The NFL is moving through Week 15, and we have more teams punching their tickets to the 2020 playoffs. Last week, the Ravens and Chiefs joined the Saints in earning a playoff berth. The Ravens clinched the AFC South on Thursday and are waiting for more help. Sunday is bringing more clinching scenarios.
We’ll follow along today and through Monday Night Football with how each result impacts the playoff race — well, the games that can actually impact it. That’s followed by an updated look at the playoff picture in each conference.
Bills 17, Steelers 10: Buffalo made two end zone interceptions to hold off Pittsburgh. The Bills improve to 10-4 and clinch a wild card berth. The Steelers drop to 8-6 and are tied with Tennessee for the second spot.
4:05/4:25 p.m. results
Vikings 39, Chargers 10: Minnesota had little trouble with LA and improved to 10-4 with the win. The Vikings remain one game back of the Packers, and are on the verge of clinching a playoff berth. They are about to extend their lead over the Rams to two games with LA getting thumped by Dallas.
Cowboys 44, Rams 21: The Cowboys got a big win to maintain their tiebreaker edge on the Eagles. Both teams are 7-7 heading into next week’s matchup in Philadelphia. Meanwhile, the Rams playoff hopes suffered a devastating blow. The loss drops them to 8-6 and two games back of the Vikings with two weeks to go.
Falcons 29, 49ers 22: The 49ers suffered a wild late loss and dropped to 11-3. They fall behind the Seahawks in the NFC West due to the tiebreaker, meaning they just went from No. 1 to No. 5. The Seahawks host the 49ers in Week 17, and if both teams win next week, the winner of that game will win the division and potentially a first round bye.
1:00 p.m. results
Chiefs 23, Broncos 3: Denver gave KC some trouble in the first half, but the Chiefs pulled away in the second half. In spite of concerns about Patrick Mahomes’ hand, the Chiefs QB was efficient in the win. Kansas City improves to 10-4 with the win. They remain a game back of the Patriots for the second first round bye and two games back of the Ravens for the No. 1 seed.
Texans 24, Titans 21: The Texans got a key road divisional win and secure their lead atop the AFC South. Houston is now 9-5 and has the head-to-head tiebreaker edge over Tennessee. The two teams square off in Houston in Week 17.
Patriots 34, Bengals 13: Cincinnati offered a scare in the first half, but New England turned on the gas in the third quarter to turn this into a rout. The Patriots improve to 11-3 with the win. They remain a game back of the Ravens for the AFC’s best record and one game ahead of the Chiefs for the second first round bye.
Packers 21, Bears 13: Green Bay struggled much of the day but did enough to take care of the Bears and get a big win over a division rival. The Packers improve to 11-3 with the win and maintain their lead for the second first round bye in the NFC. They are one game back of the 49ers and tied with Seahawks, so they await the result of 49ers-Falcons.
Seahawks 30, Panthers 24: The Seahawks held off the Panthers late to secure a needed win in their race for the NFC West title. They are a half game back of the 49ers pending the outcome of 49ers-Falcons.
Eagles 37, Washington 27: The Eagles scored a touchdown with 26 seconds left to secure a critical win. They improve to 7-7 and are a half game up on the Cowboys pending the outcome of Dallas’ Week 15 matchup with the Rams.
1. Baltimore Ravens: 12-2 — Win over Jets 42-21
2. New England Patriots: 11-3 — Win over Bengals 34-13
3. Kansas City Chiefs: 10-4 — Win over Broncos 23-3
4. Houston Texans: 9-5 — Win over Titans 24-21
5. Buffalo Bills: 9-4 — Win over Steelers 17-10
6. Pittsburgh Steelers: 8-6 — Loss to Steelers 17-10
NFC playoff picture
1. Seattle Seahawks: 11-3 — Win over Panthers 30-24
2. Green Bay Packers: 11-3 — Win over Bears 21-13
3. New Orleans Saints: 10-3 — vs. Colts
4. Dallas Cowboys: 7-7 — Win over Rams 44-21
5. San Francisco 49ers: 11-2 — Loss to Falcons 22-17
6. Minnesota Vikings: 9-4 — Win over Chargers 39-10