Playoff Picture: Lions can still clinch NFC North

Posted at 4:07 PM, Dec 20, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-20 16:07:06-05
(AP) -- Cam Newton and the Panthers stuck it to Josh Norman and the Redskins, helping the Buccaneers and Packers improve their playoff chances.
Carolina's 26-15 victory at Washington on Monday night knocked the Redskins out of the NFC's second wild-card position and kept the Panthers in the race mathematically. Carolina needs to win out and have 10 games go their way, including another tie for Washington.
The Redskins gained control of their playoff hopes when rival Dallas beat Tampa Bay on Sunday night, but they gave it right back. The loss dropped Washington into eighth place in the conference behind the Bucs and Green Bay.
On Sunday, Tom Brady and the Patriots clinched another division title and helped the Dolphins jump into a postseason position while Oakland snapped a 13-year playoff drought .
New England secured its eighth straight AFC East title and earned a first-round bye with a dominant defensive performance in a 16-3 win at Denver.
The Patriots' victory allowed Miami to leapfrog the Broncos for the second wild-card position in the AFC.
The Raiders beat the Chargers to earn their first trip to the playoffs since losing the 2003 Super Bowl.
In the early games Sunday, the NFC's playoff picture got more jumbled and the Chiefs lost control of their division championship hopes .
The Packers got right back in the mix for an NFC North title thanks to a last-second win over the Bears and help from the Giants, who beat the Lions and put pressure on the Cowboys in the NFC East.
Kansas City lost to Tennessee and then fell out of first place in the AFC West following Oakland's victory. In the AFC South, all three teams vying for first place got big wins.
The Seattle Seahawks kicked off Week 15 by securing another NFC West title on Thursday night.
Dallas, which already got in, maintained a two-game edge over the Giants with a 26-20 win over the Buccaneers.
Here's a closer look at the teams and scenarios:
   Remaining schedule: vs. New York Jets on Dec. 24, at Miami on Jan. 1.
   Division record: 3-1. Conference record: 9-1.
   Clinched division and first-round bye with impressive win over the Broncos. Need two wins, or one win and a loss by Raiders, or two losses by Raiders, to lock up No. 1 seed.
   Remaining schedule: at Buffalo on Dec. 24, vs. New England on Jan. 1.
   Division record: 3-1. Conference record: 6-4.
   Their win over the Jets, coupled with New England's win at Denver, gave the Dolphins control of the second wild-card spot.
   Need a miracle: BUFFALO BILLS (7-7).
   Eliminated: NEW YORK JETS (4-10).
   Remaining schedule: vs. Baltimore on Dec. 25, vs. Cleveland on Jan. 1.
   Division record: 3-1. Conference record: 7-3.
   Their comeback win over the Bengals set up a showdown for the division at home on Christmas Day vs. the Ravens. Pittsburgh already lost at Baltimore so it must win that game.
   Remaining schedule: at Pittsburgh on Dec. 25, at Cincinnati on Jan. 1.
   Division record: 4-0. Conference record: 7-3.
   They win the division if they win out.
   Eliminated: CINCINNATI BENGALS (5-8-1), CLEVELAND BROWNS (0-14).
   Remaining schedule: vs. Cincinnati on Dec. 24, at Tennessee on Jan. 1.
   Division record: 5-0. Conference record: 6-4.
   They might have a quarterback controversy, but Tom Savage led them to a comeback win that keeps them in first place. Houston is tied with the Titans, so their New Year's Day rematch at Tennessee could be for the division.
   Remaining schedule: at Jacksonville on Dec. 24, vs. Houston on Jan. 1.
   Division record: 1-3. Conference record: 5-5.
   An impressive comeback win at Kansas City allows them to control their playoff possibilities. If they win out, they earn a division crown. The Titans would lose a tiebreaker with Houston, so they can't fall behind the Texans going into Week 17. They hold head-to-head tiebreakers over the Broncos and Dolphins, so a wild card is still in play.
   Remaining schedule: at Oakland on Dec. 24, vs. Jacksonville on Jan. 1.
   Division record: 2-3. Conference record: 4-6.
   A big win at Minnesota keeps them alive, but they have the tough Raiders and need help.
   Eliminated: JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS (2-12).
   Remaining schedule: vs. Indianapolis on Dec. 24, at Denver on Jan. 1.
   Division record: 3-2. Conference record: 8-2.
   Oakland clinched its first playoff spot in 14 years with a win over the Chargers. The Raiders must finish one game ahead of the Chiefs to win AFC West because they lost to them twice.
   Remaining schedule: vs. Denver on Dec. 25, at San Diego on Jan. 1.
   Division record: 4-0. Conference record: 7-3.
   Missed opportunity to clinch a playoff spot and lost control of division race, but hold a tiebreaker over the Raiders because of a series sweep.
   Remaining schedule: at Kansas City on Dec. 25, vs. Oakland on Jan. 1.
   Division record: 1-3. Conference record: 5-5.
   They lost control of their playoff future and their schedule is brutal.
   Eliminated: SAN DIEGO CHARGERS (5-8).
   Remaining schedule: vs. Detroit on Dec. 26, at Philadelphia on Jan. 1.
   Division record: 3-2. Conference record: 8-2.
   Their magic number to win the division and secure the No. 1 seed is one.
   Remaining schedule: at Philadelphia on Thursday, at Washington on Jan. 1.
   Division record: 3-1. Conference record: 7-3.
   They put heat on the Cowboys but still need lots of help to win the division. A wild-card berth is more likely, but they have only road games remaining so it won't be easy.
   Remaining schedule: at Chicago on Dec. 24, vs. New York Giants on Jan. 1.
   Division record: 3-2. Conference record: 5-5.
   Lost control of their playoff future. Will need help to get in.
   Eliminated: PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (5-9).
   Remaining schedule: at Dallas on Dec. 26, vs. Green Bay on Jan. 1.
   Division record: 2-2. Conference record: 7-3.
   A loss to the Giants plus Green Bay's win is setting up a winner-take-all home game vs. the Packers in Week 17. The Lions still have a one-game lead, but their schedule is daunting.
   Remaining schedule: vs. Minnesota on Dec. 24, at Detroit on Jan. 1.
   Division record: 3-1. Conference record: 6-4.
   The Packers gained control of their playoff hopes with a win and Detroit's loss. If they win out, they take the North. A wild card also is in play.
   Remaining schedule: at Green Bay on Dec. 24, vs. Chicago on Jan. 1.
   Division record: 1-3. Conference record: 4-6.
   A blowout loss at home to the Colts leaves Minnesota on the brink of elimination.
   Eliminated: CHICAGO BEARS (3-11).
   Remaining schedule: at Carolina on Dec. 24, vs. New Orleans on Jan. 1.
   Division record: 3-1. Conference record: 7-3.
   Their win over San Francisco coupled with Tampa Bay's loss put them in control in the division race.
   Remaining schedule: at New Orleans on Dec. 24, vs. Carolina on Jan. 1.
   Division record: 3-1. Conference record: 6-4.
   Regained their grip on the second wild-card spot with Washington's loss.
   Need a miracle: NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (6-8), CAROLINA PANTHERS (6-8).
   Remaining schedule: vs. Arizona on Dec. 24, at San Francisco on Jan. 1.
   Division record: 2-1-1. Conference record: 5-4-1.
   The first team to clinch a division title, Seattle jumped up to the No. 2 seed following Detroit's loss.
   Eliminated: ARIZONA CARDINALS (5-8-1), LOS ANGELES RAMS (4-10), SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS (1-13).