Week 17 Playoff Implications

Year after year, Week 17 is always pivotal for playoff seeding. Here are the probable scenarios for how both conferences will be seeded.

AFC:

The New England Patriots (AFC East, Home Field Advantage), Denver Broncos (AFC West), Indianapolis Colts (AFC South), Cincinnati Bengals (playoff berth), and the Pittsburgh Steelers (playoff berth) have punched tickets to the playoffs.

  1. Home Field Advantage: The New England Patriots have clinched this seed.
  2. First Round Bye: The Denver Broncos need a win against the Oakland Raiders for a first round bye. The Cincinnati Bengals are also in the running for this seed, with the most likely scenario for the Bengals being a Broncos’ loss and a Bengals’ win.
  3. Third Seed: The winner of the Bengals-Steelers game will most likely control the AFC’s third seed.
  4. Fourth Seed: The Indianapolis Colts are most likely to possess the AFC’s fourth seed.
  5. Wild Card 1: The loser of the Bengals-Steelers game will control the AFC’s fifth seed.
  6. Wild Card 2: If the San Diego Chargers win, they’re in the playoffs with the AFC’s sixth seed. The Baltimore Ravens, Kansas City Chiefs, and Houston Texans are all in the running for this seed.

NFC:

The Arizona Cardinals (playoff berth), Seattle Seahawks (playoff berth), Detroit Lions (playoff berth), Green Bay Packers (playoff berth), and Dallas Cowboys (NFC East) have punched tickets to the playoffs.

  1. Home Field Advantage: If the Seattle Seahawks win and the Green Bay Packers and Detroit Lions don’t tie, the Seahawks will have this seed. The Packers, Lions, Cowboys, and Cardinals could all clinch Home FIeld Advantage.
  2. First Round Bye: The winner of the Packers-Lions game will likely have this seed.
  3. Third Seed: The Cowboys will likely have this seed.
  4. Fourth Seed: The winner of the Carolina Panthers-Atlanta Falcons matchup will have this seed.
  5. Wild Card 1: The loser of the Packers-Lions game will likely have this seed.
  6. Wild Card 2: The Cardinals will likely have this seed.

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