NFL playoff picture in Week 17: Field taking shape as Ravens, Browns clinch wild-card berths

Here's how the NFL playoff picture looks with Week 17's first batch of Sunday games complete. (Note: the postseason field expands to 14 teams this season.)


y-1. Green Bay Packers (12-3), NFC North champions: A win at Chicago will confer home-field advantage and first-round bye. However Pack lose top seed if they wind up tied with Seattle or in a three-way deadlock with Seahawks and Saints.

Wild-card weekend opponent: Undetermined

y-2. New Orleans Saints (11-4), NFC South champions: They'll wrest No. 1 seed from Pack if Green Bay loses and Seattle wins as New Orleans would have best conference record among trio.

Wild-card weekend opponent: Undetermined

y-3. Seattle Seahawks (11-4), NFC West champions: Division champs for fifth time under Pete Carroll. By virtue of superior record in common games with Green Bay, NFC road will go through Seattle's Lumen Field if Seahawks and Packers both finish 12-4.

Wild-card weekend opponent: Undetermined

4. Washington Football Team (6-9), NFC East leaders: They have win-and-in scenario in regular-season finale at Philadelphia. However Giants (6-10), who swept WFT this season and eliminated Cowboys on Sunday afternoon, claim crown if Eagles knock off Washington.

Wild-card weekend opponent: NFC East winner will host Buccaneers

x-5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (11-5), wild card No. 1: They'd already advanced to postseason for first time since 2007 … and have now locked into fifth seed, meaning matchup with NFC East champion.

Wild-card weekend opponent: at NFC East champion

6. Los Angeles Rams (9-6), wild card No. 2: If they lose to Arizona and Bears win, the Rams go home. L.A. moves forward by beating Cardinals or if Chicago loses.

Wild-card weekend opponent: Undetermined

7. Chicago Bears (8-7), wild card No. 3: They've suddenly won three in a row on heels of six-game losing streak. Beat the Packers at Soldier Field on Sunday afternoon, and Da Bears claim a most surprising postseason berth.

Wild-card weekend opponent: Undetermined

8. Arizona Cardinals (8-7), first team out of field: The Cards control their destiny –beat L.A., and Arizona advances.

Wild-card weekend opponent: Undetermined


z-1. Kansas City Chiefs (14-1), AFC West champions: They're locked in as conference's top seed. Only question left is whether or not they win 15 regular-season games for first time.

Wild-card weekend opponent: N/A

y-2. Buffalo Bills (13-3), AFC East champions: Didn't have much at stake Sunday but crushed division rival Dolphins anyway, locking Buffalo into No. 2 seed – meaning Bills wouldn't face K.C. until AFC title game.

Wild-card weekend opponent: Undetermined

y-3. Pittsburgh Steelers (12-4), AFC North champions: Played well in Cleveland even with QB Ben Roethlisberger resting back in Pittsburgh. Rematch next weekend in Steel City.

Wild-card weekend opponent: vs. Browns

x-4. Tennessee Titans (10-5), AFC South leaders: They need only beat Houston to wrap up division title (or hope Colts lose final game). Miami's loss clinched at least a berth for Tennessee.

Wild-card weekend opponent: Undetermined

QB Lamar Jackson, right, and the Ravens are once again playoff bound. (Photo: Joseph Maiorana, USA TODAY Sports)

x-5. Baltimore Ravens (11-5), wild card No. 1: Ran over, around and through Bengals for fifth consecutive win while securing third straight playoff appearance. Will travel to Nashville or Indianapolis next weekend.

Wild-card weekend opponent: at AFC South champion

x-6. Cleveland Browns (11-5), wild card No. 2: Cleveland's league-high 18-year playoff drought finally ends in dramatic fashion with defeat of arch rival Steelers in Week 17. Browns go to Pittsburgh for rubber match next.

Wild-card weekend opponent: at Steelers

7. Indianapolis Colts (10-5), wild card No. 3: Beat the Jaguars and they're in as AFC's final wild card. Indy takes AFC South with win and Titans loss.

Wild-card weekend opponent: Undetermined

8. Miami Dolphins (10-6), first team out of field: Embarrassing performance in Buffalo may leave Fins out in cold. Only way they back into bracket now is if Colts lose.

Wild-card weekend opponent: Undetermined

x — clinched berth

y — clinched division

z — clinched home-field advantage


Follow USA TODAY Sports' Nate Davis on Twitter @ByNateDavis

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