Drew Brees against the Panthers.

The 2018 NFL regular season has reached its home stretch, with each team down to its final two games. Some races are over, but many are just heating up.

With that in mind, let’s break down the playoff picture following Week 15 action.

AFC right now
1. Kansas City Chiefs (11-3)
2. Houston Texans (10-4)
3. New England Patriots (9-5)
4. Pittsburgh Steelers (8-5-1)
5. Los Angeles Chargers (11-3)
6. Baltimore Ravens (8-6)
7. Indianapolis Colts (8-6)
8. Tennessee Titans (8-6)
9. Miami Dolphins (7-7)

The Chiefs and Chargers both play huge prime-time Week 16 games which could decide who lands the top seed, which is especially huge considering that the team that doesn’t will be stuck in the No. 5 spot. Houston and New England are battling for a bye, Pittsburgh and Baltimore are battling for a home playoff game, and those two are also trying to fend off Indianapolis, Tennessee and — to a much lesser extent — the 7-7 Dolphins in the playoff race.

AFC projection
1. Los Angeles Chargers (13-3)
2. New England Patriots (11-5)
3. Houston Texans (11-5)
4. Pittsburgh Steelers (9-6-1)
5. Kansas City Chiefs (12-4)
6. Tennessee Titans (10-6)
7. Baltimore Ravens (9-7)
8. Indianapolis Colts (9-7)

We’ve got Tennessee beating Indy at home in Week 17 to grab the No. 6 seed, but that looks like a toss-up in Nashville right now. We also have the Chargers winning the AFC West because they’re more likely to beat Baltimore on Saturday than Kansas City is to beat Seattle on Sunday, and they both should take care of business against Denver and Oakland, respectively, in Week 17. Meanwhile, New England might still leapfrog the Texans, who have a tougher schedule and don’t own the tiebreaker with the Pats. Pittsburgh hangs on despite a Week 16 loss in New Orleans. Chiefs-Steelers would be a fun wild-card weekend matchup.

NFC right now
1. New Orleans Saints (12-2)
2. Los Angeles Rams (11-3)
3. Chicago Bears (10-4)
4. Dallas Cowboys (8-6)
5. Seattle Seahawks (8-6)
6. Minnesota Vikings (7-6-1)
7. Philadelphia Eagles (7-7)
8. Washington Redskins (7-7)

The Saints merely need to beat either the Steelers or Panthers at home in order to clinch the top seed, while the Rams and Bears are fighting for a bye ahead of the probably-locked-in Cowboys. Then it’s Seattle and Minnesota trying to hold off a pair of NFC East teams that have no business in the playoff race right now. It’s a lot more simple in the NFC.

NFC projection
1. New Orleans Saints (14-2)
2. Los Angeles Rams (13-3)
3. Chicago Bears (11-5)
4. Dallas Cowboys (9-7)
5. Seattle Seahawks (10-6)
6. Minnesota Vikings (9-6-1)
7. Philadelphia Eagles (9-7)

There’s a lot of talk that the Rams could lose their bye, but they aren’t losing to the Cardinals or 49ers to close out the season. They’ve dominated those teams this season. But New Orleans will beat the Steelers in Week 16 to grab the top seed, meaning New Orleans, the Bears, and Cowboys look like they’ll have nothing to play for by the time Week 17 rolls around. We actually have the Eagles winning out but falling short, because Minnesota and Seattle should do the same.

About Brad Gagnon

Brad Gagnon has been passionate about both sports and mass media since he was in diapers -- a passion that won't die until he's in them again. Based in Toronto, he's worked as a national NFL blog editor at theScore.com, a producer and writer at theScore Television Network and a host, reporter and play-by-play voice at Rogers TV. His work has also appeared at CBSSports.com, Deadspin, FoxSports.com, The Guardian, The Hockey News and elsewhere at Comeback Media, but his day gig has him covering the NFL nationally for Bleacher Report.