Buccaneers, Cowboys, Chiefs clinch division titles as 2 other teams seal playoff berths in Week 16
The NFL playoff field went from one team clinched to six teams this week, with two divisions sealed in the process.
Entering Thursday, the Green Bay Packers were the only team in the playoffs thanks to their third straight NFC North title in Week 15. Here are the five teams that joined them, and how:
Dallas Cowboys (division clinched)
The Cowboys entered the playoffs without playing a game, thanks to the San Francisco 49ers' loss to the Tennessee Titans on Thursday night. They then clinched the NFC East, again before their Sunday night game against the Washington Football Team.
By virtue of strength of victory, the Cowboys gained a tiebreaker over the Philadelphia Eagles via the Las Vegas Raiders' win over the Denver Broncos.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (division clinched)
Compared to the Cowboys, the Buccaneers clinched their division the old-fashioned way, beating a division opponent.
The Buccaneers soundly beat the Carolina Panthers 32-6 to push their record to 11-4, well enough ahead of the 7-7 New Orleans Saints to lock down their first division title since 2007.
Kansas City Chiefs (division clinched)
No team looked better than the Chiefs this weekend, thanks to a 36-10 slaughter of the Pittsburgh Steelers. A surprise Los Angeles Chargers loss to the Houston Texans also sealed the AFC West, once thought to be one of the most competitive divisions in football.
The Chiefs will now look to seal a first-round bye, currently sitting as the AFC's top seed and a game ahead of the Tennessee Titans.
Los Angeles Rams
The Rams clinched their fourth playoffs in five years under Sean McVay with a 30-23 win over the Minnesota Vikings. Thanks to the Arizona Cardinals' third straight loss, the 11-4 Rams also moved to first place in the NFC West, with a chance at clinching the division next week.
The Cardinals didn't enter the playoffs in style, losing 22-16 to the Indianapolis Colts on Saturday, but they clinched all the same thanks to the Rams' win over the Vikings.
What the playoffs would look like if the season ended tomorrow
Here's how the NFC currently sits, as of Sunday night:
Green Bay Packers (12-3)
Dallas Cowboys (11-4)
Los Angeles Rams (11-4)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (11-4)
Arizona Cardinals (10-5)
San Francisco 49ers (8-7)
Philadelphia Eagles (8-7)
Next three in:
New Orleans Saints (7-7), playing Monday
Minnesota Saints (7-8)
Atlanta Falcons (7-8)
And the AFC:
Kansas City Chiefs (11-4)
Tennessee Titans (10-5)
Cincinnati Bengals (9-6)
Buffalo Bills (9-6)
Indianapolis Colts (9-6)
New England Patriots (9-6)
Baltimore Ravens (8-7)
Next three in:
Los Angeles Chargers (8-7)
Las Vegas Raiders (8-7)
Miami Dolphins (7-7), playing Monday
The following teams have been eliminated from playoff contention: Jacksonville Jaguars, Detroit Lions, Houston Texans, New York Giants, New York Jets, Seattle Seahawks, Chicago Bears, Carolina Panthers.