There are three types of teams entering this juncture of the NFL season: Teams already gearing up for the playoffs, teams hoping the dominoes fall in the right way to get into the playoffs, and teams limping to the finish line, already scheduling offseason trips and executives preparing for the NFL Draft.
At this point, there are already several teams in that third category, ensuring their seasons will end once Week 18 comes to a close. Before the start of Week 15, there are three teams that have been eliminated from postseason contention. By the end of it, there could be several more that get officially knocked out of the playoffs.
Who is already making offseason vacation plans? And who could soon be joining them? Here’s a look at the teams eliminated from the playoffs before the start of Week 15.
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NFL teams to miss playoffs
Three teams are guaranteed to miss the playoffs in 2022.
The Texans and Bears were eliminated during Week 13. The Broncos were eliminated in Week 14 when they lost to the Chiefs.
With the Texans (1-11-1) missing the playoffs, that will run their playoff drought to four seasons. They last made the postseason in 2019. The Bears (3-10) haven’t made the playoffs since 2020.
Denver (3-10) had lofty aspirations heading into the 2022 NFL season after acquiring Russell Wilson in the offseason. Projected to win 9+ games by most sports books entering the season, the Broncos will have now missed the playoffs every season since Peyton Manning retired after winning the Super Bowl in the 2015 season.
MORE: Projecting seeds, matchups for AFC, NFC playoffs in Week 15
Which teams could be eliminated in Week 15
The Broncos, Bears and Texans could soon be joined by a few other squads.
The following teams could be eliminated from the postseason with a loss this week:
- Cardinals loss to Broncos
- Rams loss to Packers
- Saints loss to Falcons
There are also a few teams teams that could be eliminated if they lose and another team wins. If the Patriots win, the Browns and/or Steelers would be eliminated with losses. The Browns could also be eliminated with a loss and a win by either the Jets or Chargers. The Steelers could be knocked out if they lose and the Jets win and Chargers win or tie, or if the Steelers lose and the Chargers win and Raiders and Patriots tie.
The Colts can get knocked out if they lose to the Vikings and the Titans win or tie and the Jets win. A Patriots win, a Titans win or tie and a Colts loss would also mark the end of the playoff hopes for Jeff Saturday’s squad. The Raiders can be knocked out if they lose and the Dolphins win or tie, or if they lose to the Patriots and the Jets win or tie.