2023-24 NFL Playoff Picture-Updated Dec. 19

2023-24 NFL Playoff Picture

We’re coming down the stretch in the NFL as we approach Week 16 so it’s time to take a look at the playoffs picture. If you are looking to handicap the games next week, you should know the playoff scenarios.

As of Monday, December 18, Baltimore (11-3) and San Francisco (11-3) both lead the AFC and NFC respectively. The Ravens wrapped up a playoff bid on Sunday night after a win over Jacksonville. The 49ers are not only in the playoffs, but wrapped up the NFC West Division title with a win over Arizona. These teams will also meet on Christmas Night next week.

Let’s take a look at the NFC

1)San Francisco (11-4) is on a roll and looking for home field. After facing Baltimore at home on Dec. 25, they have Washington on the road and the Rams at home.

2)Dallas (10-4) clinched a playoff spot, but they were thrashed by the Bills on Sunday. It’s all about the division now as the Cowboys face Miami on the road, followed by Detroit at home and then Washington on the road. They split with the Eagles this season.

3)Detroit (10-4) is the third seed right now. They face Minnesota (7-7) on the road in a very important game for both squads this week.

4)Tampa Bay (7-7) is tied with New Orleans for the NFC South lead. They currently own the tiebreaker and also beat the Saints 26-9 on Oct. 1. These teams meet on Dec. 31 from Tampa.

5)Philadelphia (10-4) has wrapped up a playoff berth but they lost to Seattle on MNF. They fell to fifth from second place. The good news is that they have the Giants twice and Arizona at home.

6)Minnesota (7-7) faces the Lions this season and is 6-3 in the conference, so that separates them from the LA Rams and New Orleans, who are both 7-7.

7)The LA Rams (7-7) face New Orleans at home this week. They are fighting for a wild card berth knowing that San Francisco cruised to an easy NFC West win.

8)New Orleans (7-7) takes on the Rams in a big battle for a wild card spot. But, unlike the Rams, the Saints have a chance to win their division as they are tied with Tampa Bay at 7-7.

9)Seattle (6-7) is a team that could sneak in but this was written before their Monday Night game. It appears that Drew Lock might be the key for them to get in the playoffs.

Atlanta and Green Bay are both 6-8 and hanging to a wild card shot. Atlanta hurt themselves with a loss to lowly Carolina last week.

*Washington, Arizona and Carolina have all been eliminated.


1)Baltimore (11-3) is the only team that has clinched a berth, but their schedule has been brutal late in the season. They travel to San Francisco next Monday, face Miami at home and then rival Pittsburgh to end the season at home. Cleveland is also hovering around at 9-5, so the division is not in the bag yet.

2)Miami (10-4) should win the AFC East and could win the AFC if they can beat Baltimore and get some help. They have a rough schedule with Dallas at home, Baltimore on the road and Buffalo at home to end the season.

3)Kansas City (9-5) owns the AFC West and can basically clinch the division with a win over the Raiders. Denver (7-7) is 2-2 in the division and 4-4 in the AFC, while KC is 4-1 in the division and 7-2 in the AFC.

4)Jacksonville (8-6) is in trouble. A home loss to the Ravens on Sunday means that the Colts (8-6) have tied them. The Jags own the tiebreaker right now, but the Colts have Atlanta on the road, the Raiders at home and Houston at home, which could be for a wild card berth or the division.

5)Cleveland (9-5) is still in the AFC North race thanks to Joe Flacco and an outstanding defense. The Browns take on a tough Houston team on the road, followed by the NY Jets (Aaron Rodgers?) and Cincinnati on the road.

6)Cincinnati (8-6) is in the mix with Jake Browning, a rare backup quarterback who is playing very well right. They have a big concern at wide receiver with Ja’Marr Chase out due to a shoulder injury. They also face a tough but slumping Steelers team this week. An 0-4 division mark and a 3-6 AFC mark do not help.

7)Indianapolis (8-6) is playing well right now and could steal this division. It starts with Atlanta on the road, who is dangerous at home.

8)Houston (8-6) is somehow in the playoff and AFC South race with Case Keenum now at quarterback or at least until C.J. Stroud returns from a concussion. They face a tough Cleveland team at home this week.

9)Buffalo (8-6) is out of the playoffs right now, so they have work to do. It starts with the awful Chargers on the road, followed by New England at home. They should be 10-6 before facing Miami, but AGS (Any Given Sunday).

*NY Jets, New England and Tennessee have been eliminated.

Author Profile
Ben Hayes

Ben has been a sports writer for over 35 years, dabbling in college and pro basketball, college and pro football, baseball, college lacrosse, minor league baseball and even college gymnastics. He's also been involved in the gaming industry for nearly 30 years and has been looking to beat the books since he was 13! Ben has had great success in handicapping college football, the NFL, college basketball, the NBA and MLB for 27+ years. His Twitter handle is @BenHayesWAW