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A Look at the Playoff Picture

A brief look at the 2017 NFL playoff scene

With only two weeks left in the 2017 NFL regular season, many teams have had their playoff hopes dashed. Others have (or will start to) clinch spots and even byes and home-field advantage. Here's a rundown of which teams have something to play for.

The AFC Playoff Picture

New England Patriots (11-3)

New England is currently the top overall seed in the AFC, but they are still playing for a first-round bye and for home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. If Pittsburgh or Jacksonville win in Week 16, New England might need to win in Week 17.

Pittsburgh Steelers (11-3)

Pittsburgh is behind New England but currently holds the No. 2 seed in the AFC. They need the Patriots to stumble, but Pittsburgh is still playing for a first-round bye and for home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.

Jacksonville Jaguars (10-4)

While Jacksonville has clinched a playoff spot, they haven't claimed the AFC South and are still chasing New England and Pittsburgh for a first-round bye and even home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.

Kansas City Chiefs (8-6)

The Chiefs are still playing for the AFC West title. They need another win or an Oakland loss and an LA Chargers loss.

Tennessee Titans (8-6)

Tennessee has stumbled lately, but they currently hold the No. 5 spot in the AFC and have a path to winning the AFC South. They have clinched nothing, however, and need to keep winning.

Buffalo Bills (8-6)

Buffalo currently holds the final playoff spot in the AFC. They need to keep winning to hold it.

Baltimore Ravens (8-6)

The Ravens currently just outside the playoff picture, but they have a handful of viable paths to landing a spot.

Los Angeles Chargers (7-7)

There is a small chance the Chargers could take the division or a Wild Card spot, so they are still playing for something.

Oakland Raiders (6-8)

Mathematically, Oakland has a flicker of playoff hope. But it's probably not happening.

Miami Dolphins (6-8)

Mathematically, Miami has a flicker of playoff hope. But it's probably not happening.

The NFC Playoff Picture

Philadelphia Eagles (12-2)

Philadelphia has taken the NFC East and also has a first-round bye. The Eagles, however, are still looking to claim home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.

Minnesota Vikings (11-3)

The Vikings have clinched the NFC North, but they need to keep winning to claim a first-round bye. Minnesota could also obtain home-field throughout.

Los Angeles Rams (10-4)

Surprisingly, the Rams have clinched nothing. They definitely have something to play for.

New Orleans Saints (10-4)

New Orleans has the tie-breaker of Carolina for the NFC South, but the Saints haven't clinched anything. Not even a spot in the playoffs.

Carolina Panthers (10-4)

The NFC South is very much within reach for the Panthers. They have a ton to play for.

Atlanta Falcons (9-5)

Despite being third in the NFC South, Atlanta currently holds the final NFC playoff spot. There is much to play for. One more win gets the Falcons locks the Falcons into the playoffs. Two wins give them the division.

Detroit Lions (8-6)

Detroit is currently the first team out of the NFC playoff picture, but they need to win out and have Atlanta lose their two remaining games in order to get into the postseason.

Seattle Seahawks (8-6)

The Week 16 game against Dallas eliminates the loser. The winner still needs help.

Dallas Cowboys (8-6)

The Week 16 game against Seattle eliminates the loser. The winner still needs help.

Teams Out of the Playoff Picture

These teams are playing out the string. While every player is a professional, it's hard to guess the emotional state of teams recently eliminated from playoff contention. Take Green Bay, for example. With no chance to get into the postseason (and with Aaron Rodgers on the Reserve/Injured list), how focused will the Packers be in their last two games? Also, some coaching staffs might want to take a look at younger players as the season ends.

  • Green Bay Packers (7-7)
  • Washington Redskins (6-8)
  • Arizona Cardinals (6-8)
  • New York Jets (5-9)
  • Cincinnati Bengals (5-9)
  • Denver Broncos (5-9)
  • Houston Texans (4-10)
  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-10)
  • San Francisco 49ers (4-10)
  • Chicago Bears (4-10)
  • Indianapolis Colts (3-11)
  • New York Giants (2-12)
  • Cleveland Browns (0-14)