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NFL playoff standings 2023: Final AFC and NFC playoff picture as Week 18 concludes

Week 18 of the NFL schedule is upon us, bringing to a close the regular season and setting up the playoffs. Who will make it into the postseason tournament this weekend?

Buffalo Bills v Miami Dolphins Photo by Megan Briggs/Getty Images

The NFL is down to one final weekend of the regular season, giving teams one final chance to claim their spot in the playoffs. This weekend’s games, including two on Saturday and 14 on Sunday, is full of playoff implications. Who will clinch a division title? Which teams will make up the three wild card teams for each side of the bracket? We keep up with everything happening throughout the weekend, updating the standing as games go final and keeping up with all of the clinching scenarios.

Entering the weekend, the AFC playoff picture includes the Baltimore Ravens having clinched the AFC North and the number one seed, giving them a bye during Wild Card Weekend next week and home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. The Miami Dolphins, holding on to the second seed position, have claimed a berth in the playoffs, but are still playing for the AFC East division title and to secure their claim on the second spot. The Kansas City Chiefs, locked into the third seed, have clinched the AFC West title. The Cleveland Browns are locked into the fifth seed as the top wild card team.

The Jacksonville Jaguars are currently the fourth seed as the leader in the AFC South, but they have not clinched the spot nor the division. The Houston Texans and Indianapolis Colts could both surpass the Jaguars and find themselves the division champions by the end of the weekend. The Pittsburgh Steelers and Buffalo Bills are also both in the fight for a playoff berth, with Pittsburgh hoping for a wild card spot while the Bills could win the AFC East over Miami, be either the sixth or seventh seed as a wild card team, or find themselves on the wrong side of the playoff cut line.

The NFC playoff picture has the San Francisco 49ers locked into the top spot as the NFC West division winner. The Dallas Cowboys are currently the second seed, but they still need to be locked into that spot, with the Philadelphia Eagles, currently the top wild card team, also able to claim the NFC East division title. The Detroit Lions, the NFC North division champions, are in the third position, with a slim possibility of sliding up into the second seed if the Cowboys and Eagles both stumble. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are currently the fourth seed, but they have not yet clinched the NFC South, with both the New Orleans Saints and Atlanta Falcons still in the hunt.

With the fifth seed going to whichever NFC East team, Dallas or Philadelphia, does not win the division, the sixth seed is held by the Los Angeles Rams, who are locked into the playoffs but could slip down to the seventh seed with a loss and a Green Bay Packers win. The Packers, Seattle Seahawks, Minnesota Vikings, Buccaneers, and Saints are all in contention for the seventh seed.

Note: In past weeks, we have included the elimination scenarios throughout the week. This week, we did not include them because they are just the opposite of the clinching scenarios. As one team clinches, another will see all of their scenarios end, essentially giving us the elimination scenarios as well.

Here are the current standings for both the AFC and NFC.


Last Update: 11:30 p.m. ET, Sunday - Final Update


AFC playoff picture (Final):

1 - Baltimore Ravens (13-4, AFC North champ)yz*
2 - Buffalo Bills (10-6, AFC East champ)x*
3 - Kansas City Chiefs (11-6, AFC West champ)y*
4 - Houston Texans (10-7, AFC South champ)y*

5 - Cleveland Browns (11-6, Wild Card 1 position)x*
6 - Miami Dolphins (11-6, Wild Card 2 position)x*
7 - Pittsburgh Steelers (10-7, Wild Card 3 position)x*

Eliminated:
Cincinnati Bengals (9-8)*
Jacksonville Jaguars (9-8)*
Indianapolis Colts (9-8)*
Las Vegas Raiders (8-9)*
Denver Broncos (8-9)*
New York Jets (7-10)*
Tennessee Titans (6-11)*
Los Angeles Chargers (5-12)*
New England Patriots (4-13)*

x Playoff berth clinched
y Division title clinched
z Homefield advantage/first-round bye clinched
*Week 18 game complete

Tiebreaks:

  • Bills over Chiefs based on head-to-head results
  • Browns over Dolphins based on AFC winning percentage
  • Jaguars over Colts based on head-to-head results (divisional tiebreak); Bengals over Jaguars based on head-to-head results
  • Jaguars over Colts based on head-to-head results
  • Raiders over Broncos based on head-to-head results

AFC Clinching Scenarios Week 17:

Bills clinch AFC East title with: (Clinched)

  • Bills win

Bills clinch wild card berth with: (Clinched, Not needed)

  • Bills tie OR
  • Steelers loss/tie OR
  • Jaguars loss/tie OR
  • Texans-Colts tie

Dolphins clinch AFC title with: (Eliminated from AFC East title)

  • Dolphins win

Steelers clinch wild card berth with: (Clinched)

