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2021 NFL playoff picture: which teams can't reach the postseason?

Ahead of Week 16 of the regular season, five teams have so far been eliminated from the race to qualify for the 2021 NFL playoffs.

Dec 20, 2021; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields (1) reacts as he walks off the field after their loss to the Minnesota Vikings at Soldier Field. The Minnesota Vikings won 17-9. Mandatory Credit: Jon Durr-USA TODAY Sports
Jon DurrUSA TODAY Sports

With 15 rounds of the 2021 regular season played so far, there are five teams who can no longer qualify for the NFL playoffs:

Chicago Bears, NFC North, 4-10

The Chicago Bears were the most recent team to be knocked out of the race for the playoffs. Matt Nagy’s men saw their postseason hopes officially end when they lost 17-9 to the Minnesota Vikings in Week 15.

See also:

Detroit Lions, NFC North, 2-11-1

The Detroit Lions lost their first eight games of the season and didn’t register a win until Week 13. The following weekend, results elsewhere eliminated them from the playoffs before they took to the field for a 38-10 defeat to the Denver Broncos.

Houston Texans, AFC South, 3-11

In Week 13, the 3-11 Houston Texans became the first team this season to be ruled out of playoff contention when they went down 31-0 to the Indianapolis Colts.

Jacksonville Jaguars, AFC South, 2-12

For the 13th season in the last 14, the 2-12 Jacksonville Jaguars won’t be involved in the playoffs. Their postseason aspirations were put to bed when they suffered a 20-0 loss to the Tennessee Titans in Week 14.

The Houston Texans and the Jacksonville Jaguars are both out of playoff contention.
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The Houston Texans and the Jacksonville Jaguars are both out of playoff contention.Michael ReavesAFP

New York Jets, AFC East, 3-11

The New York Jets have now failed to reach the playoffs in 11 consecutive years, their 30-9 defeat to the New Orleans Saints in Week 14 confirming their absence from the postseason.

Who’s already through to the playoffs?

Green Bay Packers, NFC North, 11-3

In Week 15, the Green Bay Packers became the first, and so far only, NFL team to qualify for the 2021 playoffs when they edged out the Baltimore Ravens 31-30. The win clinched the Packers’ third NFC North title in a row.