NFL Playoffs: Who's booked their spot, who's in the hunt?
Our guide to the current NFL playoff picture, including the teams who have booked their post-season slot and those still in the hunt
By Cameron Hogwood
Last Updated: 27/12/19 10:55am
Which teams have booked their spot in the NFL playoffs? Who are almost there? Which teams still have some more work to do?
While the AFC playoff picture is nearing completion, it's still all to play for in a stacked NFC with two division titles still undecided.
Here is our guide to the current standings heading into the final week of the regular season...
NFL playoff picture
|1. Baltimore Ravens (13-2)||1. San Francisco 49ers (12-3)|
|2. New England Patriots (12-3)||2. Green Bay Packers (12-3)|
|3. Kansas City Chiefs (10-4)||3. New Orleans Saints (12-3)|
|4. Houston Texans (10-5)||4. Philadelphia Eagles (8-7)|
|5. Buffalo Bills (10-5)||5. Seattle Seahawks (11-4)|
|6. Tennessee Titans (8-7)||6. Minnesota Vikings (10-5)|
1. Baltimore Ravens (13-2)
Lamar Jackson went 20 of 31 for 238 yards and three touchdowns as well as rushing for 103 yards as the Baltimore Ravens beat the Cleveland Browns 31-15 to clinch the No 1 seed and home-field advantage in the playoffs. They now face a wait to find out who their first post-season opponents will be. In the meantime Jackson and several other key starters are set to be rested when the Ravens conclude the regular season against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
2. New England Patriots (12-3)
Saturday's 24-17 win over the Bills saw the Patriots crowned AFC East champions for the 11th successive year. They will secure the No 2 seed and an all-important first-round bye if they beat the Miami Dolphins in Week 17, while defeat for the Kansas City Chiefs against the Los Angeles Chargers will also do the job.
3. Kansas City Chiefs (11-4)
The Chiefs sealed the AFC West title with a 23-16 win over the Patriots in Week 14 and could yet secure the No 2 seed if they beat the Chargers and New England lose to Miami. It marks the fifth year in a row and sixth time in the last seven years that Kansas City have made the playoffs under head coach Andy Reid.
4. Houston Texans (10-5)
The Texans clinched the AFC South title for the second year in a row as they beat the Buccaneers 23-20 in Week 16. This came after they had fended off close competition from the Tennessee Titans with a 24-21 victory the previous week. Bill O'Brien's men can rise to the No 3 seed if they win against the Titans and the Chiefs are beaten by the Chargers.
5. Buffalo Bills (10-5)
Buffalo couldn't derail the Patriots on Saturday, but they won't mind. They had already secured their playoff berth by beating the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 15.
6. Tennessee Titans (8-7)
There is still work to be done in Tennessee after the No 6 seed Titans were beaten 38-28 by the Saints in a game that bizarrely had zero playoff implications. They will clinch the final slot if they beat the Texans in Week 17, or the Steelers and Indianapolis Colts lose.
In the hunt:
The Steelers (8-7) require a victory over the Baltimore Ravens and a defeat for the Titans against the Texans if they are to make the playoffs. The Oakland Raiders (7-8) still somehow have a route to playoff football. They must win against the Denver Broncos while hoping the Ravens, Texans, Colts and one of the Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions, Chiefs or Patriots all win.
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1. San Francisco 49ers (12-3)
Between the 49ers and the Seattle Seahawks, it feels like nobody is willing to get a stronghold on top spot in the NFC West. San Francisco will secure the No 1 seed in the NFC with a win over the Seahawks on the final day, but a loss would see them drop back into the Wild Card positions.
2. Green Bay Packers (12-3)
Aaron Jones rushed for 154 yards and two touchdowns as the Packers beat the Vikings 23-10 on Monday night to clinch the NFC North title. They leapfrogged the Saints into the No 2 seed thanks to their tiebreaker, which also means they can move into the No 1 seed if they beat the Detroit Lions in Week 17 and the Seahawks win against the 49ers. A win over the Lions alone would secure the Packers a first-round bye and home-field advantage.
3. New Orleans Saints (12-3)
The Saints have already clinched the NFC South title, but remain in the hunt for a first-round bye. Though unlikely, New Orleans can still claim the No 1 seed with a win over the Carolina Panthers, a Lions win over the Packers and a Seahawks win over the 49ers. They will reclaim the No 2 seed if they beat the Panthers, the Seahawks beat the 49ers and the Packers beat the Lions.
4. Philadelphia Eagles (8-7)
The Eagles are alive. Having suffered a demoralising 37-31 loss to the Dolphins in Week 13, they have since won three in a row including a 17-9 victory over the Cowboys on Sunday to move above their rivals into top spot in the NFC East. A win over the New York Giants in Week 17 will clinch what once seemed an unlikely playoff berth and division title.
5. Seattle Seahawks (11-4)
A 27-13 defeat to the Arizona Cardinals served as a major dent in the Seahawks' pursuit of a first-round bye in the playoffs, seeing them drop down to the No 5 seed. Lose to the 49ers and they could find themselves as the No 6 seed. Matters haven't been helped by injuries to running backs Chris Carson, Rashaad Penny and C.J. Prosise, although Seattle have been quick to react by bringing back veteran Marshawn Lynch.
6. Minnesota Vikings (10-5)
The Vikings' playoff spot was confirmed in Week 16 as the 49ers eliminated the Los Angeles Rams with a 34-31 victory. They couldn't, however, send the NFC North title race into the final week on Monday night, with their 23-10 loss to the Packers locking them in as the No 6 seed.
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In the hunt:
The Cowboys (7-8) must see off the Washington Redskins and hope the Giants overcome the Eagles if they are to clinch the NFC East title and make it to the playoffs. Fail to do so and you have to wonder what that means for head coach Jason Garrett in 2020.