NFL Playoff Picture Entering Week 17

-Ben Babcock

The 2017-18 playoffs are almost here! Entering the final week of the regular season, the bracket is almost set. The top four seeds in the AFC and NFC are all set except for the New Orlean Saints, who need a win in week 17 to secure the #4 spot. Other than the NFC South, every other division has a champion. The Patriots in the AFC East, the Jaguars in the AFC South, the Steelers in the AFC North, the Chiefs in the AFC West, the Eagles in the NFC East, the Vikings in the NFC North, and the Rams in the NFC South. The Patriots and Eagles have earned home field advantage throughout the playoffs by securing the #1 seeds and the only the left for chance is the wildcard spots.

The only teams that have guaranteed at least a wildcard spot are the Carolina Panthers and New Orleans Saints. Even if either team loses in week 17 they stay. The Panthers could take the #4 spot in the NFC if they win and the New Orleans Saints lose, but if the Saints win they stay at #4 and the Panthers remain at #5. As far as the other wildcard spots go, the Ravens(AFC #5), Titans(AFC #6) , and Falcons(NFC #6) can all maintain their current spots if they win in week 17. There are three teams in the hunt however, the Seahawks, Bills, and Chargers. The Seahawks could steal the #6 spot in the NFC with a win in against the Cardinals and a Falcons loss. The Chargers could take the #6 spot in the AFC if they win and the Titans lose. The bills are a bit of a long shot, needing a win at Miami and losses from the Chargers and Titans or a win and a Ravens loss. The Titans have the toughest matchup out of the four, playing the #3 Jaguars, but they did manage to beat the Jaguars earlier this season. The Ravens play a weak Bengals team and will most likely remain at #5 in the AFC. The Chargers will most likely win against a struggling Raiders team, and the Bills play at Miami which is always a close matchup. Seattle could very well take the #6 spot in the NFC, playing at home against Arizona while the Falcons host Carolina, who they lost to earlier this season. Look for the #6 spots in either conference to have some possible swaps, but don’t expect much change other than that in the brackett. This year there isn’t any huge favorite on either side, and seems to be like there will be a lot of close competitive games in the postseason