Pittsburgh Steelers

The 2015 NFL regular season is over, with the New York Jets missing out and letting the Pittsburgh Steelers into the playoffs, joining the Kansas City Chiefs, Cincinnati Bengals and Houston Texans, leaving the New England Patriots with their annual bye week and the Denver Broncos with home field advantage in the AFC. In the NFC, the Carolina Panthers finish with the number one seed and the Arizona Cardinals follow them into the bye. NFC North champions Minnesota Vikings, Green Bay Packers, Seattle Seahawks and the Washington Redskins won’t have more than a week of resting.

Washington Redskins (9-7) 34  Dallas Cowboys (4-12) 23: The Redskins win a game that didn’t matter with three touchdown passes from Kirk Cousins and another one by Colt McCoy, taking a 24-0 lead before easing up and heading into the playoffs with plenty of momentum, winning four games in a row.

New York Jets (10-6) 17  Buffalo Bills (8-8) 22: The Jets had it in their hands and let it slip away, missing the playoffs due to the loss, with Ryan Fitzpatrick throwing two dumb fourth quarter interceptions, while the defense struggled in slowing down the Bills running game, with Tyrod Taylor and Karlos Williams running for touchdowns, enjoying spoiling the postseason for the Jets.

New England Patriots (12-4) 10  Miami Dolphins (6-10) 20: A bad season for the Dolphins, but they often make things difficult in Miami for the Patriots, sacking Tom Brady twice, eliminating the running game and giving the Patriots a fourth loss in six games, not to mention losing the #1 seed they had sewn up.

New Orleans Saints (7-9) 20  Atlanta Falcons (8-8) 17: Julio Jones put up some more nice numbers and so did Drew Brees. Bottom line? This was possibly the final game for Sean Payton and who knows, Drew Brees as well, for the Saints. The Falcons will mostly be busy analyzing how they managed to miss the playoffs.

Baltimore Ravens (5-11) 16  Cincinnati Bengals (12-4) 24: Another solid performance from A.J. McCarron, throwing a couple of touchdown passes while Jeremy Hill ran for another touchdown, set up the Bengals clashing with the Steelers in the wild card game, while the Ravens couldn’t spoil anything this time.

Pittsburgh Steelers (10-6) 28  Cleveland Browns (3-13) 12: With Austin Davis at quarterback, there was no chance the Steelers could run into any trouble. Luckily for them, the Jets also lost, which put Pittsburgh in the playoffs despite their running game problems and Ben Roethlisberger throwing two interceptions.

Jacksonville Jaguars (5-11) 6  Houston Texans (9-7) 30: Brian Hoyer was back in the starting spot without impressing, Alfred Blue ran for over 100 yards and the defense finished with 8 sacks (3.5 Whitney Mercilus, 3 by J.J. Watt) as the Texans clinched the playoff spot, not relying on tiebreakers or anything like that.

Tennessee Titans (3-13) 24  Indianapolis Colts (8-8) 30: A win that meant nothing in the end. Josh Freeman played and threw a touchdown pass and so did Ryan Lindley for the Colts, also scoring one pick six touchdown through Jerrell Freeman, but with the Texans winning, they’re left out of the playoffs, missing out on the postseason for the first time since 2011.

Philadelphia Eagles (7-9) 35  New York Giants (6-10) 30: Another miserable finish for the Giants, unable to give Tom Coughlin a win on his final game for the team. Sam Bradford threw two touchdown passes, DeMarco Murray and Darren Sproles each ran for one, while Walter Thurmond turned an Eli Manning fumble into a touchdown as well.

Detroit Lions (7-9) 24  Chicago Bears (6-10) 20: The Lions beating the Bears with three touchdown passes from Matthew Stafford while Jay Cutler threw a couple and also three interceptions meant the Bears, even with a one win improvement, finish bottom of the division for a second straight year.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-10) 10  Carolina Panthers (15-1) 38: The Panthers complete the greatest season in franchise history by making sure they get home field advantage, as Cam Newton ran for two touchdown and threw a couple as well, while the Bucs lost a fourth game in a row, completely falling apart late in the season.