  • Steelers win and Bills loss OR
  • Steelers win and Jaguars loss/tie OR
  • Steelers win and Texans-Colts tie OR
  • Steelers tie and Jaguars loss and Texans-Colts do not tie OR
  • Jaguars loss and Broncos win and Texans-Colts do not tie

Colts clinch AFC South title with: (Eliminated from AFC South title)

  • Colts win and Jaguars loss/tie OR
  • Colts tie and Jaguars loss

Colts clinch wild card berth with: (Eliminated from playoff)

  • Colts win OR
  • Colts tie and Steelers loss/tie

Jaguars clinch AFC South with: (Eliminated from AFC South title)

  • Jaguars win OR
  • Jaguars tie and Texans-Colts tie

Jaguars clinch wild card berth with: (Eliminated from playoffs)

  • Jaguars tie and Steelers loss/tie
  • Steelers loss and Broncos loss/tie and Texans-Colts do not tie

Texans clinch AFC South title with: (Clinched AFC South title)

  • Texans win and Jaguars loss/tie

Texans clinch wild card berth with: (Clinched playoff spot if not AFC South title)

  • Texans win OR
  • Texans tie and Jaguars loss and Steelers loss/tie

NFC Playoff Picture (Final)

1 - San Francisco 49ers (12-5, NFC West champ)yz*
2 - Dallas Cowboys (12-5, NFC East champ)y*
3 - Detroit Lions (12-5, NFC North champ)y*
4 - Tampa Bay Buccaneers (9-8, NFC South champ)y*

5 - Philadelphia Eagles (11-6, Wild Card 1 position)x*
6 - Los Angeles Rams (10-7, Wild Card 2 position)x*
7 - Green Bay Packers (9-8, Wild Card 3 position)x*

Eliminated:
New Orleans Saints (9-8)*
Seattle Seahawks (9-8)*
Minnesota Vikings (7-10)*
Chicago Bears (7-10)*
Atlanta Falcons (7-10)*
New York Giants (5-12)*
Washington Commanders (4-13)*
Arizona Cardinals (4-13)*
Carolina Panthers (2-15)*

x Playoff berth clinched
y Division title clinched
z Homefield advantage/first-round bye clinched
*Week 18 game complete

Tiebreaks:

  • 49ers over Cowboys and Lions based on NFC winning percentage
  • Cowboys over Lions based on head-to-head results
  • Buccaneers over Saints based on common games winning percentage
  • Packers over Saints based on head-to-head results
  • Vikings over Bears based on common games winning percentage (divisional tiebreak); Vikings over Falcons based on head-to-head results
  • Bears over Falcons based on head-to-head results
  • Commanders over Cardinals based on head-to-head results

NFC Clinching Scenarios Week 17

Cowboys clinch NFC East title with: (Clinched)

  • Cowboys win OR
  • Cowboys tie and Eagles tie OR
  • Eagles loss

Eagles clinch NFC East title with: (Elminated from NFC East title)

  • Eagles win and Cowboys loss/tie OR
  • Eagles tie and Cowboys loss

Packers clinch wild card berth with: (Clinched)

  • Packers win OR
  • Packers tie and Seahawks loss/tie or Saints loss/tie OR
  • Packers tie and Seahawks loss and Buccaneers loss OR
  • Packers tie and Seahawks tie and Buccaneers loss/tie OR
  • Vikings loss/tie and Seahawks loss and Buccaneers loss OR
  • Vikings loss/tie and Seahawks loss and Saints loss

Vikings clinch wild card berth with: (Eliminated)

  • Vikings win and Packers loss and Seahawks loss and Buccaneers loss OR
  • Vikings win and Packers loss and Seahawks loss and Saints loss

Buccaneers clinch NFC South title with: (Clinched)

  • Buccaneers win OR
  • Buccaneers tie and Saints loss/tie

Buccaneers clinch wild card berth with: (Clinched division title)

  • Buccaneers tie and Seahawks loss and Packers loss/tie

Falcons clinch NFC South title with: (Eliminated from NFC South title and playoffs)

  • Falcons win and Buccaneers loss

Saints clinch NFC South title with: (Eliminated from NFC South title)

  • Saints win and Buccaneers loss/tie OR
  • Saints tie and Buccaneers loss

Saints clinch wild card berth with: (Eliminated from playoffs)

  • Saints win and Seahawks loss/tie and Packers loss/tie OR
  • Saints tie and Seahawks loss and Packers loss

Seahawks clinch wild card berth with: (Eliminated from playoffs)

  • Seahawks win and Packers loss/tie OR
  • Seahawks tie and Packers loss and Buccaneers loss/tie OR
  • Seahawks tie and Packers loss and Saints loss/tie