With four weeks left in the NFL season, nothing’s been decided as of yet. While Cleveland and San Francisco have all but assured themselves of not making the post-season party, there are 30 other teams that have a chance. Some have chances that are greater than others and the one that are on life support still have a chance but they need help.

As people fight over parking spots and deals at the mall, teams are fighting for playoff spots in both the NFC and AFC. Only six get to go to the post-season party, while those that are left behind get lumps of coal in their stockings. It’s not fair but it’s a lot better than nothing.

12 teams. 1 Lombardi trophy. Think of it as two women fighting over the same Christmas dress and they’re both size 2’s. Yep. It can get nasty.

Here’s a look at the contenders for both the NFC and AFC (records are as of play Monday night).


1. Dallas (10-1) REMAINING OPPONENTS: at Vikings (6-5), at Giants (8-3), vs. Buccaneers (6-5), vs. Lions (7-4), at Eagles (5-5)

Dallas travels to East Rutherford to avenge a week one loss, Dallas has beaten Philadelphia already this season, winning in week eight in overtime in Arlington.

2. Seattle (7-3-1) REMAINING OPPONENTS: vs. Panthers (4-7), at Packers (4-6), vs. Rams (4-7), vs. Cardinals (4-6-1), at 49ers (1-10)

Although Seattle is atop the NFC West, they need to beat Los Angeles, who they lost to in week one in LA. The Seahawks have tie breakers head-to-head with Arizona and San Francisco.

3. Detroit (7-4) REMAINING OPPONENTS: at Saints (5-6), vs. Bears (2-9), at Giants (8-3), at Cowboys (10-1), vs. Packers (4-6)

Detroit matched its win total from 2015 and have swept Minnesota head to head in the NFC North. They need wins against Green Bay (they lost in week three at Lambeau) and Chicago (they lost to Da Bears in the Windy City in week four) to seal the division.

4. Atlanta (7-4) REMAINING OPPONENTS: vs. Chiefs (8-3), at Rams (4-7), vs. 49ers (1-10), at Panthers (4-7), vs. Saints (5-6)

After then contest with Kansas City next Sunday, the Falcons schedule becomes somewhat easier for them, as they do not have to face an opponent with a record above .500. Atlanta has wins over Carolina (week four in Atlanta) and New Orleans (week three in the Big Easy), splitting with Tampa Bay.

5. New York Giants (8-3) REMAINING OPPONENTS: at Steelers (6-5), vs. Cowboys (10-1), vs. Lions (7-4), at Eagles (5-5), at Redskins (6-4-1)

New York surpassed their 2015 win total and has contests in the NFC East left with Dallas (week 13) and Philly (week 16) and Washington (week 17). Big Blue beat Dallas in Arlington in week one, while losing to Washington in week nine and beating Philly at home in week nine.

6. Washington (6-4-1) REMAINING OPPONENTS: at Cardinals (4-6-1), at Eagles (5-5), vs. Panthers (4-7), at Bears (2-9), vs. Giants (8-3)

Washington was swept by Dallas this season, so the ‘Skins would lose any tiebreakers there. They do have wins over the Giants in week nine in the Meadowlands and over Philly in week six.

Also in the running…  Tampa Bay (6-5), Minnesota (6-5), Philadelphia (5-5), New Orleans (5-6), Arizona (4-6-1), Green Bay (4-6), Carolina (4-7) and Los Angeles (4-7).

On Life Support … Chicago (2-9)

Deader than Bob Cratchit … San Francisco (1-10)


1. New England (9-2) REMAINING OPPONENTS: vs. Rams (4-7), vs. Ravens (6-5), at Broncos (7-4), vs. Jets (3-8), at Dolphins (7-4)

New England took back the top spot in the AFC playoff race and needs to keep it if they want to be home for the playoffs. Spiltting with Buffalo in weeks four (loss in Foxboro) and week eight (win in Orchard Park), they need to beat Miami (they were winners in Foxboro in week two) and the Jets (won in East Rutherford in week tweleve) to go 5-1 in the division.

2. Oakland (9-2)REMAINING OPPONENTS: vs. Bills (6-5), at Chiefs (8-3), at Chargers (5-6), vs. Colts (5-6), at Broncos (7-4)

Oakland’s schedule the rest of the way isn’t as easy as it looks. After the Bills leave Oakland, they have rematches with Kansas City and San Diego (the Chiefs beat them in Oakland in week five after beating the Chargers in Oakland in week four), then face Indy and have a rematch with the defending Super Bowl champs in Denver (win in week nine in Oakland).

3. Baltimore (6-5) REMAINING OPPONENTS: vs. Dolphins (7-4), at Patriots (9-2), vs. Eagles (5-5), at Steelers (6-5), at Bengals (3-7-1)

The Ravens surpassed their 2015 win total and are on top in the somewhat weak AFC North. Only a rematchs in the Steel City in week 16 and Cincinnati in week 17 are on their dockets.

4. Houston (6-5) REMAINING OPPONENTS: at Packers (4-6), at Colts (5-6), vs. Jaguars (2-9), vs. Bengals (3-7-1), at Titans (5-6)

The Texans have somewhat of an easy schedule the rest of the way, with no team having a .500 record or better.

5. Kansas City (8-3) REMAINING OPPONENTS: at Falcons (7-4), vs. Raiders (9-2), vs. Titans (5-6), vs. Broncos (7-4), at Chargers (5-6)

After their contests with Atlanta Sunday and a rematch with the Raiders, who they beat on the West Coast in week five, the only opponent with a .500 record or better is Denver, who they beat in week 12 in the Mile High City. The Chiefs host the defending Super Bowl champs in week 16 and then finish with San Diego,

6. Miami (7-4) REMAINING OPPONENTS: at Ravens (6-5), vs. Cardinals (4-6-1), at Jets (3-8), at Bills (6-5), vs. Patriots (9-2)

While the ‘Fins have supassed their win total from 2015, their schedule does NOT get easier, even with contests against Arizona and the lowly New York Jets. After the Ravens in Charm City next week and getting past the Cardinals and Jets, division foes Buffalo (they beat the Bills in the Sunshine State in week seven) and Buffalo (they lost to the then-Bradyless Pats in week two)

Still Breathing… Denver (7-4), Pittsburgh (6-5), Buffalo (6-5), Tennessee (6-6), Indianapolis (5-6), San Diego (5-6), Cincinnati (3-7-1), New York Jets (3-8)

Limping, even with Tiny Tim’s crutch… Jacksonville (2-9)

Deader than Marley’s Ghost … Cleveland (0-12)

Seedings (If the playoffs were tonight… playoffs? PLAYOFFS!? Are you kidding me?)

NFC: 1. Dallas; 2. Seattle; 3. Detroit; 4. Atlanta; 5. New York Giants; 6. Washington
AFC: 1. New England; 2. Oakland; 3. Baltimore; 4. Houston; 5. Kansas City; 6. Miami

First Round

NFC Wild Card – (6) Washington at (3) Detroit, (5) New York Giants at (4) Atlanta
AFC Wild Card – (6) Miami at (3) Baltimore, (5) Kansas City at (4) Houston

Divisonal Round

NFC – Lowest remaining seed at (2) Seattle, Highest remaining seed at (1) Dallas
AFC – Lowest remaining seed at (2) Oakland, Highest remaining seed at (1) New England