Sunday 20 August 2017 / 06:31 AM

NFL WEEK 16 PREVIEW

Twelve games scheduled for Saturday, December 24 plus two games on Christmas Day

Time is running out. With two weeks to go in the NFL regular season, it’s time for teams to make their final playoff push.

Through the first 15 weeks, four postseason berths have been clinched. New England (AFC East, first-round bye) and Seattle (NFC West) have each won its division. Dallas and Oakland have both secured a playoff spot. And with two weeks left in the regular season, there are still 22 teams in contention for a trip to Super Bowl LI.

There are eight playoff spots up for grabs, including six division titles.

In the AFC, New England (12-2) can secure home-field advantage. Oakland (11-3) can clinch the AFC West and a first-round bye. Pittsburgh (9-5) can claim the AFC North division title. Houston (8-6) can win the AFC South. And Kansas City (10-4) and Miami (9-5) can each lock up a playoff berth.

In the NFC, Dallas (12-2) can clinch the NFC East, a first-round bye and home-field advantage. Seattle (9-4-1) can earn a first-round bye. Atlanta (9-5) can claim the NFC South or a playoff berth. Detroit (9-5) can lock up the NFC North or a playoff berth. The New York Giants (10-4), Green Bay (8-6) and Tampa Bay (8-6) can each clinch a playoff berth.

Week 16 kicks off on Thursday night when the Giants visit Philadelphia (8:25 PM ET, NBC/NFLN/Twitter) in an NFC East showdown. New York can clinch a playoff berth with a victory and still have a shot at winning the NFC East and earning home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs.

The action continues on Saturday as the majority of Week 16 games (12 games) will be played on Saturday, December 24 due to the Christmas holiday. There will be seven games played in the early afternoon window (1:00 PM ET) and four contests in the late afternoon slot (4:05 and 4:25 PM ET). The day concludes with a Christmas Eve game in primetime as Houston hosts Cincinnati (8:25 PM ET, NFLN). The Texans can lock up the AFC South with a win and a Tennessee loss.

There will be two games on Christmas starting with Pittsburgh hosting Baltimore in a key AFC North battle (4:30 PM ET, NFLN). The Steelers can clinch the division with a victory. However, the Ravens can win the division with two wins in their final two games. The second Christmas game features an important AFC West matchup between Denver and Kansas City in primetime (8:30 PM ET, NBC). The Chiefs will earn a playoff berth with a victory or a Baltimore loss.

The week concludes on Monday night (8:30 PM ET, ESPN) with Dallas hosting Detroit. The Cowboys, who have already secured a playoff berth, are closing in on clinching the NFC East, a first-round bye and home-field advantage. The Lions can lock up the NFC North with a win and a Green Bay loss. Some of the key games in Week 16:

NEW YORK GIANTS (10-4) at PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (5-9) (Thursday, NBC/NFLN/Twitter, 8:25 PM ET)                

  • The Giants have won eight of their past nine games and can clinch a playoff berth with a win on Thursday. New York can also advance to the postseason with a loss by either Detroit, Atlanta, Green Bay or Tampa Bay.

MIAMI DOLPHINS (9-5) at BUFFALO BILLS (7-7) (Saturday, CBS, 1:00 PM ET)                

 

  • The Dolphins can clinch a playoff berth with a win and a Denver loss. Miami is in control for a postseason spot.
  • The Bills are currently still alive for a playoff berth.

ATLANTA FALCONS (9-5) at CAROLINA PANTHERS (6-8) (Saturday, FOX, 1:00 PM ET)                

 

  • The Falcons can win the NFC South division title with a victory and a Tampa Bay loss. If both the Falcons and Buccaneers win, Atlanta can still secure a playoff berth with a Detroit loss or a Green Bay loss. The Falcons are in control for the division title.
  • The Panthers are currently still alive for a playoff spot.

WASHINGTON REDSKINS (7-6-1) at CHICAGO BEARS (3-11) (Saturday, FOX, 1:00 PM ET)

 

  • The Redskins are currently still alive for a postseason berth.

MINNESOTA VIKINGS (7-7) at GREEN BAY PACKERS (8-6) (Saturday, FOX, 1:00 PM ET)

 

  • The Packers are in control for the NFC North division and can claim the title with wins in each of their final two games. Green Bay can secure a playoff spot this week with a win and losses by Washington and Tampa Bay combined with an Atlanta win.
  • The Vikings are currently still alive for a postseason berth.

TENNESSEE TITANS (8-6) at JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS (2-12) (Saturday, CBS, 1:00 PM ET)

 

  • The Titans are in control for the AFC South division and can claim the title with wins in each of their final two games.

NEW YORK JETS (4-10) at NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (12-2) (Saturday, CBS, 1:00 PM ET)

 

  • The Patriots, who have already won the AFC East and have a first-round bye, can clinch home-field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs with a win and an Oakland loss. New England is in control for home-field advantage in the AFC.

INDIANAPOLIS COLTS (7-7) at OAKLAND RAIDERS (11-3) (Saturday, CBS, 4:05 PM ET)

 

  • The Raiders, who have already earned a playoff berth, can clinch the AFC West and a first-round bye with a win and a Kansas City loss. Oakland is in control for the division title and a first-round bye.
  • The Colts are currently still alive for a postseason spot.

TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS (8-6) at NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (6-8) (Saturday, FOX, 4:25 PM ET)

 

  • The Buccaneers can clinch a playoff berth with a win and losses by Green Bay, Washington and Detroit.
  • The Saints are currently still alive for a postseason spot.

ARIZONA CARDINALS (5-8-1) at SEATTLE SEAHAWKS (9-4-1) (Saturday, FOX, 4:25 PM ET)

 

  • The Seahawks, who have already clinched the NFC West, can secure a first-round bye with a win and losses by both Detroit and Atlanta. Seattle is in control for a first-round bye.

CINCINNATI BENGALS (5-8-1) at HOUSTON TEXANS (8-6) (Saturday, NFLN, 8:25 PM ET)

 

  • The Texans, who are in control for the AFC South, can clinch the division this week with a win and a Tennessee loss.

BALTIMORE RAVENS (8-6) at PITTSBURGH STEELERS (9-5) (Sunday, NFLN, 4:30 PM ET)

 

  • The Steelers can clinch the AFC North with a win.
  • The Ravens can claim the division title with wins in each of the team’s final two games.

DENVER BRONCOS (8-6) at KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (10-4) (Sunday, NBC, 8:30 PM ET)

 

  • The Chiefs can secure a postseason berth with a win or a Baltimore loss.
  • The Broncos are currently still alive for a playoff spot.

DETROIT LIONS (9-5) at DALLAS COWBOYS (12-2) (Monday, ESPN, 8:30 PM ET)

 

  • The Cowboys can clinch the NFC East, a first-round bye and home-field advantage with a win or a New York Giants loss.
  • The Lions, who are in control for the NFC North, can secure the division with a win and a Green Bay loss. Detroit can also lock up a playoff berth with a win and a Tampa Bay loss. The Lions can also advance to the postseason with losses by Washington and Tampa Bay combined with an Atlanta win.

2016 NFL STANDINGS

American Football Conference
East Division
TeamWLTPctPFPAHomeAwayConfDivStreak
New England Patriots1220.8573652335-2-07-0-09-1-03-1-05W
Miami Dolphins950.6433153146-1-03-4-06-4-03-1-02W
Buffalo Bills770.5003583144-3-03-4-04-6-01-3-01W
New York Jets4100.2862423581-6-03-4-03-7-01-3-01L
            
North Division
TeamWLTPctPFPAHomeAwayConfDivStreak
Pittsburgh Steelers950.6433412764-2-05-3-07-3-03-1-05W
Baltimore Ravens860.5713062636-2-02-4-07-3-04-0-01W
Cincinnati Bengals581.3932882933-3-12-5-04-6-02-3-01L
Cleveland Browns0140.0002204080-7-00-7-00-10-00-5-014L
            
South Division
TeamWLTPctPFPAHomeAwayConfDivStreak
Houston Texans860.5712502946-1-02-5-06-4-05-0-02W
Tennessee Titans860.5713403234-3-04-3-05-5-01-3-03W
Indianapolis Colts770.5003623393-4-04-3-04-6-02-3-01W
Jacksonville Jaguars2120.1432603591-6-01-6-01-9-01-3-09L
            
West Division
TeamWLTPctPFPAHomeAwayConfDivStreak
Oakland Raiders1130.7863773365-2-06-1-08-2-03-2-01W
Kansas City Chiefs1040.7143192745-2-05-2-07-3-04-0-01L
Denver Broncos860.5712992584-3-04-3-05-5-01-3-02L
San Diego Chargers590.3573663663-4-02-5-04-6-01-4-03L
           

 

National Football Conference
East Division
TeamWLTPctPFPAHomeAwayConfDivStreak
Dallas Cowboys1220.8573662586-1-06-1-08-2-03-2-01W
New York Giants1040.7142722507-1-03-3-07-3-03-1-02W
Washington Redskins761.5363453434-3-03-3-15-5-03-2-01L
Philadelphia Eagles590.3573162994-2-01-7-03-7-00-4-05L
            
North Division
TeamWLTPctPFPAHomeAwayConfDivStreak
Detroit Lions950.6433012856-1-03-4-07-3-03-2-01L
Minnesota Vikings860.5713633395-2-03-4-06-4-03-1-04W
Green Bay Packers770.5002642594-3-03-4-04-6-01-3-01L
Chicago Bears3110.2142483203-4-00-7-03-7-02-3-02L
            
South Division
TeamWLTPctPFPAHomeAwayConfDivStreak
Atlanta Falcons950.6434693584-3-05-2-07-3-03-1-02W
Tampa Bay Buccaneers860.5713133223-4-05-2-06-4-03-1-01L
New Orleans Saints680.4294063923-4-03-4-05-5-01-3-01W
Carolina Panthers680.4293373374-3-02-5-05-5-01-3-02W
            
West Division
TeamWLTPctPFPAHomeAwayConfDivStreak
Seattle Seahawks941.6792982357-0-02-4-15-4-12-1-11W
Arizona Cardinals581.3933403254-3-11-5-04-5-12-1-12L
Los Angeles Rams4100.2861973281-5-03-5-03-7-02-2-05L
San Francisco 49ers1130.0712644341-6-00-7-01-9-01-3-013L

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