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A complete guide to the NFL Pl...
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A complete guide to the NFL Playoff picture ahead of Week 16 games

Jonathan Byrne
Jonathan Byrne

16:57 27 Dec 2020

We're into the last two weeks of NFL action, as the playoff picture is starting to iron itself out. 

Sitting down to watch this evening's NFL action? Want to figure out what teams most need a win? Here's a game-by-game guide for you.

6pm - Giants (5-9) @ Ravens (9-6)

The New York Giants find themselves in the absolute mess that is the NFC East. They're tied with the Cowboys on 5-9 in second and third, with Washington one game ahead at 6-8. A lot of eyes will be on their division counterparts in later games, but the Giants need a win to keep any chance of them topping the NFC East alive.

Don't be fooled by the Baltimore Ravens more comfortable looking record. They too are in do or die mode. The Ravens find themselves behind three teams on 10-4 in the AFC in the wildcard race. They'll need to win here too or they're likely out.

 6pm - Browns (10-4) @ Jets (1-13) 

The Cleveland Browns join the Ravens in vying for an AFC wildcard spot at the moment. However, pending games dropped by AFC North toppers the Pittsburgh Steelers, they could even top their division. Nonetheless, a win here will be a reassurance that they will be one of the top names in the wildcard hat come Week 17.

6pm - Bears (7-7) @ Jaguars (1-13) 

The Chicago Bears have the NFC East to thank for that they're still in NFL playoff contention at 7-7.  The Bears are trying to clinch that third wildcard spot in the NFC, and their main competition is the 8-7 Cardinals. Nonetheless, their season could end with a loss here.

6pm - Colts (10-4) @ Steelers (11-3) 

The Pittsburgh Steelers have secured a playoff spot, but the order is to be determined. If they top the division, they'll likely have a more favorable matchup in the playoffs. But they could slip to a wildcard spot with a loss here. It's win or face the consequences for the Steelers.

Meanwhile, the Indianapolis Colts are in arguably the tightest division - the AFC South. They are tied with the Titans on 10-4. If they win, they can hope to top the AFC South outright. If they lose, they fall into the cluster of wildcard hopefuls, albeit they'll likely be favored to take one of these.

9:05pm - Panthers (4-10) @ Washington (6-8) 

Washington Football Team are the current NFC East division toppers at 6-8. They need to keep the momentum going by winning this game, which could leave them two games ahead depending on other NFL results.

9:05pm - Eagles (4-9-1) @ Cowboys (5-9) 

The Philadelphia Eagles have a complete outside shot at still making this year's playoffs, but it's paramount they win here. They will be eliminated from contention depending if Washington wins their game this weekend.

It's a similar situation for the Dallas Cowboys. It's another must-win, and it's all eyes on if the Panthers can take a game away from Washington. Head-to-head the Cowboys have a poor record against their division rivals.

9:25pm - Rams (9-5) @ Seahawks (10-4) 

The Seattle Seahawks can at least breathe a little, as they have already clinched a playoff spot. Similar to the Steelers debacle, they can't rest easy yet, as a win here could determine who tops the division or who gets the next wildcard spot.

The Los Angeles Rams will be going into this game believing it's their biggest of the season. Their NFC West rivals are one game ahead, and they could bridge that gap with a win. Nonetheless, they'll likely take an NFC Wildcard spot regardless.

01:20am - Titans (10-4) @ Packers (11-3) 

The Tennessee Titans need some separation from AFC South rivals the Colts, with both at 10-4. It's either top the division with a win or face the prospect of being in wildcard territory. The Titans will hope the Packers rest up some players.

The Green Bay Packers were the first playoff team to clinch a playoff spot, and have won the NFC North.

Any other games that I've left out either feature teams that have won their division or teams that can't qualify. It's going to be an interesting night of football.

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