Here’s how the NFL playoff picture looks with Week 15 complete:
y – 1. Green Bay Packers (11-3), NFC North champions: They own the league’s best record – barely – after surviving shorthanded Baltimore on Sunday, a victory that enabled the Pack to lock up season’s first playoff spot. Green Bay retains inside track to secure No. 1 seed for second straight year. Remaining schedule: vs. Browns, vs. Vikings, at Lions
2. Dallas Cowboys (10-4), NFC East leaders: The division title now a formality, Dallas – 4-0 against NFC East competition – still has time to reel in No. 1 seed. Cowboys’ 8-1 conference record moves them ahead of Arizona and Tampa Bay. Remaining schedule: vs. Washington, vs. Cardinals, at Eagles
3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (10-4), NFC South leaders: Sunday night stumble vs. Saints kept them from winning first division title since 2007. Loss also hinders Bucs’ pursuit of home field and bye. Their opening night win over Dallas doesn’t matter given three-way tie with Arizona – a scenario that rewards Cowboys’ excellence in NFC games instead. The strength of victory tiebreaker keeps Tampa seeded above Arizona. Remaining schedule: at Panthers, at Jets, vs. Panthers
Kyler Murray of the Arizona Cardinals reacts to a penalty in the fourth quarter of the game against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field on December 19, 2021 in Detroit, Michigan.
4. Arizona Cardinals (10-4), NFC West leaders: A third consecutive second-half swoon under Kliff Kingsbury? Cards don’t give up division lead to Rams this week given their 4-1 record against NFC West teams. But a win in either of the past two weeks would have put Arizona into playoff field. They host Indianapolis on Christmas. Remaining schedule: vs. Colts, at Cowboys, vs. Seahawks
5. Los Angeles Rams (10-4), wild card No. 1: They matched Cardinals’ record by beating the Seattle Seahawks on Tuesday night. But more work to be done for LA to move up the board. Remaining schedule: at Vikings, at Ravens, vs. 49ers