6 NFL teams are still competing for 3 playoff spots in the final week of the season - here's what each team needs
Eric Christian Smith/AP
Eric Christian Smith/AP
- The NFL playoff picture is still up in the air as the season heads into its Week 17 finale.
- In the AFC, the Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens are competing to clinch the AFC North while the Tennessee Titans and Indianapolis Colts try to win the AFC South or the last Wild Card spot.
- In the NFC, the Minnesota Vikings are trying to hold off the Philadelphia Eagles for the final Wild Card spot.
Heading into Week 17, the final week of the NFL regular season, the NFL playoff picture is still up in the air.
Nine of 12 playoff spots have been locked, but seeding is still very much open, and three playoff spots are still up for grabs.
In the AFC, the Kansas City Chiefs, New England Patriots, and Houston Texans all have their divisions locked up, while the Los Angeles Chargers have secured a playoff spot. The race for the AFC North has come down to the Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers, while the final Wild Card spot is still open. The Indianapolis Colts and Tennessee Titans play a crucial Week 17 game for that final spot.
In the NFC, the New Orleans Saints, Los Angeles Rams, Chicago Bears, and Dallas Cowboys have all won their divisions, while the Seattle Seahawks also locked up a playoff spot, meaning only the final Wild Card seed is available. The Minnesota Vikings are trying to stave off the surging Philadelphia Eagles for that spot.
Below is a breakdown of how each of the teams still fighting for the open spots could fare in the final week of the season (with some help from NFL.com).
vs. Cleveland Browns
The Ravens currently lead the AFC North, and their path to clinching is pretty simple: beat the Browns. If that happens, they'll be in the playoffs.
If the Ravens lose or tie, it gets a bit more complicated. If the Ravens lose to the Browns, they would also need the Steelers to lose, in which case they could still win the division. If the Ravens lose and the Steelers win, they would be out, as one of the Colts or Titans would win the last Wild Card spot.
Joe Sargent/Getty Images
As outlined above, the Steelers are in a must-win situation. Any situation where they lose means they're out. The only way they could get the Wild Card spot is if they win and the Colts and Titans tie.
at Tennessee Titans
The Colts still have a chance to win the division if they beat the Titans and the Houston Texans win. Either way, they need to beat the Titans to get in. If they end up tying the Titans, they would need the Ravens to lose and the Steelers to lose or tie.
vs. Indianapolis Colts
Likewise, the Titans need to beat the Colts. They, too, could nab the division if they win and the Texans lose.
vs. Chicago Bears
If the Vikings need to beat the Bears, they'll be in the playoffs. If not, they'll need the Eagles to lose the Redskins.
at Washington Redskins
The Eagles' improbable, Nick Foles-led surge is still out of their hands. Even if the Eagles win, they'll need the Vikings to lose to get into the playoffs.
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