NFL Playoff Bracket 2019: Standings after Week 15

SANTA CLARA, CALIFORNIA - DECEMBER 15: Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo #10 of the San Francisco 49ers hands off the ball to running back Tevin Coleman #26 during the game against the Atlanta Falcons at Levi's Stadium on December 15, 2019 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
SANTA CLARA, CALIFORNIA - DECEMBER 15: Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo #10 of the San Francisco 49ers hands off the ball to running back Tevin Coleman #26 during the game against the Atlanta Falcons at Levi's Stadium on December 15, 2019 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) /
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As the 49ers lost while the Texans picked up a crucial win, we take a look at the NFL Playoff bracket after Sunday’s action in Week 15.

Just when you think you have the NFL Playoff bracket all sorted out, something like Sunday’s slate of games in Week 15 happens. Granted, it wasn’t the craziest of weeks but things certainly got messy, particularly with the San Francisco 49ers losing in wild fashion to the Atlanta Falcons in the final seconds of the game.

That game shakes up the NFL Playoff picture in the NFC a great deal, especially with every other team that would make the playoffs in the conference right now winning on Sunday. Meanwhile, the New Orleans Saints are now locked into the No. 3 seed for at least one more week, no matter what happens on Monday Night Football against the Indianapolis Colts.

On the other side of the NFL Playoff bracket, the AFC didn’t feature much change but we did get a little more clarity. The Houston Texans took firm control of the AFC South as they toppled the Tennessee Titans, though neither team is set in their current spot with two weeks left.

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Furthermore, the AFC Wild Card race took further shape with the Buffalo Bills beating the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday Night Football. Buffalo clinched a playoff berth with the win and the Steelers are now still vulnerable in the Wild Card race, which could make for a fun photo finish in that regard.

But with Sunday in Week 15 now in the books and the Monday Night Football matchup not having any bearing on the standings heading into the final two weeks of the season, let’s take a look at the NFL Playoff bracket once again to look at the postseason matchups and overall picture as of right now. We’ll start with the AFC.

AFC Playoff Picture

6 Pittsburgh Steelers (8-6) vs. 3 Kansas City Chiefs (10-4)
5 Buffalo Bills (10-4) vs. 4 Houston Texans (9-5)
First-Round Byes: 1 Baltimore Ravens (12-2), 2 New England Patriots (11-3)

Still In the Hunt: 7 Tennessee Titans (8-6), 8 Indianapolis Colts (6-7), 9 Cleveland Browns (6-8), 10 Oakland Raiders (6-8)

Buffalo’s big win on Sunday Night Football maintains the Wild Card position for themselves and for Pittsburgh at No. 5 and 6, respectively. However, things now get interesting for the Steelers moving forward as the Titans could still sneak in over them. The Colts, Browns and Raiders are still alive, in theory, but that’s really all that is.

Baltimore seems pretty locked into the No. 1 seed as they’d need to finish the season with two straight losses while the Patriots would need two straight wins at the same time for New England to get the No. 1 seed. Buffalo still has an outside shot to win the AFC East as well, though.

Houston winning against Tennessee puts them in position to control the AFC South but it’s not certain. The Titans are very much still alive in the division race — especially if they can beat New Orleans next week and if Houston were to lose to Tampa — and also in the Wild Card race as well.

The Chiefs are looming large in this. They have been coming on strong as of late and, if the Patriots fall to the Bills and Kansas City wins out, they could move into the No. 2 seed in the AFC.

NFC Playoff Picture

6 Minnesota Vikings (10-4) vs. 3 New Orleans Saints (10-3)
5 San Francisco 49ers (11-3) vs. 4 Dallas Cowboys (7-7)
First-Round Byes: 1 Seattle Seahawks (11-3), 2 Green Bay Packers (11-3)

Still In the Hunt: 7 Los Angeles Rams (8-6), 9 Philadelphia Eagles (7-7)

As mentioned, no matter if the Saints win or lose on Monday Night Football, they’re the No. 3 seed after Week 15. The big changes, however, come ahead and behind New Orleans thanks to some big results throughout the NFC Playoff race.

San Francisco losing in heartbreaking fashion to the Falcons (at home no less) drops them out of the NFC West lead and into the first Wild Card seed in the NFC as the Seahawks picked up the win over Carolina in convincing fashion on Sunday. Both the 49ers and Seahawks clinched playoff berths.

Meanwhile, the Vikings and Packers maintained their positioning in the NFC North race with their respective wins while Green Bay clinched a playoff berth. But, with San Francisco falling, Green Bay moves into the No. 2 seed and would get a first-round bye if their positioning holds throughout the final two weeks of the regular season. Their Week 16 showdown on Monday Night Football could be huge.

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Also in Week 16, all eyes will be on the NFC East and the race between the Cowboys and Eagles. Both winners on Sunday in Week 15, they sit at 7-7 going into this matchup. The winner, in essence, will win the NFC East and punch their ticket to a home game in the Wild Card Round.