History has been made, and no team has scored a playoff berth yet.
For the third time since 1978, Week 14 has come and gone with no team securing a playoff spot by this time. That’s what we call parity, folks.
In the AFC, the playoff landscape has cleared up and some well-known faces rest at the top of the conference standings. The bottom of the AFC (and to that end, the NFC) has a lot to figure out in the coming weeks.
In all, there are 14 teams in the league that are sitting at or within a .500 game in either direction, and the last four meetings of the 2021 regular season could come down to the new matchups of Week 18.
However, if the season ended today, this is how it would be triggered:
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NFL Playoffs Image: AFC Projections
- No. 1 seed: New England Patriots (9-4)
Remaining games: On Colts, Against Bills, Against Jaguars, On Dolphins
What wall of newbies?
Mac Jones has only gotten better this season, and thanks to an extremely late Week 14 goodbye, he and the Patriots will rest before chasing down the No. 1 seed. They have a pretty tough schedule left, however, so New England definitely you will have to earn it.
- No. 2 seed: Tennessee Titans (9-4)
Remaining games: on Steelers, against 49ers, against Dolphins, against Texans
It is admirable how the Titans have overcome the injuries of Derrick Henry, AJ Brown and Julio Jones. It helps that the AFC South is one of the weakest divisions in soccer. It also helps that the Titans have a win over the Chiefs earlier in the season.
- No. 3 seed: Kansas City Chiefs (9-4)
Remaining games: at Chargers, against Steelers, at Bengals, against Broncos
Kansas City’s defensive renaissance pushed them firmly into the mix as one of the best in the AFC going into Week 15. If that’s a scary thought, consider that Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs offense have yet to get it right as the regular season is drawing to a close.
- No. 4 seed: Baltimore Ravens (8-5)
Remaining games: Against Packers, Against Bengals, Against Rams, Against Steelers
The Ravens have gotten to this point with a Lamar Jackson regular season and a slew of back room injuries, and they have yet to face two division opponents before they can call themselves the AFC North champions. It’s not child’s play by any means, and they have the toughest remaining schedule of any division leaders.
- No. 5 seed: Los Angeles Chargers (8-5)
Remaining games: vs. Chiefs, at Texans, vs. Broncos, at Raiders
The Chargers and Chiefs face off in a massive “Thursday Night Football” showdown, and with Los Angeles sitting a game behind the Chiefs in the division, it could play a pivotal role in deciding the seed.
- No. 6 seed: Indianapolis Colts (7-6)
Remaining games: Against Patriots, Against Cardinals, Against Raiders, Against Jaguars
MVP candidate Jonathan Taylor has shown no signs of slowing down in 2021, and Bye Week should certainly help refresh his legs. Taylor’s last game was incredible – he rushed for 143 yards and two touchdowns in a commanding performance over the Texans.
- No. 7 seed: Buffalo Bills (7-6)
Remaining games: Against Panthers, Against Patriots, Against Falcons, Against Jets
It would be unfair to say the Bills are having a disappointing season, considering they are still in pursuit of the AFC East. However, that search may be ending, unless the Patriots return to Earth. Buffalo has traded wins and losses since Oct. 10 and is now on a two-game losing streak (4-5 in that span).
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Image of the NFL playoffs: NFC projections
- No. 1 seed: Green Bay Packers (10-3)
Remaining games: On Ravens, Against Browns, Against Vikings, On Lions
The Packers benefit from a lighter schedule, ending with three straight home games. Aaron Rodgers’ toe might not be too good, but Green Bay’s Super Bowl hopes are good.
- No. 2 seed: Tampa Bay Buccaneers (10-3)
Remaining games: Against Saints, On Panthers, On Jets, Against Panthers
The Buccaneers can clinch a playoff spot with a win over the Saints, putting Tom Brady and the TB offense in prime position for another dramatic Super Bowl run this year. However, it is not over yet, as they are tied for the best record in the NFL. His extremely easy schedule the rest of the season should help.
- No. 3 seed: Arizona Cardinals (10-3)
Remaining games: On the Lions, against the Colts, on the Cowboys, against the Seahawks
Even with a loss to the Rams, the Cardinals are still in the driver’s seat of the NFC West, and they also have a No. 1 seed in the conference, but it’s not unfair to question how ready the team is for the playoffs. . He’ll answer that question next month, with games against playoff hopefuls, a division rival and the Lions fighters.
- No. 4 seed: Dallas Cowboys (9-4)
Remaining games: On the Giants, on the Washington, on the Cardinals, on the Eagles
The Cowboys face rivals from the NFC East in three of their four remaining games in 2021, and their only other opponent is the tough Cardinals. While the division is weaker this year, strange things happen in the NFC East, and with Dak Prescott not being the same recently, the Super Bowl excitement has died down a bit.
- No. 5 seed: Los Angeles Rams (9-4)
Remaining games: vs. Seahawks, Vikings, Ravens, 49ers
The Rams scored a massive and gutsy win over the Cardinals in Week 14, keeping them in the middle of the NFC West race. What is arguably more encouraging for Los Angeles is that quarterback Matthew Stafford looked like himself in the matchup, following a difficult streak of games.
- No. 6 seed: San Francisco 49ers (7-6)
Remaining games: vs. Falcons, at Titans, vs. Texans, at Rams
San Francisco has come to life after a difficult 2-4 start to the season and premature job security questions surrounding head coach Kyle Shanahan. However, the 49ers’ road to the playoffs is not entirely easy: They play the Rams and Titans, but they also play easier opponents like the Falcons and Texans.
- No. 7 seed: Washington Football Team (7-6)
Remaining games: On the Eagles, on the Cowboys, against the Eagles, on the Giants
Washington has four games against NFC East opponents to close out the season, and three are out. They will hope to have quarterback Taylor Heinicke back for the final stretch of the season.
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Current image of the NFL playoffs
Here’s how the standings break down in both conferences going into Week 15, along with the other teams still in pursuit of the playoffs.
|one.||New England Patriots||9-4||N / A|
|two.||Tennessee Titans||9-4||N / A|
|3.||Kansas City Chiefs||9-4||N / A|
|Four.||Baltimore Ravens||8-5||N / A|
|5.||Los Angeles Chargers||8-5||N / A|
|6.||Indianapolis Colts||7-6||N / A|
|7.||Buffalo bills||7-6||N / A|
On the hunt: Cleveland Browns (7-6), Cincinnati Bengals (7-6), Denver Broncos (7-6), Pittsburgh Steelers (6-6-1), Las Vegas Raiders (6-7), Miami Dolphins (6-7 )
|one.||Green Bay Packers||10-3||N / A|
|two.||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||10-3||N / A|
|3.||Arizona Cardinals||10-3||N / A|
|Four.||Dallas Cowboys||9-4||N / A|
|5.||Los Angeles Rams||9-4||N / A|
|6.||San Francisco 49ers||7-6||N / A|
|7.||Washington football team||6-7||N / A|
On the hunt: Minnesota Vikings (6-7), Philadelphia Eagles (6-7), Atlanta Falcons (6-7), New Orleans Saints (6-7)
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.