If the NFL season ended today and the battle for a spot in Super Bowl LI began tomorrow, here’s how the playoff seeds would shake out.

December 04, 2016

As the 2016 NFL season grinds through its second half and Super Bowl LI gets closer and closer, only a few teams have separated themselves as true contenders, which leaves plenty of middling teams jostling for playoff position. If the playoffs started today, which teams would be in, and which teams would be on the bubble? Here’s how the playoff seeds shake out, plus a breakdown of the teams on the outside looking in as Week 16 continues. The asterisk * indicates the team has clinched a playoff berth.

AFC

1
New England Patriots*
12–2 (AFC 9–1)
AFC East champion. Week 15: Beat Broncos, 16–3.
2
Oakland Raiders*
11–3 (AFC 8–2)
AFC West leader. Week 15: Beat Chargers, 19–16.
3
Pittsburgh Steelers
9–5 (AFC 6–3)
AFC North leader. Week 15: Beat Bengals, 24–20.
4
Houston Texans
8–6 (AFC 6–4)
AFC South leader. Week 15: Beat Jaguars, 21–20.
5
Kansas City Chiefs
10–4 (AFC 7–3)
First wild card. Week 15: Lost to Titans, 19–17.
6
Miami Dolphins
9–5 (AFC 6–4)
Second wild card. Week 15: Beat Jets 34–13. 

In the hunt

7
Baltimore Ravens
8–6 (AFC 7–3)
Week 15: Beat Eagles, 27–26.
8
Tennessee Titans
8–6 (AFC 5–5)
Week 15: Beat Chiefs, 19–17.
9
Denver Broncos
8–6 (AFC 5–5)
Week 15: Lost to Patriots, 16–3.
10
buffalo bills
7–7 (AFC 4–6)
Week 15: Beat Browns, 33–13.
11
Indianapolis Colts
7–7 (AFC 4–6)
Week 15: Beat Vikings, 34–6.

NFC

1
Dallas Cowboys*
12–2 (NFC 8–2)
NFC East champions. Week 15: Beat Buccaneers, 26–20.
2
Seattle Seahawks*
9–4–1 (NFC 5–4–1)
NFC West champions. Week 15: Beat Rams, 24–3.
3
Atlanta Falcons
9–5 (NFC 7–3)
NFC South leader. Week 15: Beat 49ers, 41–13.
4
Detroit Lions
9–5 (NFC 7–3)
NFC North leader. Week 15: Lost to Giants, 17–6.
5
New York Giants
10–5 (NFC 7–4)
First wild card. Week 16: Lost to Eagles, 24–19.
6
green bay packers
8-6 (NFC 6–4)
Second wild card. Week 15: Beat Bears, 30–27. 
7
tampa bay buccaneers 
8–6 (NFC 6–4)
Week 15: Lost to Cowboys, 26–20.    
8
washington redskins
7–6–1 (NFC 5–5)
Week 15: Lost to Panthers, 26–15.
9
Minnesota Vikings
7–7 (NFC 4–6)
Week 15: Lost to Colts, 34–6.

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