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NFL News: Player News and Updates for 12/21/13

NFL Updates: Key Playoff Scenarios, Week 16 Schedule and More

December 21, 2013

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It’s been a long week--especially with the lack of a Thursday night game--but we’ll be getting back to the NFL action tomorrow for the long-awaited Week 16 matchups. There are plenty of intriguing games on the schedule, and with the regular season so close to ending we’re going to be taking a slight departure from our daily fare today to take a closer look at some of the playoff scenarios and standings.

Week 16 Key Playoff Scenarios: There are a host of teams who can make the playoffs tomorrow, some with overly complicated scenarios. There are a few matchups that will be of some importance, however, so let’s focus on a few of the bubble teams who can reserve a postseason spot through a division win or a Wild Card berth.

NFL News: Player News and Updates for 12/21/13

Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

Cincinnati Bengals: The Bengals will be facing the Vikings tomorrow. If they win that game and the Ravens lose, they’ll win the AFC North. They’re assured of at least a Wild Card if they win and Miami loses.

Baltimore Ravens: The AFC North could technically still be up for grabs after tomorrow, but for now the Ravens have to be thinking about simply securing a berth. They control their own destiny regardless, but if they win and both Miami and San Diego lose, they get at least a Wild Card.

New Orleans Saints: Over in the NFC, the Saints-Panthers game is by far the most intriguing. A New Orleans win and a 49ers loss gets the Saints locked into the No. 2 slot in the NFC and will score them a first-round bye. If Carolina wins, they’ll get at least a Wild Card.
There are several other scenarios at work in the NFC, most centered around the North and East divisions (the Bears-Eagles matchup is HUGE). A lot of teams are still technically in the hunt, and we’ll know much more after the dust settles Monday night.

NFL Playoff Standings: While we’re waiting on tomorrow’s games to get going, it’s a good time to take a look at the playoff standings in both conferences. We’ll have some very important games in Week 16 that will help decide who makes the postseason--and who will be watching from the couch.

NFC Standings:

1. Seattle Seahawks 12-2 (Lead West; Clinched Playoff Spot)
2. New Orleans Saints 10-4 (Lead South; Own Tiebreaker over Carolina)
3. Philadelphia Eagles 8-6 (Lead East)
4. Chicago Bears 8-6 (Lead North)
5. Carolina Panthers 10-4 (Wild Card 1)
6. San Francisco 49ers 10-4 (Wild Card 2)

In the Hunt: Cardinals 9-5, Packers 7-6-1, Lions 7-7, Cowboys 7-7

AFC Standings:

1. Denver Broncos 11-3 (Lead West; Clinched Playoff Spot)
2. New England Patriots 10-4 (Lead East)
3. Cincinnati Bengals 9-5 (Lead North)
4. Indianapolis Colts 9-5 (Lead South; Clinched Division)
5. Kansas City chiefs 11-3 (Wild Card 1; Clinched Playoff Spot)
6. Baltimore Ravens 8-6 (Wild Card 2)

In the Hunt: Dolphins 8-6, Chargers 7-7

NFL Week 16 Schedule: There are lots of pretty good-looking matchups ahead in Week 16, so it should be another good weekend of football as the playoff-bound teams jockey for position in the standings. Here’s a look at the full schedule, along with the start times and TV networks carrying the games.

Sunday, December 22, 2013:

1:00 PM ET:
Miami Dolphins at Buffalo Bills (CBS)
New Orleans Saints at Carolina Panthers (FOX)
Minnesota Vikings at Cincinnati Bengals (FOX)
Denver Broncos at Houston Texans (CBS)
Tennessee Titans at Jacksonville Jaguars (CBS)
Indianapolis Colts at Kansas City Chiefs (CBS)
Dallas Cowboys at Washington Redskins (FOX)
Cleveland Browns at New York Jets (CBS)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at St. Louis Rams (FOX)

4:05 PM ET:
Arizona Cardinals at Seattle Seahawks (FOX)
New York Giants at Detroit Lions (FOX)

4:25 PM ET:
New England Patriots at Baltimore Ravens (CBS)
Oakland Raiders at San Diego Chargers (CBS)
Pittsburgh Steelers at Green Bay Packers (CBS)

8:30 PM ET:
Chicago Bears at Philadelphia Eagles (NBC)

Monday, December 23, 2013:

8:40 PM ET:
Atlanta Falcons at San Francisco 49ers (ESPN)

For the latest article updates, follow Andrew on Twitter @SCPAndrew.


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