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Takeaways from NFL Week 15: Ravens and Bills are a force to be reckoned with, Pittsburgh in trouble and other key observations

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In Orchard Park, N.Y., the Bills put the rest of the AFC on notice. Writing them off midseason was a mistake. So was assuming the AFC East race was over.

In Jacksonville, the Jaguars’ losing streak reached three games, allowing the Colts and Texans to join them in a tie atop the AFC South. And with another convincing win, the Ravens inched a little closer to the AFC’s top seed.

In New Orleans, the Tommy DeVito story cooled — for one week, at least — and with it, so did the Giants’ three-game win streak.

In Cleveland, Bears receiver Darnell Mooney had a Hail Mary fall into his lap — a 50-yard heave from Justin Fields, which was batted down to Mooney, sprawled out in the end zone, hands out — but, somehow, he couldn’t hold on. What would’ve been a stunning finish, and a third straight win for Chicago, instead ended as Joe Flacco’s second straight victory as the Browns’ starter, nudging Cleveland a little closer to a playoff spot.

In Miami, the Jets couldn’t even get Zach Wilson’s injury right. No matter. Their 30-0 loss to the Dolphins cemented the franchise’s 13th straight season without a playoff berth, the longest in football, and should effectively squash any notion of an improbable Aaron Rodgers’ return this season.

Week 15 Standouts

Here’s all that stood out from Week 15, and an updated look at the playoff picture in the AFC and NFC:

Ravens stay in front in AFC

Somehow, it seems, the Ravens have flown under the radar this season, overshadowed in their own conference by Miami’s splashy offense, the Chiefs’ pedigree, and the Bills’ turbulence.

Lamar avoids the sack and then Isaiah Likely makes the catch over two guys 😮 📺: #BALvsJAX on NBC📱: Stream on #NFLPlus https://t.co/8fWNSGquwb pic.twitter.com/TwinvfqMVz — NFL

The New Year’s Eve game between the Ravens (11-3) and Dolphins (10-4) in Baltimore may very well end up deciding the conference’s top seed and coveted first-round bye. But first, for the Ravens, another stiff test: they’re at San Francisco next week.

With Jacksonville’s loss, there’s now a three-team tie atop the AFC South: the Jaguars, Colts, and Texans are all 8-6. The Jaguars currently own tiebreakers over both — they swept the Colts this season and, after splitting their head-to-head meetings with the Texans, edge them out with a better conference record. But with three weeks left, the division title is up for grabs, and the Jaguars are struggling.

Jacksonville, once 8-3, will close with the Bucs, Panthers, and Titans.

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