP
Week 15 result: Lost to the Colts, 34-6
Week 15 star: Tight end Kyle Rudolph had eight catches for 97 yards
Week 16 opponent: at Green Bay Packers
One thing to know: Adrian Peterson returned in Week 15, but didn’t do much – 22 yards on six carries, with a fumble.
19. Carolina Panthers
- Patrick Semansky/AP
Week 15 result: Beat the Redskins, 26-15
Week 15 star: Cam Newton threw for 300 yards and two touchdowns.
Week 16 opponent: vs. Atlanta Falcons
One thing to know: As David Newton of ESPN noted: “Greg Olsen is just eight yards away from a third consecutive 1,000-yard season, which has never been done by a tight end.”
18. Indianapolis Colts
- Charlie Neibergall/AP
Week 15 result: Beat the Vikings, 34-6
Week 15 star: Andrew Luck was efficient, throwing 250 yards and two touchdowns on 21-of-28 passing.
Week 16 opponent: at Oakland Raiders
One thing to know: Frank Gore ran for 101 yards in Week 15, making it just the third time in Andrew Luck’s career that he had a teammate top 100 rushing yards, according to ESPN.
17. Washington Redskins
- Patrick Smith/AP
Week 15 result: Lost to the Panthers, 26-15
Week 15 star: DeSean Jackson caught seven passes for 111 yards.
Week 16 opponent: at Chicago Bears
One thing to know: Following their loss to the Panthers, the ‘Skins now no longer control their own playoff destiny. They’ll need to win out, and get some help around the league, in order to secure the second wild card spot.
16. Denver Broncos
- Jack Dempsey/AP
Week 15 result: Lost to the Patriots, 16-3
Week 15 star: Nobody!
Week 16 opponent: at Kansas City Chiefs
One thing to know: A fight reportedly broke out between the offense and defense following the Broncos loss to the Patriots, their fourth in their last six games. The reigning Super Bowl champs’ playoff hopes are extinguishing.
15. Houston Texans
- Eric Christian Smith/AP
Week 15 result: Beat the Jaguars, 21-20
Week 15 star: How about backup quarterback Tom Savage? Savage entered after Brock Osweiler was benched, and threw for 260 yards and no turnovers.
Week 16 opponent: vs. Cincinnati Bengals
One thing to know: $72 million quarterback Brock Osweiler was benched, and the Houston crowd went nuts. Head coach Bill O’Brien has suggested that Savage may remain the starter going forward. That means that the Texans’ highest paid player could be a backup. Not ideal!
14. Tennessee Titans
- Ed Zurga/AP
Week 15 result: Beat the Chiefs, 19-17
Week 15 star: Derrick Henry ran for 58 yards on nine carries, punching in two touchdowns in the process.
Week 16 opponent: at Jacksonville Jaguars
One thing to know: The Titans have won three in a row, with their last two coming over the Chiefs and Broncos. In a tie with the Texans for the AFC South, the Titans may look back on their Week 4 loss to Houston with regret if they miss the postseason.
13. Baltimore Ravens
- Nick Wass/AP
Week 15 result: Beat the Eagles, 27-26
Week 15 star: Rookie offensive lineman Ronnie Stanley earned Pro Football Focus’ game ball for his dominant play in the trenches. He didn’t allow a single pressure during 34 snaps.
Week 16 opponent: at Pittsburgh Steelers
One thing to know: The Ravens got lucky to pull out a win against the Eagles. An ill-advised throw by Joe Flacco late in the fourth quarter gave the Eagles the ball back when the game should have been over, and then the Eagles decided to go for two to win the game – and didn’t convert. According to FiveThirtyEight, the Ravens have just a 28% chance to make the playoffs.
12. Miami Dolphins
- Bill Kostroun/AP
Week 15 result: Beat the Jets, 34-13
Week 15 star: Matt Moore didn’t throw the ball too much (12-18), but still managed to get four touchdowns in those passes.
Week 16 opponent: at Buffalo Bills
One thing to know: FiveThirtyEight now gives the Dolphins, perhaps the most surprising team in the league, a 55% chance at making the playoffs.
11. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
- Michael Ainsworth/AP
Week 15 result: Lost to the Cowboys, 26-20
Week 15 star: Tight end Cameron Brate had a nice game, finishing with five receptions on eight targets for 73 yards and a touchdown.
Week 16 opponent: at New Orleans Saints
One thing to know: The Bucs were held to just 52 rushing yards against the Cowboys, and as they make a final push toward a playoff spot, they’ll need that number to be significantly higher.
