December 17, 2018 / 7:36 AM / a month ago

NFL: Playoff races tighten into Week 15

(Reuters) - The National Football League (NFL) playoff picture became clearer Sunday as teams made another push for the post-season in Week 15 action.

Dec 16, 2018; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Bears running back Tarik Cohen (29) dives to the endzone past Green Bay Packers strong safety Kentrell Brice (29) during the second quarter at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Mark Hoffman/Milwaukee Journal Sentinel via USA TODAY NETWORK

The Chicago Bears capped a worst to first-place turnaround after their 24-17 win over Green Bay Packers clinched the NFC North Division.

“Anytime you can win a division that’s a pretty big milestone,” Bears wide receiver Allen Robinson told reporters. “This was the first milestone that had to be accomplished. And we were able to do that.”

The New Orleans Saints (11-2) and Los Angeles Rams (11-3), despite a loss to Philadelphia, have each secured division titles and playoff berths leaving three spots up for grabs in the conference.

The Dallas Cowboys (8-6) saw their lead in the NFC East shrink to just one game over Philadelphia and Washington with two weeks to go.

The Seattle Seahawks (8-6) failed to lock down a playoff spot after a 26-23 overtime loss to San Francisco but still lead the wild card race. The Minnesota Vikings, at 7-6-1, are also firmly in the mix.

In the AFC, The Kansas City Chiefs and Los Angeles Chargers are locked in a battle for the West Division crown though both have punched a ticket to the post-season.

The Chargers stunned the Chiefs 29-28 on Thursday to add intrigue, though Kansas City can own the division by winning out.

The defending AFC champion New England Patriots missed a chance to secure post-season by losing to Pittsburgh 17-10.

The Pats (9-5) are still in prime position with a two-game lead in the AFC East.

The Houston Texans (10-4) moved closer to winning the AFC South with a victory over the New York Jets and are also ahead two game with two left.

The Pittsburgh Steelers (8-5-1) are clinging to a half-game edge over Baltimore (8-6) as both teams won Sunday. The wild card race features Indianapolis (8-6), Tennessee (8-6) and Miami (7-7) all in the mix.

Writing by Jahmal Corner in Los Angeles; editing by Amlan Chakraborty

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