For many NFL organizations it will be the 17th week, as only seven of the 14 playoff teams have officially received post-season berths.
Watch the NFL playoffs after Sunday night’s game as the Green Bay Packers win their 16th week against the Tennessee Titans. (Note, this does not reflect the “Monday Night Football” between the New England Patriots and the AFC Eastern Champion Buffalo Bill, who were eliminated later in the season.)
(* Playoff place favorites)
1. Kansas City Chiefs 14-1 *
2. Pittsburgh Steelers 12-3 *
3. Buffalo Bills 11-3 *
4. Tennessee Titans 10-5
5. Miami Dolphins 10-5
6. Baltimore Ravens 10-5
7. Cleveland Browns 10-5
On the hunt:
8. Indianapolis Golds 10-5
The Chiefs are the No. 1 seed in the AFC and have 16 wins in a week against the Atlanta Falcons. The AFC North won after the Steelers embraced a three-game defeat and beat the Golds again. Pittsburgh is currently in 2nd place, but the bills that won the Patriots on Monday will push Pittsburgh back to 3rd place.
This is a very close race as the five teams sit at 10-5. The Titans still have an edge south of the AFC over the Golds. If the Titans beat the Houston Texans in the 17th week, Tennessee will win the division and finish 4th.
The Dolphins were the biggest winners of the weekend. Miami entered the 7th seed (third wild-card spot) in the 16th week and jumped to the 5th seed (first wild-card spot) after beating the Las Vegas Riders and losing to both the Browns and Golds. The Ravens, who were out last week, beat the New York Giants, who, like the Dolphins, benefited from the losses suffered by the Browns and Golds because they both have a tiebreaker. Baltimore will advance to the playoffs with a Week 17 win over Cincinnati.
The Brows lost to the Jets, but did not knock them out. A) Cleveland could get a playoff spot if they beat the Steelers, b) a Golds loss or c) the Titans lose and the Ravens, Golds and Dolphins all win.
Indianapolis still have a chance to enter the postseason, but the Golds have not had tiebreakers against the Browns or the Ravens. First, it defeated the Jaguars in Jacksonville, and then the Titans, Ravens, Browns or Dolphins caused the loss. The Golds could still win the AFC South title and finish 4th with a win and a Tennessee defeat.
1. Green Bay Packers 12-3 *
2. New Orleans Saints 11-4 *
3. Seattle Seahawks 11-4 *
4. Washington Football Team 6-9
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers 10-5 *
6. Los Angeles Rams 9-6
7. Chicago Bears 8-7
On the hunt:
8. Arizona Cardinals 8-7
11. Dallas Cowboys 6-9
13. New York Giants 5-10
Packers is a game close to the No. 1 seed, thus benefiting the home industry. Green Bay could not claim it directly on Sunday as both the Saints and Seahawks won their 16th weekly game. The Packers take first place in the San Francisco 49ers with a 17th week victory over a Pierce or Seahawks loss.
The Saints, led by Alvin Camara, officially won the NFC South by beating the Minnesota Vikings at Christmas, while Seattle won the NFC West title with a 16th week win over the Los Angeles Rams. Carolina Panthers and Packers could earn New Orleans No. 1 seed with a loss to the Bears at 17th week. Seattle must beat 49 players, and both the Packers and Saints will miss the 17th week. 1 seed, which is not exactly possible.
Tom Brady’s Buccaneers claimed their rights First playoff berth since 2007 After a one-sided win over the Detroit Lions on Saturday. However, as Tampa Bay have been knocked out by New Orleans this season, they will not be able to win the division, thus playing as NFC East champions in the first round, until the Atlanta Falcons drop to week 17.
The other three teams – Washington, Los Angeles and Chicago – will decide their fate in the 17th week. Washington leads NFC East, but neither the Cowboys nor the Giants have been eliminated. If Washington drops Philadelphia Week 17, the football team is in the postseason. If Washington loses to Philadelphia, the Giants-Cowboys winner will make the playoffs.
Rams will need a win or Pierce loss to reach the playoffs, while the Bears will need to beat the Packers or Rams will need a cardinal loss to reach the playoffs. With the Rams and Chicago losing to Green Bay, Arizona could still return to the playoffs.
Did you get all that?
Tim Fuller / USA Today Photo by Game Pictures Thumbnail
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