With the NFL season in its final week, we have a very clear picture of who will be in this years playoff race. In the NFC, all is determined besides two seeds, with the NFC North winner being determined on the last game of the season. As for the AFC, all six playoff teams are determined, with just seeding left up in the air. Here is the playoff picture for the NFL this season.
Dead In The Water (Eliminated)
Cleveland Browns 1-14
San Fransisco 49ers 3-13
Jacksonville Jaguars 3-12
Chicago Bears 3-13
New York Jets 4-11
Los Angeles Rams 4-11
San Diego Chargers 5-10
Cincinnati Bengals 5-9-1
Philadelphia Eagles 6-9
Arizona Cardinals 6-8-1
Carolina Panthers 6-9
New Orleans Saints 7-8
Buffalo Bills 7-8
Minnesota Vikings 7-8
Indianapolis Colts 7-8
Tennessee Titans 8-7
Baltimore Ravens 8-7
Denver Broncos 8-7
These teams were pretty much doomed from the beginning of September. The Browns, 49ers, and Bears were all predicted to have bad seasons, so their record is not surprising at all. Some people thought the Jaguars were going to build off last year and be a sneaky pick for the AFC South, but they have drastically disappointed. The same can be said for the Jets, as they were a popular Wild Card pick after their 10-6 season, but that seemed to be just a mirage. The Rams are just stuck in their losing ways and need to be overhauled, especially after botching the Jared Goff pick. The Bengals playoff streak ends at five seasons and the Chargers fail to make the playoffs in possibly their last season in San Diego.
Both the Carolina Panthers and Denver Broncos suffered Super Bowl hangovers, as it is only the fifth time both Super Bowl teams do not make the playoffs the following season. The Titans almost turned the page in a big way by making the playoffs, but could not finish the job, as Marcus Mariota suffered an unfortunate leg injury on top of their playoff-eliminating loss. The only reason to buy Colts tickets is to see Andrew Luck sling the ball, as the rest of the team is to blame for their losing season. The Ravens saw their playoff dreams die to the hands of the Steelers, while the Vikings choked away a great start to the season.
AFC Playoff Seeding (*indicates current division leader)
- New England Patriots 13-2 (have clinched home-field advantage through the playoffs)
- Oakland Raiders 12-3
- Pittsburgh Steelers 10-5 (locked into the #3 seed)
- Houston Texans 9-6 (locked into the #4 seed)
- Kansas City Chiefs 11-4
- Miami Dolphins 10-5
The AFC playoff team are set, with just the seeding not officially determined. The Raiders can win the two seed with a win against the Broncos, while the Chiefs need a Raiders loss and a win against the Chargers to move up from the five seed to the second seed, which is a monumental difference. The Dolphins can move up to the fifth seed with a Chiefs loss and win against the Patriots, who have nothing to play for. The Patriots, Steelers, and Texans are all locked into their seeds.
NFC Playoff Picture
- Dallas Cowboys 13-2 (have clinched home-field advantage through the playoffs)
- Atlanta Falcons 10-5 (have clinched the #2 seed)
- Seattle Seahawks 9-5-1 (have clinched the division)
- Green Bay Packers 9-6
- New York Giants 10-5 (locked into the 5th seed)
- Detroit Lions 9-6
On The Bubble: Washington Redskins (8-6-1) and Tampa Bay Buccaneers (8-7)
The Cowboys have been the most dominant team in the NFC this season, as their only losses have from the New York Giants. Everything in the NFC is pretty much locked instead of the 4th and 6th seed. The NFC North winner and the 4th seed will come down to a week 17 battle in Detroit featuring the Lions and Packers. The Packers are the hottest team in football, winning five straight games, while the Lions have lost two straight to the Giants and Cowboys. The Redskins would get the 6th seed if the Lions lose and they win. The Redskins play the Giants, who have nothing to play for except spoiling their rival’s season. The Buccaneers need A LOT to make the playoffs, including a tie, but hey they have a chance. They need: to beat the Panthers, Lions over Packers, Cowboys over Eagles, 49ers over Seahawks, Titans over Texans, Colts over Jaguars, and the Giants and Redskins to tie.