Here’s how the NFL playoff picture looks with Week 15’s Sunday games complete:
x-1. Seattle Seahawks (11-3): NFC West leader. Victory over the Panthers combined with Rams’ loss means ‘Hawks will play in January. San Francisco’s stumble means Seahawks are also again in position to host at least one playoff game … after a week off. Seattle currently has inside edge for home-field advantage due to common games tiebreaker with Packers, whose losses to Eagles and 49ers now especially hurt.
x-2. Green Bay Packers (11-3): NFC North leader. Win over Bears in teams’ 200th meeting wasn’t necessarily pretty but, coupled with subsequent loss by Rams, guarantees playoff return for Pack. Big Week 16 trip to Minnesota.
y-3. New Orleans Saints (10-3): NFC South champions. Must beat Colts on Monday to keep heat on Seahawks, Packers for first-round bye. However New Orleans can’t pass Seattle or Green Bay until Week 16.
4. Dallas Cowboys (7-7): NFC East leader. Snapped three-game losing streak in fine fashion by crushing Rams, first team Dallas has beaten all season that currently sports winning record. Now it’s time to focus on Eagles (7-7) with division crown hanging in balance.
x-5. San Francisco 49ers (11-3): Wild card No. 1. They locked into postseason field by virtue of Rams’ loss but can’t feel good about it after heartbreaking defeat to also-ran Falcons knocked Niners out of first place in NFC West and position for a bye.
6. Minnesota Vikings (10-4): Wild card No. 2. Enjoyable day for “Skol” fans as Vikes blasted Bolts while wild-card pursuers (Rams, Bears) both saw their own playoff hopes crushed in defeat.
y-1. Baltimore Ravens (12-2): AFC North champions. Beat Jets on Thursday to clinch division but didn’t get any more help Sunday in bid to secure first-round bye and home-field advantage.
x-2. New England Patriots (11-3): AFC East leader. They returned to win column and can officially make playoff plans for 11th consecutive season.
y-3. Kansas City Chiefs (10-4): AFC West champions. Remained on heels of Patriots in race for first-round bye, which would go to K.C. if those teams end up with same record.
4. Houston Texans (9-5): AFC South leader. Massive win in Nashville means that if they win one more game or if Titans lose once more, division crown will remain in Houston.
x-5. Buffalo Bills (10-4): Wild card No. 1. Win Sunday night put them back in playoffs and sets up huge AFC East showdown at New England in Week 16.
6. Pittsburgh Steelers (8-6): Wild card No. 2. Loss by Tennessee (8-6) ensures Steelers remain in projected field for time being.
x — clinched berth
y — clinched division
z — clinched first-round bye
zz — clinched home-field advantage
Follow USA TODAY Sports’ Nate Davis on Twitter @ByNateDavis.
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