NFL Playoff Picture 2019: Which Teams Can Clinch a Spot in the Postseason in Week 16?

Kirk Cousins, Minnesota Vikings
Kirk Cousins #8 of the Minnesota Vikings drops back to pass the ball in the second quarter of the game against the Miami Dolphins at U.S. Bank Stadium on December 16 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Adam Bettcher/Getty Images

The penultimate week of the NFL regular season kicks off on Thursday with seven playoff spots still up for grabs.

The Los Angeles Chargers and the Chicago Bears last week joined the New Orleans Saints, Los Angeles Rams and Kansas City Chiefs as the only teams guaranteed to play football in January.

Read more: NFL Playoff Picture 2019: Which teams secured a postseason spot in Week 15?

Here's which teams could join them in Week 16.

NFC

The New Orleans Saints can clinch home-field advantage throughout the playoffs and a first NFC title in nine years by winning one of their two remaining games.

A tie against Pittsburgh on Sunday would also be enough to secure a first-round bye. The Los Angeles Rams can also clinch a first-round bye if they win at Arizona and the Chicago Bears don't win in San Francisco.

Of the four NFC divisions, the NFC East is the only one still looking for a winner. The Dallas Cowboys can secure the divisional title by beating Tampa Bay on Sunday, or with a tie as long as the Philadelphia Eagles and the Washington Redskins don't win their respective games against Houston and Tennessee.

Like the Cowboys, the Seahawks are also 8-6 and would guarantee themselves a playoff wild card with a win against Kansas City on Sunday night, if Washington fails to win. If the Redskins beat the Titans on the road, the Seahawks can still secure a playoff berth if the Minnesota Vikings lose in Detroit.

A tie would be enough for Seattle but only coupled with a loss for Washington and a loss or tie for the Eagles.

For the Vikings, the situation is more straightforward as they can book a playoff spot by beating the Lions and hoping the Eagles don't win and Washington loses.

NFC current playoff spots

  1. New Orleans Saints 12-2, NFC South Champions
  2. Los Angeles Rams 11-3, NFC West Champions
  3. Chicago Bears 10-4, NFC North Champions
  4. Dallas Cowboys 8-6, first in NFC East
  5. Seattle Seahawks 8-6, wild card
  6. Minnesota Vikings 7-6-1, wild card
Kirk Cousins, Minnesota Vikings
Kirk Cousins #8 of the Minnesota Vikings drops back to pass the ball in the second quarter of the game against the Miami Dolphins at U.S. Bank Stadium on December 16 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Adam Bettcher/Getty Images

AFC

The Los Angeles Chargers' incredible comeback win over Kansas City saw them secure a first playoff spot since 2013. While both teams are 11-3, the Chiefs currently holds the tiebreaker and can clinch the AFC West title and a first-round bye with a win in Seattle if the Chargers lose at home to the Ravens.

The same scenario would also guaranteed the Chiefs home-field advantage throughout the playoffs but only if the Texans lose at Philadelphia on Sunday.

Houston can win the AFC South by not losing against the Eagles or by losing, as long as the Colts and the Titans don't win against the Giants and the Redskins, respectively.

A first-round bye will be in the Texans' grasp if they better New England's result, while the Patriots can clinch a 10th consecutive AFC East title if they avoid a loss at home against the Buffalo Bills.

The Steelers, meanwhile, must beat the Saints on the road and hope the Ravens don't win in Los Angeles against the Chargers to win the AFC North.

If Baltimore wins, Pittsburgh can still secure a playoff spot by winning in New Orleans as long as the Colts and the Titans both lose.

AFC current playoff spots

  1. Kansas City Chiefs 11-3, first in AFC West
  2. Houston Texans 10-4, first in AFC South
  3. New England Patriots 9-5, first in AFC East
  4. Pittsburgh Steelers 8-5-1, first in AFC North
  5. Los Angeles Chargers 11-3, wild card
  6. Baltimore Ravens 8-6, wild card
Tom Brady, New England Patriots
Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots drops back to pass in the first quarter during the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field on December 16 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Joe Sargent/Getty Images
NFL Playoff Picture 2019: Which Teams Can Clinch a Spot in the Postseason in Week 16? | Sports