With only two weeks left in the 2018 NFL regular season, many teams have had their playoff hopes dashed. Nineteen teams, however, are still in the hunt.
Below is the list of teams either already in the playoff or at least mathematically able to get there. These teams' games still matter.
- Baltimore Ravens (8-6)
- Cleveland Browns (6-7-1)
- Carolina Panthers (6-8)
- z Chicago Bears (10-4)
- Dallas Cowboys (8-6)
- Houston Texans (10-4)
- Indianapolis Colts (8-6)
- x Kansas City Chiefs (11-3)
- x Los Angeles Chargers (11-3)
- z Los Angeles Rams (11-3)
- Miami Dolphins (7-7)
- Minnesota Vikings (7-6-1)
- New England Patriots (9-5)
- z New Orleans Saints (12-2)
- Philadelphia Eagles (7-7)
- Pittsburgh Steelers (8-5-1)
- Seattle Seahawks (8-6)
- Tennessee Titans (8-6)
- Washington Redskins (7-7)
x - denotes teams that have clinched a playoff spot
z - denotes teams that have clinched their division (and therefore, a playoff spot)
Teams not on the list are out. Their games really don't matter, except to determine the order of the 2019 NFL Draft.
So, that means these games matter - for at least one team - in Week 16 (all times Eastern):
- Washington at Tennessee - Saturday at 4:20 pm
- Baltimore at LA Chargers - Saturday at 8:20 pm
- Cincinnati at Cleveland - Sunday at 1:00 pm
- Tampa Bay at Dallas - Sunday at 1:00 pm
- Minnesota at Detroit - Sunday at 1:00 pm
- Buffalo at New England - Sunday at 1:00 pm
- Houston at Philadelphia - Sunday at 1:00 pm
- Atlanta at Carolina - Sunday at 1:00 pm (note that the Panthers have shut down Cam Newton for the rest of the season, so they might not be all-in here)
- NY Giants at Indianapolis - Sunday at 1:00 pm
- Jacksonville at Miami - Sunday at 1:00 pm
- LA Rams at Arizona - Sunday at 4:05 pm
- Chicago at San Francisco - Sunday at 4:05 pm
- Pittsburgh at New Orleans - Sunday at 4:25 pm
- Kansas City at Seattle - Sunday at 8:20 pm
The bolded teams still have a shot at the postseason or are already in and are trying to better their seeding. The other teams aren't going to the playoffs, but they have a chance this week to play the role of spoiler if they so desire.
So, in a bit of a stroke of luck for the NFL, a whopping 14 games this week involve at least one team still focused on a championship.
Which two contests are without playoff-hopeful teams?
- Green Bay at NY Jets - Sunday at 1:00 pm
- Denver at Oakland - Monday at 8:15 pm