NFL Playoff Picture 2019: Which Teams Have Clinched a Spot in the Postseason?

One of the best NFL Sundays of the season delivered entertainment in spades, dramatic last-second winning touchdowns and more magic from Patrick Mahomes. More importantly, a clearer picture as to which teams we can expect to see in the playoffs next month began to emerge.

Here's the state of play after Week 14.

Read more: Chicago Bears throw NFC wide open with impressive win over Rams


The New Orleans Saints clinched the NFC South title and a playoff spot with a 28-14 win on the road against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Saints are 11-2 and share the best record in the NFC with the Los Angeles Rams, who saw their three-game winning run interrupted by a 15-6 defeat in Chicago.

While the Rams have already secured the NFC West title, they missed the chance of securing a first-round playoffs bye and will now battle it out with the Saints for top spot in the NFC over the next three weeks.

Back-to-back NFC South champs! ⚜️

— New Orleans Saints (@Saints) December 9, 2018

The Rams host the Eagles on Sunday, before traveling to Arizona to face the Cardinals in Week 16 and hosting the San Francisco 49ers in their final regular season game. Meanwhile, two of the Saints' remaining three games are against the Panthers—the first on the road on Monday night, the second at home in Week 17 with a home game against the Steelers sandwiched in between.

Sunday's win over the Rams put the Bears within touching distance of clinching a first divisional title and a first playoff berth since 2010. The Bears are 9-4 and will in all likelihood finish either third or fourth in the NFC. Two of the Bears' three remaining games are against divisional opponents, with the Packers due in Illinois next week, before the Bears visit the Vikings in the last week of the regular season.

Elsewhere in the NFC, the Cowboys won their fifth game in a row and opened a two-game lead in the NFC East thanks to a 29-23 overtime win against the Eagles.

Monday's night game between the Seahawks and the Vikings in Seattle could go a long way in determining their respective wild card chances.

Washington and Carolina have lost four and five in a row respectively and are hanging on by a thread, as are the Eagles. The Packers, Giants and Lions made their records more respectable on Sunday but they are almost mathematically out of the race. The Cardinals and 49ers are already out of the race.

NFC current playoff spots

  1. New Orleans Saints 11-2, NFC South Champions
  2. Los Angeles Rams 11-2, NFC West Champions
  3. Chicago Bears 9-4, first in NFC North
  4. Dallas Cowboys 8-5, first in NFC East
  5. Seattle Seahawks 7-5, wild card
  6. Minnesota Vikings 6-5-1, wild card
Mitchell Trubisky, Chicago Bears
Roy Robertson-Harris #95 and quarterback Mitchell Trubisky #10 of the Chicago Bears celebrate after defeating the Los Angeles Rams 15-6 at Soldier Field on December 9 in Chicago, Illinois. Joe Robbins/Getty Images


The Chiefs clinched a playoff spot with an overtime win against the Ravens and are now 11-2. Their own division poses the biggest threat to their chances of winning the AFC, with Thursday night's home game against the Chargers arguably the toughest test left for Kansas City, which then faces Seattle on the road and Oakland.

The Chargers could catch the Chiefs on Thursday night and have seemingly secured the top AFC wild card spot with a 10-3 record.


— Kansas City Chiefs (@Chiefs) December 9, 2018

Elsewhere, the Patriots and the Texans are in control of their respective divisions with 9-4 records but both missed the chance to nail down a playoff berth on Sunday. New England now faces a difficult trip to Pittsburgh, before hosting the Bills and the Jets.

The latter travel to Houston in Week 15, before the Texans face the Eagles on the road and conclude the season at home to Jacksonville.

In fourth place, the Steelers remain top of the AFC North despite losing three games in a row. Pittsburgh missed the opportunity to close the gap with the Patriots and the Texans and failed to make the most of the Ravens' defeat in Kansas City.

After hosting the Patriots, the Steelers travel to New Orleans and then host Cincinnati.

Tennessee, Miami and Indianapolis all kept their seasons alive with wins over the weekend and all have 7-6 records. The Broncos failed to make it a quartet after a disappointing loss against the 49ers and now need a minor miracle to make the playoffs, as do the Browns who, however, have plenty of reasons to be positive about this season.

At 5-8, only mathematics keeps the Bengals alive, while the Bills, Jaguars, Jets and Raiders are out.

AFC current playoff spots

  1. Kansas City Chiefs 11-2, first in AFC West
  2. New England Patriots 9-4, first in AFC East
  3. Houston Texans 9-4, first in AFC South
  4. Pittsburgh Steelers 7-5-1, first in AFC North
  5. Los Angeles Chargers 10-3, wild card
  6. Baltimore Ravens 7-6, wild card
Anthony Hitchens, Kansas City Chiefs
Inside linebacker Anthony Hitchens #53 of the Kansas City Chiefs and linebacker Dorian O'Daniel #44 of the Kansas City Chiefs leap in the air in celebration after stopping the Baltimore Ravens on fourth down in overtime at Arrowhead Stadium on December 9 in Kansas City, Missouri. The Chiefs beat the Ravens, 27-24. David Eulitt/Getty Images