Oakland Raiders (7-9) 17  Kansas City Chiefs (11-5) 23: The Raiders couldn’t give Charles Woodson a win on his farewell game, while the Chiefs won their 10th in a row, doing their part but not being able to win the division.

San Diego Chargers (4-12) 20  Denver Broncos (12-4) 27: Peyton Manning came on as a reliever after the Broncos turned the ball over five times during Brock Osweiler’s stint, two of them his interceptions. The Chargers led 20-17 in the fourth but the Broncos dominated the final 12 minutes, clinching not just the division title and the bye week, but also home field advantage, which hasn’t helped them twice in the last three years.

Seattle Seahawks (10-6) 36  Arizona Cardinals (13-3) 6: Russell Wilson was back to being close to perfect with three touchdown passes while Bryce Brown ran for another. The Cardinals get the first round bye, not the #1 seed, and will now have us wondering whether this is the real them or just some garbage time meltdown.

St. Louis Rams (7-9) 16  San Francisco 49ers (5-11) 19: The 49ers won their final game of the season on a Phil Dawson field goal. Dawson scored all the points in the second half, not just by the 49ers, but by both teams, taking the 49ers on top from being six points down.

Minnesota Vikings (11-5) 20  Green Bay Packers (10-6) 13: Adrian Peterson ran for a touchdown and Captain Munnerlyn returned a fumble for one as well as the Vikings stunned Green Bay for a third loss this season at home to a division rival, something that hasn’t happened since 1968. The Vikings win the division, both teams are in the playoffs.

NFC Standings

Division Leaders
1Carolina PanthersSouth1510.9385–111–1.444.438W1
2Arizona CardinalsWest1330.8134–210–2.460.448L1
3Minnesota VikingsNorth1150.6885–18–4.500.440W3
4Washington RedskinsEast970.5634–26–4.484.417W4
Wild Cards
5Green Bay PackersNorth1060.6253–37–5.518.447L2
6Seattle SeahawksWest1060.6253–37–5.504.378W1
Did not qualify for the playoffs
7Atlanta FalconsSouth880.5001–55–7.476.450L1
8St. Louis RamsWest790.4384–26–6.545.476L1
9Detroit LionsNorth790.4383–36–6.545.433W3
10Philadelphia EaglesEast790.4383–34–8.520.500W1
11New Orleans SaintsSouth790.4383–35–7.507.400W2
12New York GiantsEast6100.3752–44–8.498.378L3
13Chicago BearsNorth6100.3751–53–9.554.489L1
14Tampa Bay BuccaneersSouth6100.3753–35–7.453.411L4
15San Francisco 49ersWest5110.3131–54–8.558.483W1
16Dallas CowboysEast4120.2503–33–9.529.417L3

AFC Standings

Division Leaders
1Denver BroncosWest1240.7504–28–4.520.509W2
2New England PatriotsEast1240.7504–29–3.471.439L2
3Cincinnati BengalsNorth1240.7505–19–3.484.412W1
4Houston TexansSouth970.5635–17–5.507.425W3
Wild Cards
5Kansas City ChiefsWest1150.6885–110–2.498.427W10
6Pittsburgh SteelersNorth1060.6253–37–5.529.496W1
Did not qualify for the playoffs
7New York JetsEast1060.6253–37–5.436.387L1
8Buffalo BillsEast880.5004–27–5.498.400W2
9Indianapolis ColtsSouth880.5003–25–6.520.438W2
10Oakland RaidersWest790.4383–37–5.502.381L1
11Miami DolphinsEast6100.3751–54–8.453.400W2
12Jacksonville JaguarsSouth5110.3132–45–7.467.360L3
13Baltimore RavensNorth5110.3133–34–8.489.427L1
14San Diego ChargersWest4120.2500–63–9.511.317L2
15Cleveland BrownsNorth3130.1881–52–10.529.267L3
16Tennessee TitansSouth3130.1881–51–11.493.378L4
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