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NFL Playoff Picture: Patriots Clinch Berth In AFC, Falcons Lead NFC

With just three weeks remaining in the NFL's regular season, only one team has clinched a playoff berth: the New England Patriots. They did so with another dominating performance, this time in the snow in Chicago, downing the Bears, 36-7.

The other three division leaders in the AFC right now are the Pittsburgh Steelers, Kansas City Chiefs and Jacksonville Jaguars. The New York Jets, despite Sunday's loss to the Miami Dolphins (New York's second straight loss), are still the top Wild Card team, with a 9-4 record (the Baltimore Ravens play the Houston Texans Monday night).


Who's In:

1. New England Patriots (11-2; clinched playoff berth)

Division Leaders:

2. Pittsburgh Steelers (10-3)
3. Kansas City Chiefs (8-5)
4. Jacksonville Jaguars (8-5)

Wild Card Leaders:

5. New York Jets (9-4)
6. Baltimore Ravens (8-4)

Outside Looking In: San Diego Chargers (7-6) Indianapolis Colts (7-6), Miami Dolphins (7-6), Oakland Raiders (6-7), Houston Texans (5-7)

It's a must-win for the Texans Monday night if they hope to stay alive for a Wild Card spot. The Ravens seem to be in the best position for a Wild Car berth -- not only do they have a two-game lead for the No. 6 seed in the playoffs, but they also end the season at the Browns (5-8) and against the 2-11 Bengals (Baltimore also owns the tiebreaker against New York).


Division Leaders:

1. Atlanta Falcons (11-2)
2. Chicago Bears (9-4)
3. Philadelphia Eagles (9-4)
4. St. Louis Rams (6-7)

Wild Card Teams:

5. New Orleans Saints (10-3)
6. New York Giants (8-4)

Outside Looking In: Tampa Bay Buccaneers (8-5), Green Bay Packers (8-5), Seattle Seahawks (6-7), San Francisco 49ers (5-8)

Welcome to the NFC, where the 6-7 Rams are the No. 4 seed and the 8-5 Bucs and Packers are currently left out of the playoffs. The Bears loss to the Patriots didn't really hurt them too much, since Green Bay also lost in Detroit (and lost quarterback Aaron Rodgers to concussion; it's very likely the Packers could be playing the Patriots in New England without their starting QB). The New York Giants and Minnesota Vikings play Monday night in Detroit (moved as a result of the Metrodome roof collapsing), and a win could bring Minnesota right back in the picture, just two games back of a Wild Card spot with three to play.