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What Week 16 Sunday means for the 2020 NFL playoff picture

Here’s a look at the playoff picture and each conference’s slate of games heading into Week 16’s Sunday slate.

Quarterback Jared Goff #16 of the Los Angeles Rams and quarterback Russell Wilson #3 of the Seattle Seahawks talk before the game at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on December 08, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

The NFL has reached its penultimate week and the playoff picture is rapidly coming into focus. There is a lot of maneuvering to be done for specific positioning, but there are effectively only three or so playoff berths that are significantly up for grabs.

The NFL wrapped up a busy early slate of games, with one game Christmas afternoon on Friday and then a tripleheader on Saturday. Each of the four games involved at least one team competing for playoff positioning. The Saints clinched the NFC South on Friday and the Bucs secured a wild card berth on Saturday. The Raiders were mathematically eliminated with their loss to close out Saturday.

Here’s what’s on the line heading into Sunday in Week 16.

The two big games of the day are Colts-Steelers and Rams-Seahawks. Pittsburgh has fallen apart in recent weeks and a loss coupled with a Browns win would create a tie heading into the teams’ Week 17 matchup in Cleveland. The Rams lost a shocker to the Jets last week, but can move back into first place with a win over Seattle to secure the head-to-head tiebreaker.

We could have an NFC East champ by the close of Sunday. The Giants travel to Baltimore while Washington hosts Carolina. Washington clinches the division with a win and a Giants loss. Meanwhile, the Cowboys host the Eagles and the loser is eliminated from the playoff race, regardless of what happens with Washington and New York.

Sunday closes with a huge inter-conference matchup between Tennessee and Green Bay. The Packers can clinch the No. 1 seed with a win and a Seahawks loss. The Titans can clinch a wild card berth with a win and the AFC South with a win and Colts loss.

^: clinched playoff berth
^^: clinched division
^^^: clinched first round bye


1. Kansas City Chiefs, 13-1^^
2. Buffalo Bills, 11-3^^
3. Pittsburgh Steelers, 11-3^
4. Tennessee Titans, 10-4 (Division record over Colts)

5. Cleveland Browns, 10-4 (H2H over Colts)
6. Indianapolis Colts, 10-4
7. Miami Dolphins, 10-5

Outside looking in: Baltimore Ravens (9-5)

Dolphins 26, Raiders 25
Falcons (4-10) @ Chiefs (13-1)
Browns (10-4) @ Jets (1-13)
Colts (10-4) @ Steelers (11-3)
Giants (5-9) @ Ravens (9-5)
Titans (10-4) @ Packers (11-3)
Bills (11-3) @ Patriots (6-8)


1. Green Bay Packers, 11-3^^
2. New Orleans Saints, 11-4^^
3. Seattle Seahawks, 10-4^
4. Washington Football Team, 6-8

5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 10-5
6. Los Angeles Rams, 9-5
7. Arizona Cardinals, 8-7

Outside looking in: Chicago Bears (7-7), New York Giants (5-9), Dallas Cowboys (5-9), Philadelphia Eagles (4-9-1)

Saints 52, Vikings 33
Bucs 47, Lions 7
49ers 20, Cardinals 12
Bears (7-7) @ Jaguars (1-13)
Giants (5-9) @ Ravens (9-5)
Panthers (4-10) @ Washington (6-8)
Eagles (4-9-1) @ Cowboys (5-9)
Rams (9-5) @ Seahawks (10-4)
Titans (10-4) @ Packers (11-3)