With just Monday Night Football remaining in Week 8 of the 2016 NFL season, let’s take a look at the updated NFL Playoffs picture to see who’s in this week.
Week 8 of the 2016 NFL season featured 13 games on the slate. Monday Night Football between the Minnesota Vikings and the Chicago Bears still has to be settled, but it won’t impact the NFC Playoff picture this week.
Article continues below ...
Six NFL teams were on byes in Week 8. Those teams were the Baltimore Ravens, the Los Angeles Rams, the Miami Dolphins, New York Giants, the Pittsburgh Steelers and the San Francisco 49ers.
Here are the 12 teams that would qualify for the 2016 NFL Playoffs if the season were to end today.
Here is the AFC Playoff picture:
New England Patriots (7-1)
Oakland Raiders (6-2)
Houston Texans (5-3)
Pittsburgh Steelers (4-3)
Denver Broncos (6-2)
Kansas City Chiefs (5-2)
New England leads the AFC East at 7-1 and has the best record in the AFC by a game over Oakland and Denver. The Patriots hold a three-game lead over the Buffalo Bills (4-4), a 3.5-game lead over the Miami Dolphins (3-4), and four-game lead over the New York Jets (3-5).
Oakland leads the AFC West at 6-2 and earns the No. 2 seed in the AFC by virtue of a strength of schedule tiebreaker over Denver. The Raiders have played teams will a combined .500 winning percentage this season (28-28). Denver’s is a little less than that (27-33-1). The Raiders also have a half-game lead over the Chiefs and a 2.5-game lead over the San Diego Chargers (3-4).
Houston has the No. 3 seed by leading the AFC South at 5-3. The Texans have a one-game lead over the Tennessee Titans (4-4), and two-game lead over the Indianapolis Colts (3-5), and 2.5-game lead over the Jacksonville Jaguars (2-5).
Pittsburgh controls the AFC North at 4-3 to get the No. 4 seed in the AFC. The Steelers hold a 0.5 game lead over the Cincinnati Bengals (3-4-1), a one-game lead over the Baltimore Ravens (3-4), and a 4.5-game lead over the Cleveland Browns (0-8).
Earning the two AFC Wild Card spots would be the Broncos and the Chiefs. Denver gets the No. 5 seed for having the best record of a non-division leader in the AFC at 6-2. Kansas City earns the No. 6 seed for having the second-best record of a non-division leader in the AFC through eight weeks at 5-2.
Here is the NFC Playoff picture:
Dallas Cowboys (6-1)
Minnesota Vikings (5-1)*
Seattle Seahawks (4-2-1)
Atlanta Falcons (5-3)
Green Bay Packers (4-3)
New York Giants (4-3)
Dallas gets the No. 1 seed for having the best record in the NFC atop the NFC East at 6-1. The Cowboys would hold the tiebreaker over the Vikings should Minnesota beat the Chicago Bears on Monday Night Football for the best record in the NFC. Dallas has a better record against the NFC than would Minnesota, assuming a Vikings’ win over lowly Chicago.
The Cowboys have a two-game lead over the Giants and the Philadelphia Eagles at 4-3. Dallas is 2.5 games better than the Washington Redskins at 4-3-1.
Minnesota is the No. 2 seed in the NFC at 5-1 entering Monday Night Football. Whether the Vikings win or lose, they still will be the No. 2 seed either at 6-1 or 5-2. Minnesota leads the NFC North through Week 8. The Vikings have a 1.5-game lead over Green Bay, a two-game lead over the Detroit Lions (4-4), and a 4.5-game lead over the Bears (1-6).
Seattle leads the NFC West at 4-2-1 and would have the No. 3 seed in the NFC. The Seahawks have a 1.5-game lead over the Arizona Cardinals (3-4-1), a two-game lead over the Los Angeles Rams (3-4), and a four-game lead over the San Francisco 49ers (1-6).
Atlanta has the best record in the NFC South at 5-3 and would be the No. 4 seed in the NFC. The Falcons have 1.5-game leads over the New Orleans Saints and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at 3-4. Atlanta has a 2.5-game lead over the Carolina Panthers at 2-5.
Earning the two NFC Wild Card spots would be Green Bay and New York, both at 4-3. Green Bay has the head-to-head tiebreak over New York. The Packers would get the No. 5 seed and the Giants would get the No. 6 seed. The NFC’s other 4-3 team in the Eagles miss out because they have a worse NFC record than the Packers and Giants by half a game.