The NFL playoff scenarios got a bit clearer after the Week 16 games on Sunday were completed, but not by much. With several teams still alive in the playoff hunt, this year’s run toward Super Bowl XLVIII is going to come down to the bitter end.
According to a Sportsline update on Dec. 22, the Bears and Packers both blew chances to take hold of the NFC North, while the Lions bowed out gracefully of the playoff race as they were officially eliminated from post season play after losing to the Giants.
Detroit was 6-3 entering their bye week but have since went 1-5, failing to take advantage of a weak schedule and suffering bad home losses to Tampa Bay and the NY Giants.
So here’s what we know right now.
The Bears and Packers will battle for the NFC North title this upcoming Sunday in a winner take all showdown, while the Cowboys and Eagles will battle for the NFC East crown.
The Broncos have claimed home field throughout the AFC playoffs, but the Seahawks missed their chance to claim home-cooking in the NFC by losing to Arizona, so Seattle must win next weekend vs. St. Louis if they want that friendly home field guarantee up in the far northwest.
Besides those facts, there will be a whole lotta shaking going on next weekend as 4 teams in the AFC and NFC will be fighting for the final playoff spot.
So who’s in and who’s still alive in the race for the 2013-14 NFL playoffs?
Here is the break down, along with the latest Super Bowl odds, and for all the non-playoff teams whose fans are already looking forward to the 2014 NFL draft, here is the draft order as of today, Dec. 22.
AFC Seeds and Super Bowl odds
1. Denver (West) 12-3 (3/1 SB odds)
2. New England (East) 11-4 (6/1 SB odds)
3. Cincinnati (North) 10-5 (13/1 SB odds)
4. Indianapolis (South) 10-5 (11/1 SB odds)
5. Kansas City (West) 11-4 (8/1 SB odds)
6. Miami (East) 8-7 (20/1 SB odds)
7. Baltimore (North) 8-7 (35/1 SB odds)
8. San Diego (West) 8-7 (30/1 SB odds)
9. Pittsburgh (North) 7-8 (40/1 SB odds)
NFC Seeds and Super Bowl odds
1. Seattle (West) 12-3 (4/1 SB odds)
2. Carolina (South) 11-4 (6/1 SB odds)
3. Philadelphia (East) 8-6 (10/1 SB odds)
4. Chicago (North) 8-7 (20/1 SB odds)
5. San Francisco (West) 10-4 (5/1 SB odds)
6. New Orleans (South) 10-5 (11/1 SB odds)
7. Arizona (West) 10-5 (20/1 SB odds)
8. Dallas (East) 8-7 (25/1 SB odds)
9. Green Bay (North) 7-7 (22/1 SB odds)
NFL Draft order as of Dec. 22
2 ST. LOUIS (from Washington)
7 TAMPA BAY
11 N.Y. GIANTS
13 N.Y. JETS
14 ST. LOUIS
15 SAN DIEGO
18 GREEN BAY
23 CLEVELAND (from Indianapolis)
26 NEW ENGLAND
28 SAN FRANCISCO
29 NEW ORLEANS
30 KANSAS CITY