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NFL Playoff picture 2018: Mid-Week 15 through Saturday games

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Houston Texans v New York Jets Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images

The NFL schedule has reached that time of year when they start playing Saturday games. This week’s schedule, including the Thursday night game, has started with three games that directly impact the AFC Playoff picture.

On Thursday, the Los Angeles Chargers beat the Kansas City Chiefs, tying the two AFC West division rivals in the standings, with the Chiefs holding on to the top seed based on division records (4-1 to 3-2). Saturday then had the Houston Texans beat the New York Jets, moving the Texans into the second seed position, just ahead of the New England Patriots who, if they beat the Pittsburgh Steelers this afternoon, would be able to reclaim the position. The third game featured two teams trying to hold on to slim playoff chances, with the Cleveland Browns coming away victorious over the Denver Broncos, and keeping an AFC North championship in play for the Browns.

After all of these AFC games have been factored into the standings, the AFC playoff picture looks like:

AFC Playoff Standings

1 - AFC West leader - Kansas City Chiefs (11-3)*
2 - AFC South leader - Houston Texans (10-4)
3 - AFC East leader - New England Patriots (9-4)
4 - AFC North leader - Pittsburgh Steelers (7-5-1)
5 - Wildcard - Los Angeles Chargers (11-3)*
6 - Wildcard - Baltimore Ravens (7-6)

7 - Indianapolis Colts (7-6)
8 - Miami Dolphins (7-6)
9 - Tennessee Titans (7-6)
10 - Cleveland Browns (6-7-1)
11 - Denver Broncos (6-8)
12 - Cincinnati Bengals (5-8)

Eliminated:
13 - Buffalo Bills (4-9)
14 - Jacksonville Jaguars (4-9)
15 - New York Jets (4-10)
16 - Oakland Raiders (3-10)

*Clinched playoff berth

Tie breaks: 11-3 teams: Chiefs beat Chargers based on division records; 7-6 teams: Division tie break used for Colts to beat Titans (head-to-head results), Ravens beat Dolphins on common games results, Ravens beat Colts on AFC win percentage, Colts beat Dolphins on head-to-head results, Dolphins beat Titans (after Colts out of tie) based on head-to-head; 4-9 teams: Bills beat Jaguars based on head-to-head results


With three AFC versus AFC games already played, there have been no changes to the NFC’s playoff standings:

NFC Playoff Standings

1 - NFC South winner - New Orleans Saints (11-2)**
2 - NFC West winner - Los Angeles Rams (11-2)**
3 - NFC North leader - Chicago Bears (9-4)
4 - NFC East leader - Dallas Cowboys (8-5)
5 - Wildcard - Seattle Seahawks (8-5)
6 - Wildcard - Minnesota Vikings (6-6-1)

7 - Carolina Panthers (6-7)
8 - Philadelphia Eagles (6-7)
9 - Washington Redskins (6-7)
10 - Green Bay Packers (5-7-1)
11 - Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5-8)
12 - New York Giants (5-8)
13 - Detroit Lions (5-8)
14 - Atlanta Falcons (4-9)

Eliminated:
15 - Arizona Cardinals (3-10)
16 - San Francisco 49ers (3-10)

**Clinched division title

Tie breaks: 11-2 teams: Saints beat Rams based on head-to-head results; 6-7 teams: Division tie break used for Eagles to beat Redskins based on head-to-head, Panthers beat Eagles based on head-to-head; 5-8 teams: Buccaneers beat Lions and Giants based on NFC game results, Giants beat Lions based on NFC game results; 3-10 teams: Cardinals beat 49ers based on head-to-head results