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Who’s in, who needs to win: NFL playoff scenarios

By Justin Webster | Dec 26, 2017

NFL playoff scenarios through the Monday results:


1. New England Patriots (12-3), AFC East champion, first-round bye

Dec. 31: vs. New York Jets

The Patriots would wrap up the top seed in the AFC with a win over the Jets or a loss by Pittsburgh.


2. Pittsburgh Steelers (12-3), AFC North champion, first-round bye

Dec. 31: vs. Cleveland Browns

The Steelers need a win and a New England loss to wrap up the top seed.


3. Jacksonville Jaguars (10-5), AFC South champion

Dec. 31: at Tennessee Titans

The Jaguars are assured of the No. 3 seed.


4. Kansas City Chiefs (9-6), AFC West champion

Dec. 31: at Denver Broncos

The Chiefs are assured of the No. 4 seed regardless of results.


5. Baltimore Ravens (9-6)

Dec. 31: vs. Cincinnati Bengals

The Ravens would clinch a wild card with a win over Cincinnati. Should they lose, they still would make the postseason if Tennessee or Buffalo loses.


6. Tennessee Titans (8-7)

Dec. 31: vs. Jacksonville Jaguars

The Titans would wrap up a wild card with a victory over Jacksonville. Tennessee still would make the playoffs with a loss, provided both the Chargers and the Bills lose their finales.


7. Los Angeles Chargers (8-7)

Dec. 31: vs. Oakland Raiders

For the Chargers to make the postseason, they need to defeat the Raiders, have the Titans lose to the Jaguars and either the Ravens win or the Bills lose.


8. Buffalo Bills (8-7)

Dec. 31: at Miami Dolphins

For Buffalo to sneak into the playoffs, the Bills would need to beat the Dolphins and have one of these two scenarios play out: the Ravens lose, or both the Chargers and the Titans lose.



1. Philadelphia Eagles (12-2), NFC East champion, clinched No. 1 seed

Dec. 31: vs. Dallas Cowboys


2. Minnesota Vikings (12-3), NFC North champion

Dec. 31: vs. Chicago Bears

The Vikings would clinch a playoff bye with a victory over the Bears or a loss by the Panthers.


3. Los Angeles Rams (11-4), NFC West champion

Dec. 31: vs. San Francisco 49ers

The Rams are locked into the third or fourth seed in the NFC playoffs.


4. New Orleans Saints (11-4), clinched playoff berth

Dec. 31: at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The Saints would capture the NFC South championship with a win over the Buccaneers or a Panthers loss.


5. Carolina Panthers (11-4) , clinched playoff berth

Dec. 31: at Atlanta Falcons

The Panthers would earn the NFC South title with a win over the Falcons and a Saints loss. They also would grab a playoff bye if they win the division and the Vikings lose their finale.


6. Atlanta Falcons (9-6)

Dec. 31: vs. Carolina Panthers

A win over the Panthers or a Seahawks loss would send the Falcons to the playoffs as a wild card.


7. Seattle Seahawks (9-6)

Dec. 31: vs. Arizona Cardinals

The Seahawks would make the playoffs if they beat the Cardinals and the Falcons lose.

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