NFL playoff picture after Week 15: Seahawks clinch spot, assume first place in NFC West, as Rams stumble

Here's how the NFL playoff picture looks with Week 15's Sunday afternoon games complete. (Note: the postseason field expands to 14 teams this season and could potentially go to 16 if the league's schedule is thrown into disarray down the stretch by COVID-19 disruptions.)


y-1. Kansas City Chiefs (13-1), AFC West champions: Took another step toward home-field advantage by getting past the Saints … though could be Pyrrhic victory depending on health of K.C.'s running backs.

x-2. Pittsburgh Steelers (11-2), AFC North leaders: Division is theirs with a Browns loss Sunday night or a win Monday at Cincinnati.

y-3. Buffalo Bills (11-3), AFC East champions: They're division titlists for the first time in 25 years after embarrassing the Broncos in Denver. One more loss by Pittsburgh would move Bills up another rung, but top seed is out of reach given Buffalo lost to Kansas City in Week 6.

4. Tennessee Titans (10-4), AFC South leaders:Thumped Lions on Sunday, but record in division games (4-1) keeps them technically ahead of Colts (3-2), who share 10-4 overall record.

5. Indianapolis Colts (10-4), wild card No. 1: Barely survived Texans but remain in virtual tie atop AFC South with Titans. Colts have big game at Pittsburgh in Week 16.

6. Cleveland Browns (9-4), wild card No. 2: Still not in position to officially end 18-year playoff drought, but can take another step toward postseason by beating Giants on Sunday night. Will also reclaim No. 5 seed with win due to Week 5 defeat of Indy.

7. Miami Dolphins (9-5), wild card No. 3:Vanquished Patriots on Sunday while strengthening their own grip on a playoff spot. Fins remain ahead of Ravens by virtue of half-game lead in games played against AFC opponents.

8. Baltimore Ravens (9-5), first team out of field: Drubbed Jags but couldn't make up any ground on field this week. Ravens' 6-5 record against AFC clubs currently have them looking up at Browns and Dolphins, each 6-4 within the conference.


y-1. Green Bay Packers (11-3), NFC North champions: They outlasted the Panthers in an unimpressive win Saturday night, but the victory keeps them in the driver's seat for home-field advantage – which they might clinch next week with a little bit of help.

x-2. New Orleans Saints (10-4), NFC South leaders: Missed another chance to wrap up the division, but keep No. 2 post by virtue of superior record in NFC games (8-2) to Seattle's 7-3 mark.

x-3. Seattle Seahawks (10-4), NFC West leaders: Officially playoff bound for the eighth time in QB Russell Wilson's nine-year career and now in possession of first place in the division following the Rams' stunning loss to the Jets.

Seahawks coach Pete Carroll celebrates his team securing yet another playoff berth Sunday. (Photo: Geoff Burke, Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports)

4. Washington Football Team (6-8), NFC East leaders:Loss to Seattle creates opportunity for Giants, who swept Washington this season, to reclaim division lead by beating Browns on Sunday night.

5. Los Angeles Rams (9-5), wild card No. 1: Suffered a humiliating loss to the Jets, failed to clinch a playoff spot and fell out of first place in the NFC West. Only Week 11 defeat of Bucs prevents L.A. from tumbling further. 

6. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (9-5), wild card No. 2: Didn't get the Bears-Vikings tie that would have secured a spot in postseason field, but Bucs can ensure they're advancing for first time since 2007 next week.

7. Arizona Cardinals (8-6), wild card No. 3: They staved off Philadelphia to maintain control of the conference's last playoff position … and picked up a game on the Rams in the division.

8. Chicago Bears (7-7), first team out of field: They've suddenly won two in a row on heels of six-game losing streak.

x — clinched berth

y — clinched division


Follow USA TODAY Sports' Nate Davis on Twitter @ByNateDavis.

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