NFL 2021 playoff picture, standings: Dolphins rebound from 1-7 start to snatch No. 7 seed in AFC

Week 16 of the NFL season has come to a close and teams are finally starting to clinch playoff spots. The Kansas City Chiefs won the AFC West title Sunday (their sixth straight division title) and clinched the first — and thus far only — playoff spot in the conference. The No. 2 through No. 9 spots in the AFC are separated by just two games. The wildest story in the AFC is the Miami Dolphins rebounding from a 1-7 start to win seven in a row and take over the No. 7 spot in the AFC at 8-7. 

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers clinched the NFC South and Dallas Cowboys clinched the NFC East, while the Los Angeles Rams and Arizona Cardinals locked their playoff spots up. The Philadelphia Eagles own the No. 7 seed in the NFC after their win over the New York Giants and the Minnesota Vikings’ loss to the Rams. Philadelphia has a one-game lead for the final playoff spot. 

Twenty-four teams remain in contention for Super Bowl LVI, which is the most in 15 years after Week 16. This playoff race is getting more unpredictable by the week. Below, you can find a division-by-division breakdown of the current standings and what each contender is facing on its schedule the rest of the way. 

AFC East

e-eliminated from playoffs

Buffalo Bills

What to know: The Bills move into first with a win over the Patriots and take over the No. 4 seed in the AFC, owning the division record tiebreaker over New England. They’re on track toward winning their second straight AFC East championship, barring a major collapse over the final two games. 

Remaining schedule: vs. Falcons, vs. Jets

New England Patriots

What to know: The Patriots fall out of first in the AFC East after losing to the Bills (Buffalo owns the division record tiebreaker) and are now the No. 6 seed in the AFC playoffs (lose head-to-head tiebreaker with the Colts). 

Remaining schedule: vs. Jaguars, at Dolphins 

Miami Dolphins

What to know: The Dolphins take over the…

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