SportsPulse: Lorenzo is here to spread some holiday cheer and solid take to the bank bets for Week 16 in the NFL.
Here’s how the NFL playoff picture looks as Week 16 commences. (Note: the postseason field expands to 14 teams this season and could potentially go to 16 if the league’s schedule is thrown into disarray down the stretch by COVID-19 disruptions.)
y-1. Kansas City Chiefs (13-1), AFC West champions: A win against the Falcons or a loss by either the Bills or Steelers secures home-field advantage for champs.
y-2. Buffalo Bills (11-3), AFC East champions: They’re division titlists for the first time in 25 years. Top seed is virtually out of reach given Buffalo lost to Kansas City in Week 6.
x-3. Pittsburgh Steelers (11-3), AFC North leaders: Failed to wrap up division and just about played themselves out of conversation for home field and first-round bye after third straight loss. Just need a win to wrap up division.
4. Tennessee Titans (10-4), AFC South leaders: Win gives them a playoff berth, and they’ll secure division, too, if Colts lose in Pittsburgh. A loss by the Dolphins or Ravens also puts Tennessee into field.
5. Cleveland Browns (10-4), wild card No. 1: They’re playoff bound for first time since 2002 with a victory against the Jets … assuming either Baltimore, Indianapolis or Miami lose.
6. Indianapolis Colts (10-4), wild card No. 2: They’re into field with a win and a loss by Ravens or Fins.
7. Miami Dolphins (9-5), wild card No. 3: Need to beat Las Vegas on Saturday night as they try to fend off hard-charging Ravens.
8. Baltimore Ravens (9-5), first team out of field: Their 6-5 record against AFC clubs currently has them looking up at Browns, Colts and Dolphins, each 6-4 within the conference.
y-1. Green Bay Packers (11-3), NFC North champions: A win plus a Seahawks defeat means Pack gets to stay at Lambeau Field in January.
y-2. New Orleans Saints (11-4), NFC South champions: Won division for fourth consecutive season on Christmas, but they’ll need a lot of help to reclaim No. 1 seed.
x-3. Seattle Seahawks (10-4), NFC West leaders: Playoff bound for the eighth time in QB Russell Wilson’s nine-year career, they win the division by beating the Rams on Sunday.
4. Washington Football Team (6-8), NFC East leaders: Can remarkably clinch division with a win plus a loss by the Giants.
Bucs QB Tom Brady (12) and TE Rob Gronkowski are returning to the playoffs … with their new team. (Photo: Tim Fuller, USA TODAY Sports)
x-5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (10-5), wild card No. 1: They advance to postseason for first time since 2007 after crushing Lions but will drop back down to sixth seed if Rams win on Sunday.
6. Los Angeles Rams (9-5), wild card No. 2: Suffered humiliating loss to the Jets, failed to clinch a playoff spot and fell out of first place in the NFC West in Week 15. But win in Seattle on Sunday, and L.A. goes back to top of division standings and ensures a playoff return.
7. Arizona Cardinals (8-7), wild card No. 3: Devastating loss to the division rival 49ers on Saturday afternoon means Chicago now controls path to final NFC wild-card berth.
8. Chicago Bears (7-7), first team out of field: They’ve suddenly won two in a row on heels of six-game losing streak. Win their final two games (at Jacksonville vs. Green Bay), and they claim a most surprising postseason berth.
x — clinched berth
y — clinched division
Follow USA TODAY Sports’ Nate Davis on Twitter @ByNateDavis.
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