If the season ended now:
AFC first-round byes: (1) Broncos, (2) Patriots. NFC: (1) Seahawks, (2) Panthers
AFC wild card: (6) Dolphins at (3) Bengals; (5) Chiefs at (4) Colts
NFC wild card: (6) Saints at (3) Eagles; (5) 49ers at (4) Bears
How wild is Week 16? The Dolphins got shut out, but they moved from outside to inside the top six in the AFC. And a game between two eliminated teams, the Browns and Jets, helped keep the Steelers alive.
All four teams in contention for the No. 6 seed in the AFC need help to make the playoffs. The Dolphins currently have the lead, but the Ravens get the nod if all four teams lose (Miami plays host to the Jets and Baltimore visits the Bengals). The Chargers lose all the tiebreakers but have the Chiefs at home, and Kansas City is locked into the No. 5 seed. The Steelers get in with a win against the Browns and losses by the other three contenders.
Also in the AFC, every division title has been secured. The Broncos won the West and earned a first-round bye, but the Patriots still have a shot at No. 1 (or could fall to No. 3 or 4). The Chiefs are the top wild card.
In the NFC, the Bears squandered their chance to become the conference's first division champion but will play host to the Packers in one of two winner-take-all games next week. The Eagles visit the Cowboys for the East title in the late game.
Earlier, the 49ers and Saints could have clinched playoff berths and the Seahawks the West title and No. 1 seed if the Cardinals had lost in Seattle, but Arizona won. Even 11-5 might not be good enough for the Cardinals. The Panthers clinched a playoff berth but not the division title by beating the Saints earlier.
Here's the updated playoff picture after the 49ers clinched a spot by beating the Falcons (x-clinched playoff berth; y-clinched division title):
1. y-Denver Broncos (12-3, West champion; at Raiders [4-11], 4:25 ET)
2. y-New England Patriots (11-4, East champion, vs. Bills [6-9], 4:25 ET)
3. y-Cincinnati Bengals (10-5, North champion; vs. Ravens [8-7], 1 ET)
4. y-Indianapolis Colts (10-5, South champion; vs. Jaguars [4-11], 1 ET)
5. x-Kansas City Chiefs (11-4, clinched playoff berth; at Chargers [8-7], 4:25 ET)
6. Miami Dolphins (8-7, 7-4 conf, 2-3 div; vs. Jets [7-8, 2-3 div], 1 ET)
7. Baltimore Ravens (8-7, 6-5 conf, 3-2 div; at Bengals [10-5], 1 ET)
8. San Diego Chargers (8-7, 5-6 conf; vs. Chiefs [11-4], 4:25 ET)
9. Pittsburgh Steelers (7-8, 5-6 conf, 3-2 div; vs. Browns [4-11], 1 ET)
1. x-Seattle Seahawks (12-3, clinched playoff berth; vs. Rams [7-8], 4:25 ET)
3. Philadelphia Eagles (9-6, at Cowboys [8-7], 8:30 ET)
4. Chicago Bears (8-7, vs. Packers [7-7-1], 4:25 ET)
5. x-San Francisco 49ers (11-4, clinched playoff berth; at Cardinals [10-5], 4:25 ET)
6. New Orleans Saints (10-5; vs. Buccaneers [4-11], 4:25 ET)
IN THE HUNT
7. Arizona Cardinals (10-5, vs. 49ers [11-4], 4:25 ET)
8. Dallas Cowboys (8-7, vs. Eagles [9-6], 8:30 ET)
9. Green Bay Packers (7-7-1, at Bears [8-7], 4:25 ET)