As the season continues to move along, the playoff picture begins to solidify. With the NFL standings becoming more definitive, teams will slowly start to see themselves from the outside looking in. Here are the NFL teams eliminated from the playoffs at this point in the season.
This list is accurate as of Dec. 8, 2022, at 23:15 p.m. ET.
NFL Teams Eliminated From Playoffs in 2022
Record When Eliminated: 1-10-1, fourth in NFC South
The Houston Texans were the first NFL team to be eliminated from playoff contention in 2022. Expectations were not very high for this Texans team when the season started. Before Davis Mills could even take his first snap under center this year, oddsmakers gave Houston the lowest win total on the board at 4.5 in most places. With only one win on the year so far, their chances of going over that number are nearly nonexistent.
Although most people had little faith in this team, they did try to prove everyone wrong with a competitive start. They managed to finish their first game with a tie against the Indianapolis Colts, 20-20. They remained competitive in their next three games, although they all ended in losses. Then, in Week 5, they finally managed to get their first win by defeating their NFC South rivals, the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Unfortunately for Texans fans, they lost every game after that Jaguars win. Plus, in what can only be seen as some odd form of fate, the Texans’ playoff chances were officially ended by Deshaun Watson in his first game with the Cleveland Browns.
Before we look at what went wrong, let’s look at some of the positives from this year. The emergence of rookie running back Dameon Pierce is the obvious high point for the Texans. After being selected in the fourth round (107th overall), Pierce fell into the best possible situation with little competition surrounding him. He made the most of his opportunity and is on pace to surpass 1,000 rushing yards in his first NFL season.
Now, let’s look at some of the bad. Davis Mills is clearly not the answer for this team at QB. He has regressed immensely compared to last year, and Houston benched him against the Browns for backup Kyle Allen. With Mills under center, the Texans were last in the league in yards gained, averaging less than 200 yards and 15.8 points per game.
Now that they have mathematically been eliminated from the playoffs, they can get an early start on the 2023 NFL Draft. As things currently stand in the NFL draft order, the Texans will likely end up with the first overall pick. With the young talent they were able to get in last year’s draft, if they can find a franchise QB this year, Houston may not be the first team on this list again next season.
Record When Eliminated: 3-10
Another team coming into the year with very few expectations was the Chicago Bears. With a new head coach and regime installed, this year was widely regarded as a “let’s see what we have” opportunity. QB Justin Fields had shown flashes the season before, but there were still a ton of questions surrounding the young signal-caller.
As the season progressed, it was obvious that the Bears were already looking ahead to next year. They sold off some pieces ahead of the deadline, including Roquan Smith, who was an integral part of the defense. However, on the bright side, they do seem to have figured out the QB situation for the future.
Although Fields struggled to start the season, he has gotten significantly better as the weeks progressed. He has shown that he can be a threat with both his arm and legs. Fields has rushed for over 75 yards five times this year, including two games with over 150 yards.
And although their record might not indicate it, Fields has kept this team competitive. Unfortunately, at 3-10, their playoff chances are officially no more. Yes, they were already on life support, but their Week 13 loss to the Green Bay Packers 28-19 was their final nail in the coffin.
It is a tough loss for Bears fans. Not only did Aaron Rodgers continue his infamous “dominance” over this Chicago squad, but the Packers actually overtook the Bears as the winningest NFL team of all time. The Packers now have 787 wins in franchise history, while the Bears have 786. As recently as 1991, Chicago had 85 more wins than Green Bay.