The 2023 NFL playoffs: Ten crucial upcoming matches that will significantly impact the postseason.

As Week 16 of the 2023 NFL season gets underway, the race for the playoffs is heating up. Several teams have the opportunity to secure a playoff berth or division title in the coming weeks, making the matchups crucial. Here are the ten most important games with playoff implications:

Week 16 | Saturday, Dec. 23 | 4:30 p.m. ET
The Cincinnati Bengals face the struggling Pittsburgh Steelers. A win for the Bengals increases their chances of making the playoffs from 43% to nearly 66%, while a loss drops them to 18%.

Week 16 | Sunday, Dec. 24 | 1 p.m. ET
The Seattle Seahawks, who are not yet guaranteed a wild card spot, take on the Tennessee Titans. A win would boost the Seahawks’ postseason chances to 70%, but a defeat would drop them to 35%.

Week 16 | Sunday, Dec. 24 | 1 p.m. ET
The Cleveland Browns, led by quarterback Joe Flacco, go up against the Houston Texans. A win for the Texans would give them an 80% chance of making the playoffs, but a loss would decrease their chances to 30%.

Week 16 | Sunday, Dec. 24 | 1 p.m. ET
The Atlanta Falcons, amidst a quarterback change, face the Indianapolis Colts. A win for the Colts would elevate their playoff chances from 58.7% to 77%, while a loss would drop them to 38%.

Week 16 | Sunday, Dec. 24 | 1 p.m. ET
The Detroit Lions can secure the NFC North division title and a playoff berth with a win. On the other hand, the Minnesota Vikings need a win to improve their chances to 77%, as a loss would likely result in missing the playoffs (37%).

Week 16 | Sunday, Dec. 24 | 4:05 p.m. ET
The Jacksonville Jaguars, once considered a lock for the playoffs, face the Cleveland Browns. After three consecutive losses, the Jaguars’ chances of entering the postseason have dropped to 71.9%. A defeat against the Browns would further decrease their chances to 55%, while a win would boost it back up to 89%.

Week 17 | Sunday, Dec. 31 | 1 p.m. ET
The New Orleans Saints, even if they lose to the Los Angeles Rams in Week 16, have a chance to secure a 52% chance of making the playoffs with a win against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Winning their final two games would give them a 78% chance of getting in.

Week 17 | Sunday, Dec. 31 | 8:20 p.m. ET
The Green Bay Packers, if victorious against the Carolina Panthers in Week 16, can further increase their playoff chances to 61% with a win over the Minnesota Vikings. A loss, however, would all but eliminate them, dropping their chances to 3%.

Week 18 | Date TBD | Time TBD
The Los Angeles Rams, even if they lose to the New Orleans Saints in Week 16, have an opportunity to secure a 73% chance of a postseason bid by defeating the New York Giants. Their chances could increase if they upset the San Francisco 49ers, who might be resting starters in the final game of the year.

All Philadelphia Eagles and Dallas Cowboys games through Week 18
The NFC East division title hangs in the balance for these two teams. Both currently tied at 10-4, the outcome of their remaining games, including matchups against the New York Giants and Arizona Cardinals, will determine the division winner. The winner will not only secure a playoff spot but also potentially earn home-field advantage, impacting the overall NFC race.

These ten games will be pivotal in shaping the playoff picture for the 2023 NFL season. Teams will be fighting hard to secure their spot in the postseason and advance towards the Super Bowl.,

1. Super Bowl LVI: Undoubtedly, the most important game of the NFL playoffs, Super Bowl LVI will determine the league champion for the 2022 season. It will feature the top teams from both the AFC and NFC conferences, showcasing the pinnacle of professional football.

2. AFC Championship Game: This game will determine the AFC conference champion, earning them a spot in the Super Bowl. Often filled with intense rivalries, this clash of top AFC teams will showcase the best of the conference and determine who will represent it on the grand stage.

3. NFC Championship Game: Similar to the AFC Championship, the NFC Championship Game will determine the conference champion for the NFC. This highly-anticipated match-up will showcase the top teams from the NFC, battling for a chance to compete in the Super Bowl.

4. Divisional Round Games: These games feature the winners from the Wild Card Round facing off against the top-seeded teams in their respective conferences. The outcome of these games plays a crucial role in advancing teams to the Conference Championships, making them vital in shaping the postseason.

5. Wild Card Round Games: The Wild Card Round provides an opportunity for lower-seeded teams to compete against higher-seeded teams. These games can often be unpredictable and have seen some major upsets in the past, making them exciting and impactful in determining the course of the playoffs.

6. Regular Season Rematches: In the playoffs, teams that faced each other during the regular season may meet again. These rematches add an extra layer of intensity and intrigue, as teams seek redemption or aim to maintain their dominance over their opponents.

7. Upset Potential Games: Every playoff season, there are always a few games where the underdog defies expectations and pulls off a remarkable upset. These games have the potential to completely shift the playoff landscape, altering the expected outcomes and adding excitement to the postseason.

8. Battle of the Quarterbacks: Quarterbacks often play a crucial role in determining the outcome of playoff games. The match-ups between elite quarterbacks can be particularly captivating, as they strive to outperform each other and lead their teams to victory.

9. Defensive Showdowns: While offense tends to dominate the headlines, playoff games with strong defensive performances can be equally enthralling. These games often come down to which defense can make the most impactful plays, ultimately shaping the outcome of the postseason.

10. Legacy Games: For some players and coaches, playoff games serve as opportunities to solidify their legacies. Whether it’s a quarterback aiming to win their first Super Bowl or a coach seeking to add another championship to their resume, these games carry immense significance and can shape the narratives of NFL history.

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