NFL playoff image; AFC, NFC Week 17 Rankings: Buccaneers clinch

Here’s what the NFL playoff picture looks like with Week 17 Sunday afternoon games completed:


y – 1. Kansas City Chiefs (13-3), AFC West champions: A Buffalo loss to Cincinnati opens the door for KC to snatch the No. 1 seed, a goal currently hampered by the Chiefs’ Week 6 loss to the Bills. Remaining schedule: at Raiders

y – 2. Buffalo Bills (12-3), AFC East champions: Must win at Cincinnati on Monday to keep inside the track for the AFC’s first-round bye and home-field advantage. Fall to the Bengals, and Buffalo could slide to third place in the conference. Remaining schedule: at the Bengals, against the Patriots

x – 3. Cincinnati Bengals (11-4), AFC North leaders: If they can beat Buffalo and find themselves in a three-way tie with the Bills and Chiefs, the defending conference champions would earn home court and a first-round bye. A win on Monday and a loss at Baltimore on Sunday would hand Cincinnati the AFC North championship. Lose on Monday and the Bengals risk moving to wild card range. Remaining schedule: against Bills, against Ravens

Follow every game: Latest NFL Scores and Schedules

4. AFC South leaders Jacksonville Jaguars (8-8): They ended a five-year drought against the Houston Texans with Sunday’s decisive win … but it had little bearing on the Jags’ playoff chances. The division title will be determined against Tennessee in Week 18. Remaining schedule: against titans

x – 5. Baltimore Ravens (10-5), joker #1: A win on Sunday or a loss at Cincinnati on Monday guarantees the Ravens and Bengals will play the AFC North Championship Game in Week 18. Remaining schedule: vs. Steelers, Bengals

x – 6. Los Angeles Chargers (10-6), joker #2: Making the playoffs for the first time in four years, it remains to be seen which division champion Bolts will visit in the first round. They will not be ranked worse than sixth. Remaining schedule: at Broncos

7. New England Patriots (8-8), Wild #3: Not only did they avoid elimination by beating Miami on Sunday, Pats will qualify for the playoffs by winning next Sunday. Remaining schedule: at Invoices

8. Miami Dolphins (8-8), off the playoff field: QB Tua Tagovailoa’s five-game slide and latest concussion jeopardizes their playoff hopes, with Sunday’s loss at Foxborough knocking the Fins out of their predicted playoff bracket. Remaining schedule: vs. Jets

9. Pittsburgh Steelers (7-8), out of playoff field: The playoffs still look like a pipe dream, especially with coach Mike Tomlin’s first loss in the first season away … although the odds have improved greatly by winning four of the last five. Remaining schedule: at Ravens, against Browns

To note: The New York Jets (7-9) currently sit 10th overall in the AFC, but were eliminated from the playoffs.

11. Tennessee Titans (7-9), out of playoff field: They essentially treated Thursday night’s loss to Dallas as a preseason game given that it’s the Week 18 game with Jacksonville that will determine the AFC South crown. Remaining schedule: at Jaguar


x – 1. Philadelphia Eagles (13-3), leaders NFC East: They are 0 for 2 without injured QB Jalen Hurts, failing twice to wrap up the NFC No. 1 seed. But Philly can still do it in Week 18 against a Giants team tagged for the sixth seed and with little left to play before the wildcards turn. Remaining schedule: against the giants

y – 2. San Francisco 49ers (12-4), NFC West champions: Escaping Las Vegas with an overtime win and knocking out the Raiders gives them a chance to be the NFC’s top seed thanks to their 9-2 record in intraconference games. The Niners still need a win next week coupled with a loss at Philadelphia. Remaining schedule: against the cardinals

y – 3. Minnesota Vikings (12-4), NFC North champions: Sunday’s crushing loss at Green Bay means they can’t win the No. 1 seed. Remaining schedule: in the bears

y – 4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (8-8), NFC South champions: It hasn’t been a great year, but Sunday’s win over Carolina eliminated the Panthers and gave the Bucs back-to-back division crowns for the first time in franchise history. Remaining schedule: among the hawks

x – 5. Dallas Cowboys (12-4), joker #1: If they win in Week 18 and the Eagles don’t, Team USA rushes to the NFC East throne. The Cowboys also have a road to the No. 1 seed if they beat Washington — Philly must obviously lose its last two games — and finish tied for the top of the conference with Minnesota. Remaining schedule: among the commanders

x – 6. New York Giants (9-6-1), joker #2: Big Blue is back in the playoffs for the first time since 2016 with Sunday’s win. Remaining schedule: among the eagles

7. Seattle Seahawks (8-8), joker #3: They stayed alive by knocking out the New York Jets on Sunday but aren’t in control of their playoff fate despite currently residing in seventh place. The Seahawks need to win in Week 18 and hope the Packers lose. Remaining schedule: against rams

8. Detroit Lions (8-8), off the playoff field: They need a win at Green Bay and a loss to the Seahawks in Week 18 to reach the playoffs. The Week 4 loss to Seattle may finally come back to haunt them. Remaining schedule: at the packers

Aaron Rodgers (12) and the Packers won their fourth straight game on Sunday.

9. Green Bay Packers (8-8), out of playoff field: They’ve had a lot of outside help in recent weeks, but the biggest help has come from within thanks to Pack’s four-game winning streak, including Sunday against Minnesota. If they beat Detroit in Week 18, Pack will make the playoffs for the fourth time in four years under coach Matt LaFleur as their record in NFC games would be 7-5 – one better than Seattle even if the Seahawks upset the Rams in the regular season finale. Remaining schedule: against the Lions

x – unhooked berth

y – unhooked division


Follow USA TODAY Sports’ Nate Davis on Twitter @ByNateDavis.

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