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NFL Week 16 reaction: Top 5 storylines

There are storylines galore to discuss in out NFL Week 16 reaction, including a few divisions settled after months-long races.

5. Packers, Chiefs take another step

The Green Bay Packers and Kansas City Chiefs entered the weekend holding the top seeds in their respective conferences. As we come out of Sunday’s action, both continue to do so. Green Bay held on for a 24-22 win over the Cleveland Browns, while the Chiefs pummeled the Pittsburgh Steelers, 36-10. Both still need to win out to have home-field advantage throughout January, but they’re a step closer to getting the jobs done.

4. The Bengals didn’t mess around with the Ravens

Many wondered if the Cincinnati Bengals — who haven’t won a playoff game since the 1990 season — could step up and win a huge game. It turns out, they had no issue. Yes, the Baltimore Ravens were missing quarterbacks Lamar Jackson and Tyler Huntley, but the Bengals torched their defense to the tune of 575 yards, including 525 passing yards from Joe Burrow. At 9-6, Cincinnati needs to win only one more game to clinch the AFC North, something nobody believed it could do entering the season.

3. The Jaguars are looking like a good bet for the No. 1 overall pick

After losing to the New York Jets on Sunday at MetLife Stadium, the Jaguars are 2-13 and in the pole position for the top pick in the 2022 NFL Draft. It would be the second straight year they go on the clock first after never having been in that spot in franchise history prior to ’21. Jacksonville is a complete mess, and it appears things are only going to get uglier before the turnaround begins.

2. Somehow, the Raiders control their own destiny

After beating the Denver Broncos 17-13, the Las Vegas Raiders are actually in a great spot for the playoffs. While they need to beat the Indianapolis Colts (road) and Los Angeles Chargers (home), two wins means the postseason for only the second time since 2002 for the Silver and Black. It’s still going to be very difficult to beat two good teams, but it’s possible, and for the Raiders, that’s enough after a brutal last few months.

1. The AFC is starting to shake out

Only the Chiefs have clinched a playoff spot, but the Buffalo Bills, Tennessee Titans, New England Patriots and Indianapolis Colts all have better than a 95 percent chance to join them soon, per 538. The real question is do the Bengals hold on to win the North, and who is the final wild card team?

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