Kansas City Chiefs v Denver Broncos
at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on September 14, 2014 in Denver, Colorado.
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NFL playoff picture, Week 15: What to watch

The playoff races are heating up across the NFL, especially in the NFC. The Philadelphia Eagles have been almost guaranteed to be one of the top two seeds for much of the year. However, with the torn ACL of Carson Wentz, it now appears all bets are off once again.

Philadelphia should be able to handle business this weekend against the New York Giants. But can they handle the Dallas Cowboys in their rematch at Lincoln Financial Field in Week 17? If not, the Cowboys might be able to find a wild card berth, although it won’t be easy. At 7-6, the Cowboys have to win out with games against the Oakland Raiders, Seattle Seahawks and Eagles.

Of course, there are ample teams fighting for spots in the crowded NFC. The Eagles have already clinched the NFC East. The Minnesota Vikings can lock up the NFC North with a win over the Cincinnati Bengals at home on Sunday. The other two divisions will remain up for grabs regardless of the results this week. Although the Los Angeles Rams can secure the West with a victory over the Seahawks in the Emerald City.

If the Rams can beat the Seahawks, they would only need one win over their final two weeks, which includes games on the road against the Tennessee Titans and at home versus the San Francisco 49ers. If Seattle wins, the Rams could actually be out of the playoff picture should the Carolina Panthers, Atlanta Falcons and New Orleans Saints all win in Week 15. Seattle would be tied with the Rams atop the West but would also hold the tiebreaker based on a season sweep of Los Angeles. The Seahawks would still have some work ahead, though, with a tough game at Dallas before a Week 17 date with the Arizona Cardinals.

In the AFC, things are simpler. The New England Patriots and Pittsburgh Steelers play at Heinz Field, with the winner in the No. 1 seed. It would be a huge upset if either lost in the past two weeks. The Jacksonville Jaguars can actually leap over the Patriots with a win and a New England loss. A win for the Jaguars over the Houston Texans would also clinch their first playoff berth since 2007.

Finally, the AFC West is up for grabs at Arrowhead Stadium on Saturday night. The Kansas City Chiefs hold the tiebreaker on the Los Angeles Chargers with both clubs at 7-6, having beaten them in Week 3. If the Chiefs win on Saturday, they would only need to beat the Miami Dolphins or Denver Broncos to clinch the division. If the Chargers beat the Chiefs, they simply need to beat the New York Jets and Oakland Raiders to win the West. The NFL is coming to an exciting climax.


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