When play gets underway Thursday night with St. Louis hosting Tampa Bay, 25 of the 32 teams in the National Football League will either have a spot in the postseason or fight for a spot. Those that have clinched spots (New England, Arizona and Carolina) know they’re already in and don’t have to worry about losing their spot at the wassail bowl.

For the others… it’s a chance to play the role of “Dirty Santa” and knock the others out of a spot at the party. For those that are contending, it’s now time to play naughty and hope they get the good stuff and the others get switches and lumps of coal in their stockings.

Some have a chance, others are long shots. For the ones that didn’t make it this year, step away from the wassail and step back behind the velet ropes.

Here’s a look at the contenders with their overall records, their remaining opponents and their combined records.

AFC

1. New England (11-2) Remaining opponents: vs. Tennessee (3-10), at New York Jets (8-5), at Miami (5-8) (16-23)

2. Cincinnati (10-3) Remaining opponents: at San Francisco (4-9), at Denver (10-3), vs. Baltimore (4-9) (18-21)

3. Denver (10-3) Remaining opponents: at Pittsburgh (8-5), vs. Cincinnati (10-3), vs. San Diego (3-10) (21-18)

4. Indianapolis (6-7) Remaining oppnents: vs. Houston (6-7), at Miami (5-8), vs. Tennessee (3-10) (14-25)

5. Kansas City (8-5) Remaining opponents: at Baltimore (4-9), vs. Cleveland (3-10), vs. Oakland (6-7) (13-26)

6. New York Jets (8-5) Remaining opponents: at Dallas (4-9), vs. New England (11-2), at Buffalo (6-7) (21-18)

Still in the hunt

7. Pittsburgh (8-5) Remaining opponents: vs. Denver (10-3), at Baltimore (4-9), at Cleveland (3-10) (17-22)

8. Oakland (6-7) Remaining opponents: vs. Green Bay (9-4), vs. San Diego (3-10), at Kansas City (8-5) (20-19)

9. Buffalo (6-7) Remaining opponents:  at Washington (6-7), vs. Dallas (4-9), vs. New York Jets (8-5) (18-21)

10. Houston (6-7) Remaining opponents: at Indianapolis (6-7), at Tennessee (3-10), vs. Jacksonville (5-8) (14-25)

11. Jacksonville (5-8) Remaining opponents: vs. Atlanta (6-7), at New Orleans (5-8), at Houston (6-7) (17-22)

Prepping for the draft… San Diego, Cleveland, Miami, Tennessee and Baltimore

NFC

1. Carolina (13-0) Remaining opponents: at New York Giants (5-7), at Atlanta (6-7), vs. Tampa Bay (6-7) (17-22)

2. Arizona (11-2) Remaining opponents: at Philadelphia (6-7), vs. Green Bay (9-4), vs. Seattle (8-5) (23-16)

3. Green Bay (9-4) Remaining opponents: at Oakland (6-7), at Arizona (11-2), vs. Minnesota (8-5) (25-14)

4. Washington (6-7) Remaining opponents: vs. Buffalo (6-7), at Philadelphia (6-7), at Dallas (4-9) (16-23)

5. Seattle (8-5) Remaining opponents: vs. Cleveland (3-10), vs. St. Louis (5-8), at Arizona (11-2) (19-20)

6. Minnesota (8-5) Remaining opponents: vs. Chicago (5-8), vs. New York Giants (5-7), at Green Bay (9-4) (19-20)

Hanging on…

7. Tampa Bay (6-7) Remaining opponents: at St. Louis (5-8), vs. Chicago (5-8), at Carolina (13-0) (23-16)

8. Atlanta (6-7) Remaining opponents: at Jacksonville (5-8), vs. Carolina (13-0), vs. New Orleans (5-8) (23-16)

9. Philadelphia (6-7) Remaining opponents: vs. Arizona (11-2), vs. Washington (6-7), at New York Giants (5-7) (22-17)

10. New York Giants (6-7) Remaining opponents: vs. Carolina (13-0), at Minnesota (8-5), vs. Philadelpha (6-7) (27-12)

11. St. Louis (5-8) Remaining opponents: vs. Tampa Bay (6-7), at Seattle (8-5), at San Francisco (4-9) (18-21)

12. Chicago (5-8) Remaining opponents: at Minnesota (8-5), at Tampa Bay (6-7), vs. Detroit (4-9) (18-21)

13. New Orleans (5-8) Remaining opponents: vs. Detroit (4-9), vs. Jacksonville (5-8), at Atlanta (6-7) (15-24)

14. Dallas (4-9) Remaining opponents: vs. New York Jets (8-5), at Buffalo (6-7), vs. Washington (6-7) (20-19)

Put a fork in them, they’re done… San Francisco and Detroit

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