NFL takeaways from Week 15
Even when the Steelers were undefeated, there was a "yeah, but..." after seemingly every game. Most of the time it was that they were only beating bad teams. Now, they're losing to bad teams. Pittsburgh has lost three in a row-- one to a good Buffalo team, but others to Washington and Cincinnati. The defense hasn't been bad, but the offense has struggled to produce in recent weeks, scoring less than 20 points in each of the last four games. If they want to win the division and compete in the playoffs, Pittsburgh will need to find a spark on offense.
Raiders falling back
Las Vegas was firmly in the playoff hunt entering its Week 14 game against Indianapolis, but two consecutive losses have the Raiders two games back with only two left to play. They are one of many teams in the league that have good offenses but are let down by poor defenses. The Raiders have a key game against Miami, who currently owns the final playoff spot, in Week 16. A loss would put an end to Vegas's playoff hopes.
Anyone can slip
You often hear, "It's the NFL. Anybody can beat anybody." That was never more true than when the winless Jets beat the playoff-bound Rams on Sunday. The Jets actually looked decent at times and will not join the ranks of past winless teams.
Jets mess up No. 1 pick
The flip side of that win may be painful for Jets fans. The win over LA ties the Jets for the league's worst record with Jacksonville, but the Jaguars currently hold the top draft pick due to strength of schedule. If the current situation holds, Trevor Lawrence will end up in Jacksonville instead of New York.
Wild card races clear up
I touched on the AFC briefly above, but let me expand for a minute. The Raiders currently sit at 7-7; two games behind the Dolphins and Ravens at 9-5. Cleveland and Indianapolis hold the other two wild card spots at 10-4. Those two appear to be in no matter what, so it's down to three teams for the final spot. A Miami win over Vegas would eliminate the Raiders and narrow it down to two teams in the final week. In the NFC, there are a couple more teams still alive. The Rams and Buccaneers currently hold the top two wild card spots at 9-6, and Arizona holds the final spot at 8-6. Chicago is right behind at 7-7, and the 6-8 Vikings are hanging by a thread. Minnesota could be eliminated this weekend, but the others have easier schedules remaining. The NFC race could very well come down to the Cardinals-Rams game in Week 17.
No. 1 seeds
With the Steelers losing three straight, Kansas City is now in control of the AFC and can wrap up the No.1 seed this weekend, Buffalo and Pittsburgh are both two games back with Buffalo holding the tiebreaker. In the NFC, Green Bay currently holds the top spot by a game over Seattle and New Orleans. It is very unlikely any of the other playoff contenders can grab the NFC's top spot, but both Seattle and New Orleans have narrow leads in their divisions, while Green Bay has already secured the NFC North.