Week 15 NFL Playoff Picture: The Bracket Begins to Fill

Dec 11, 2022; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson (18) is unable to make a catch in front of Detroit Lions cornerback Jerry Jacobs (39) during the second half at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: David Reginek-USA TODAY Sports

Every week as the NFL regular season draws closer to an end, we will go over the updated playoff picture for each conference. Now that the dust has settled from Week 14 action, here is the Week 15 NFL playoff picture as we prepare for final four weeks of action.

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Dec 4, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson (18) reacts after the game against the New York Jets at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports


  1. Philadelphia Eagles (12-1) *
  2. Minnesota Vikings (10-3)
  3. San Francisco 49ers (9-4)
  4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-7)
  5. Dallas Cowboys (10-3)
  6. Washington Commanders (7-5-1) — in-division record tiebreaker over NYG
  7. New York Giants (7-5-1)

  1. Seattle Seahawks (7-6)
  2. Detroit Lions (6-7)
  3. Green Bay Packers (5-8)
  4. Carolina Panthers (5-8)
  5. Atlanta Falcons (5-8)
  6. Arizona Cardinals (4-9)
  7. New Orleans Saints (4-9)
  8. Los Angeles Rams (4-9)
  9. Chicago Bears (3-10)

*: clinched playoff berth

Wild Card Matchups

  • (7) New York Giants @ (2) Minnesota Vikings
  • (6) Washington Commanders @ (3) San Francisco 49ers
  • (5) Dallas Cowboys @ (4) Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  • (1) Philadelphia Eagles on bye


  • The Vikings can’t get complacent, or the 49ers might catch them for the No. 2 seed.
  • The Eagles are the NFL’s first team to clinch a playoff berth.
  • Who would’ve predicted we might get a Taylor Heinicke vs. Brock Purdy playoff game?
  • The Detroit Lions finding a way into the playoff bracket is bad news for anyone hosting a wildcard game. It would have seemed unbelievable as recently as Halloween, but this Detroit team is legitimate.


Dec 1, 2022; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen (17) exits the field after defeating the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports


  1. Buffalo Bills (10-3) — head-to-head tiebreaker over KC
  2. Kansas City Chiefs (10-3)
  3. Baltimore Ravens (9-4) — head-to-head tiebreaker over CIN
  4. Tennessee Titans (7-6)
  5. Cincinnati Bengals (9-4)
  6. Miami Dolphins (8-5)
  7. New England Patriots (7-6) — in-conference record tiebreaker over LAC, head-to-head tiebreaker over NYJ

  1. Los Angeles Chargers (7-6)
  2. New York Jets (7-6)
  3. Jacksonville Jaguars (5-8)
  4. Las Vegas Raiders (5-8)
  5. Cleveland Browns (5-8)
  6. Pittsburgh Steelers (5-8)
  7. Indianapolis Colts (4-8-1)
  8. Denver Broncos (3-10)
  9. Houston Texans (1-11-1)

Wild Card Matchups

  • (7) New England Patriots @ (2) Kansas City Chiefs
  • (6) Miami Dolphins @ (3) Baltimore Ravens
  • (5) Cincinnati Bengals @ (4) Tennessee Titans
  • (1) Buffalo Bills on bye


  • Imagine earning the No. 2 seed and being rewarded with having to play against Bill Belichick. That’s what the Chiefs are in store for as of right now.
  • In terms of draft positioning, there could be a massive shuffling in the next couple weeks with how many 8-loss teams reside in this conference.
  • Outside of New England vs. Kansas City in the Wild Card round, everything else stays the same among the AFC playoff seeds.
  • With the Jaguars lurking around, the Titans need to break this losing streak.

Josh Frey is a Class of 2020 graduate of The College of Idaho with a bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing. He also earned minors in History, Human Biology, and Journalism. When he’s not writing about the NFL, Josh enjoys marathon training, playing video games, or rooting for the Milwaukee Brewers and Bucks. For more of his opinions, check out his Twitter account: @Freyed_Chicken.