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NFL Playoff picture and Week 17 clinching scenarios

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Week 17 results will finalize the AFC and NFC playoff seeding.

NFL: Arizona Cardinals at Miami Dolphins Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL Playoffs are just over a week away, and while the majority of the playoff positions are already claimed - just two positions left in the NFC to be clinched - there are still plenty of games that impact the seeding. All across the playoff picture in both conferences, there are teams than could find themselves as high as a second-seed with a bye week to having to play during Wildcard weekend, we have teams that could go from hosting a playoff game to being on the road, and we have teams in the playoffs as of today who may not be there when the games conclude on Sunday.

It is going to be a crazy weekend. Before we get there, here are the current standings in both conferences, as well as the clinching scenarios that have to happen for a team to earn a playoff berth.

AFC Playoff standings (through Week 16)

1. New England Patriots (13-2) - AFC East champ; first-round bye clinched; Can finish in first- or second-seed

2. Oakland Raiders (12-3) - playoff berth clinched; Can finish in first-, second-, or fifth-seed

3. Pittsburgh Steelers (10-5) - AFC North champ; Locked into third seed

4. Houston Texans (9-6) - AFC South champ; Locked into fourth seed

5. Kansas City Chiefs (11-4) - playoff berth clinched; Can finish in second-, fifth-, or sixth-seed

6. Miami Dolphins (10-5) - playoff berth clinched; Can finish in fifth- or sixth-seed.

NFC Playoff standings (through Week 16)

1. Dallas Cowboys (13-2) - NFC East champ; first-round bye and home-field advantage clinched; Locked into first seed

2. Atlanta Falcons (10-5) - NFC South champ; Can finish in second-, third-, or fourth-seed.

3. Seattle Seahawks (9-5-1) - NFC West champ; Can finish in second, third, or fourth-seed

4. Green Bay Packers (9-6) - Can finish in third-, fourth-, or sixth-seed or can miss playoffs

5. New York Giants (10-5) - playoff berth clinched; Locked into fifth seed

6. Detroit Lions (9-6) - Can finish in second-, third-, fourth-, or sixth-seed or can miss playoffs

Washington Redskins (8-6-1) - Can finish in sixth seed

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (8-7) - Can finish in sixth seed

AFC Playoff Scenarios (Week 17)

Clinched:

New England – AFC East division title and first-round bye

Pittsburgh – AFC North division title

Houston – AFC South division title

Oakland – playoff berth

Kansas City – playoff berth

Miami – playoff berth

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (13-2)

New England clinches home-field advantage throughout AFC playoffs with:

  • NE win or tie OR
  • OAK loss or tie

OAKLAND RAIDERS (12-3)

Oakland clinches AFC West division title and a first-round bye with:

  • OAK win or tie OR
  • KC loss or tie

Oakland clinches home-field advantage throughout AFC playoffs with:

  • OAK win + NE loss

KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (11-4)

Kansas City clinches AFC West division title and a first-round bye with:

  • KC win + OAK loss

MIAMI DOLPHINS (10-5)

This is not an “official” clinching scenario, but since this is a Dolphins blog, here are what has to happen for the Dolphins to get the fifth seed or to be locked into the sixth seed:

Miami clinches the fifth seed with:

  • MIA win + KC loss

Miami is locked into the sixth seed with:

  • MIA loss OR
  • KC win

NFC Playoff Scenarios (Week 17)

Clinched:

Dallas – NFC East division title and home-field advantage throughout NFC playoffs

Atlanta – NFC South division title

Seattle – NFC West division title

New York Giants – playoff berth

ATLANTA FALCONS (10-5)

Atlanta clinches a first-round bye with:

  • ATL win OR
  • ATL tie + SEA loss or tie OR
  • SEA loss + DET loss or tie OR
  • SEA tie + DET loss

SEATTLE SEAHAWKS (9-5-1)

Seattle clinches a first-round bye with:

  • SEA win + ATL loss or tie OR
  • SEA tie + ATL loss + GB/DET tie

DETROIT LIONS (9-6)

Detroit clinches NFC North division title with:

  • DET win

Detroit clinches a first-round bye with:

  • DET win + SEA loss or tie + ATL loss

Detroit clinches a playoff berth with:

  • DET tie OR
  • WAS loss or tie

GREEN BAY PACKERS (9-6)

Green Bay clinches NFC North division title with:

  • GB win or tie

Green Bay clinches a playoff berth with:

  • WAS loss OR
  • WAS tie + TB win + GB clinches at least a tie in strength of victory tiebreaker over TB

(Note: GB clinches at least a tie in strength of victory tiebreaker over TB if one of the following teams win or tie: SEA, HOU, JAX, PHI. GB has already clinched strength of schedule tiebreaker over TB in this scenario.)

WASHINGTON REDSKINS (8-6-1)

Washington clinches a playoff berth with:

  • WAS win + GB-DET game does not end in a tie OR
  • WAS tie + GB loss + TB loss or tie

TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS (8-7)

Tampa Bay clinches a playoff berth with:

  • TB win + WAS tie + GB loss + TB clinches strength of victory tiebreaker over GB

(Note: TB clinches strength of victory tiebreaker over GB if all of the following teams win: TEN, IND, DAL and SF)