Week 15 NFL Preview: Playoff positioning on the line

CNN  — 

The end of the NFL season is quickly approaching.

There are just four weekends of regular season play left and with playoffs just around the corner, the stakes climb higher with every matchup.

Last week, the Philadelphia Eagles (12-0) became the first team to clinch a playoff spot by defeating the New York Giants (7-5-1). On Thursday night, the 49ers (10-4) took hold of the NFC West, riding the recent success of rookie quarterback Brock Purdy.

This weekend, four teams have the opportunity to join them. The Minnesota Vikings (10-3), Buffalo Bills (10-3), Kansas City Chiefs (10-3), and Dallas Cowboys (10-3) all have a shot at securing a spot in the postseason. Here’s what to look for:

Colts at Vikings

The Colts and Vikings will face off for Saturday’s matinee matchup. The Vikings will have the opportunity to secure their first NFC North title in five years. To clinch, they’ll need to win or tie, or the Detroit Lions will need to lose or tie.

Despite their stellar start to the season, Minnesota has struggled as of late. Defensive woes and sloppy turnovers have gotten the best of them, as evidenced by last week’s disappointing road loss to the Lions.

The Vikings fell to a 23-34 defeat at the Lions on Sunday.

If there’s any opponent to bounce back against, it’s the Colts. To put it simply, the Colts’ season is over. With a record of 4-8-1, this team won’t be making the playoffs and just needs to end the season with some dignity. This game could be a great opportunity for the Vikings to take charge and gain momentum heading into the postseason.

To see if Minnesota emerges at the top of the division, tune in on Saturday at 1 p.m. ET.

Dolphins at Bills

The Bills will take a shot at clinching their fourth-straight playoff berth on Saturday night against the Dolphins. If they win, their spot is set. If they tie, they’ll have to count on a combination of losses and ties from the Los Angeles Chargers, New York Jets, and New England Patriots.

This game is arguably more important to the Dolphins’ playoff hunt. After two straight losses, Miami would need a win to keep up in the divisional race. On top of competing with one of the league’s best teams, they’ll also be competing with the weather. Home field advantage could play a major role in this game as a heavy lake effect snow warning went into effect on Friday evening. The Bills know how to play in unfavorable weather, while the Dolphins are certainly not accustomed to the northeastern winter.

Tune in on Saturday night at 8:15 p.m. ET for all the action.

The Bills defeated the New York Jets 20-12 in icy conditions at Highmark Stadium in Buffalo on Sunday.

Chiefs at Texans

Kansas City will attempt to secure their seventh-consecutive AFC West division title on Sunday. The Chiefs should take this one handedly and defeat the league’s worst, Houston Texans. If the Chiefs shockingly do not win, they could still take home the division title if the Chargers lose or both the Chiefs and Chargers’ matchups end in a tie.

This game should be treated like a business trip for the Chiefs. Fly to Houston, beat the Texans, and secure the division title. If they play the high-caliber football they have been all season, they should have no issues coming away with a win.

To see how it all plays out, tune in on Sunday at 1 p.m. ET.

Justin Reid of the Chiefs celebrates after victory over the Denver Broncos on Sunday.

Cowboys at Jaguars

The Cowboys can also secure a playoff spot this weekend when they take on the Jaguars. A win on Sunday would definitively lock in their spot. A tie or loss could still result in a playoff berth if a few other games fall in their favor.

Dallas isn’t the only team with something on the line. Jacksonville needs a victory to keep up in the divisional race. With wins in three of their last five games, they have a real shot at closing in on the division-leading Tennessee Titans.

To see these teams battle it out, tune in on Sunday at 1 p.m. ET.

Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott throws a pass en route to a 27-23 victory over the Houston Texans on Sunday.

How to watch

Here’s how to catch these teams and others across the league in action, from wherever you are.

Australia: NFL Game Pass, ESPN, 7Plus

Brazil: NFL Game Pass, ESPN

Canada: CTV, TSN, RDS, NFL Game Pass on DAZN

Germany: NFL Game Pass, ProSieben MAXX, DAZN

Mexico: NFL Game Pass, TUDN, ESPN, Fox Sports, Sky Sports

UK: NFL Game Pass, Sky Sports, ITV, Channel 5

US: NFL Game Pass, CBS Sports, Fox Sports, ESPN, Amazon Prime

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