The New England Patriots could have secured the AFC’s No. 1 seed and home-field advantage with a Week 17 win over the Miami Dolphins, but the reigning Super Bowl champions stumbled to a 20-10 loss. The Denver Broncos edged the San Diego Chargers 27-20 and locked up home-field advantage.
The Cincinnati Bengals subsequently notched the No. 3 seed in the AFC, and the Houston Texans clinched the AFC South with a 30-6 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars 30-6 .The Kansas City Chiefs locked up the AFC’s fifth seed and a Wild Card berth with a 23-17 victory over the Oakland Raiders.
The Buffalo Bills made the playoff picture a lot more interesting as they edged the New York Jets 22-17, which allowed the Pittsburgh Steelers to clinch the sixth seed with a 28-12 victory over the Cleveland Browns.
The Carolina Panthers clinched the NFC’s top seed and home-field advantage with a 38-10 pummeling of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and while the Arizona Cardinals stumbled to a 36-6 loss to the Seattle Seahawks, they will have a first round bye with the NFC’s No. 2 seed.
The Washington Redskins won the NFC East in Week 16 and have the conference’s fourth seed.
The Minnesota Vikings-Green Bay Packers tilt Sunday night features two teams that already have clinched playoff berths. They are playing for the NFC North title. If the Vikes win, they will have the No. 3 seed, the Packers will have the No. 5 seed, and the Seahawks will have the No. 6 seed. If the Packers win, they will have the No. 3 seed, the Seahawks will have the No. 5 seed, and the Vikings will round out the NFC with the No. 6 seed. If the Packers and Vikings tie, the Seahawks will have the No. 6 seed.
|No. 1||Denver Broncos||Carolina Panthers|
|No. 2||New England Patriots||Arizona Cardinals|
|No. 3||Cincinnati Bengals||GB/MIN|
|No. 4||Houston Texans||Washington Redskins|
|No. 5||Kansas City Chiefs||GB/MIN/SEA|
|No. 6||Pittsburgh Steelers||GB/MIN/SEA|