10. Green Bay Packers
- Charles Rex Arbogast/AP
Week 15 result: Beat the Bears, 30-27
Week 15 star: Wide-receiver-turned-running-back Ty Montgomery ran for 162 yards and two touchdowns.
Week 16 opponent: vs. Minnesota Vikings
One thing to know: Out of the depths of hell, the Packers have surged back into the Wild Card race. Four straight wins has the Pack in control of their own destiny – win out and they’ll make the playoffs.
9. Detroit Lions
- Michael Ainsworth/AP
Week 15 result: Lost to the Giants, 17-6
Week 15 star: Golden Tate caught eight passes for 122 yards, but the Lions couldn’t fine the back of the end zone against a solid Giants defense.
Week 16 opponent: at Dallas Cowboys
One thing to know: The Lions have the Cowboys and the Packers to close out the season. Their Week 17 showdown against the Packers could effectively become the NFC North championship game.
8. Atlanta Falcons
- John Bazemore/AP
Week 15 result: Beat the 49ers, 41-13
Week 15 star: Devonta Freeman ran for 139 yards and three touchdowns.
Week 16 opponent: at Carolina Panthers
One thing to know: The Falcons can clinch the NFC South and a playoff berth with a win and Buccaneers loss in Week 16.
7. New York Giants
- Bill Kostroun/AP
Week 15 result: Beat the Lions, 17-6
Week 15 star: The Giants defense looks better and better each week. Olivier Vernon was particularly strong for the G-Men, pressuring Matthew Stafford five times.
Week 16 opponent: at Philadelphia Eagles
One thing to know: The Giants lost key cornerback Janoris Jenkins to what looked like a scary back injury against Detroit, but he’s ok and has been cleared. He may not play in Week 16, but will be back for the playoffs (assuming the Giants hold on).
6. Pittsburgh Steelers
- Bill Wippert/AP
Week 15 result: Beat the Bengals, 24-20
Week 15 star: We’ll give it to linebacker Ryan Shazier for his five tackles, sack, QB hit, and two tackles for losses.
Week 16 opponent: vs. Baltimore Ravens
One thing to know: Steelers-Ravens, division rivals, playing for the postseason on Christmas Day is ideal football.
5. Kansas City Chiefs
- Ed Zurga/AP
Week 15 result: Lost to the Titans, 19-17
Week 15 star: Tyreek Hill had an electrifying 68 yard touchdown, and continues to look like a threat on any play for the Chiefs.
Week 16 opponent: vs. Denver Broncos
One thing to know: Andy Reid shot himself in the foot with his decision to ice the Titans kicker on the final play of the game. The timeout gave the kicker two tries: the first (which didn’t count) missed, and the second was good.
4. Oakland Raiders
- Alex Gallardo/AP
Week 15 result: Beat the Chargers, 19-16
Week 15 star: Bruce Irvin was a menace, sacking Philip Rivers twice and knocking him down one more time for good measure.
Week 16 opponent: vs. Indianapolis Colts
One thing to know: The Raiders are back on top of the AFC West, thanks to a win and Chiefs loss in Week 15. It’s still hard to be sold that they’re the second best team in the AFC after their two poor showings against the Chiefs this season.
8. Seattle Seahawks
- Scott Eklund/AP
Week 15 result: Beat the Rams, 24-3
Week 15 star: Cliff Avril was a monster in the pass rush, collecting 1.5 sacks on Jared Goff.
Week 16 opponent: vs. Arizona Cardinals
One thing to know: Although Seattle has already locked up the NFC West and looks likely to grab a first-round bye, according to ESPN they are still shuffling their offensive line to figure out what works best.
2. Dallas Cowboys
- Roger Steinman/AP
Week 15 result: Beat the Buccaneers, 26-20
Week 15 star: The Cowboys defense picked off Jameis Winston three times and sacked him four times.
Week 16 opponent: vs. Detroit Lions
One thing to know: Ezekiel Elliott’s jump into the Salvation Army bucket reportedly resulted in $180,000 in donations to the Salvation Army as of Tuesday.
1. New England Patriots
- Maddie Meyer/Getty
Week 15 result: Beat the Broncos, 16-3
Week 15 star: New England’s defense dominated the Broncos, collecting four sacks, two hits and 14 hurries. Trey Flowers was particularly dominant, lodging two sacks and three hurries.
Week 16 opponent: vs. New York Jets
One thing to know: New addition Michael Floyd – who was signed after the Cardinals cut him for a DUI – had a BAC of .217 when police found him asleep at the wheel.
Now, remember what happened to all the quarterbacks picked before Tom Brady…
- Carlos Osorio/AP