The Pittsburgh Steelers (8-6) currently hold the second AFC wild-card spot, but the Tennessee Titans (8-6) are on the NFL playoff bubble. Meanwhile, the Buffalo Bills secured an AFC wild-card berth, and are currently the #5 seed. The Philadelphia Eagles still have a shot at advancing to the playoffs if they win the NFC East.
On the NFC side of the bracket, the Minnesota Vikings (10-4) and San Francisco 49ers (11-3) occupy the two NFC wild-card spots.
If the Eagles can win both of their remaining games, and the Cowboys falter in their final two games, then the Eagles can seize the NFC East crown and earn a playoff spot as a divisional winner.
The Cowboys are a 57 percent chance to win the NFC East and advance to the postseason, according to metrics from 538. The Eagles are a 43 percent chance to secure a spot in the playoffs as NFC East champs.
According to 538, the Titans are a 58 percent chance to advance to the postseason. The Steelers are only a 42 percent chance to hold on to their AFC wild-card spot.
The Seattle Seahawks are tied for the best record in the NFC along with the Green Bay Packers, San Francisco 49ers, and New Orleans Saints. The Seahawks are currently in first place in the NFC West, ahead of the Niners, which also thrusts them into the #1 seed in the NFC if the playoffs were to begin today.
The top seed in the NFC will end up as a 13-win team. If the Seahawks can win their final two games, they’ll retain the coveted #1 seed, which also includes an opening-round bye.
AFC Playoff Picture: Titans on Bubble
The Ravens (12-2) boast the best record in the NFL, and sit in the top seed in the AFC. The Patriots (11-3) snapped a rare two-game skid, but their offense is the weakest in the Brady Belichick era. If the playoffs were to begin today, the Pats would earn a bye with the #2 seed.
The best path for the Titans will be to win the AFC South. That requires winning both of their final two games, while the Texans lose both of theirs.
If the Texans don’t cooperate with a losing streak to end the season, the Titans could also catch the Steelers in the second wild-card Spot.
AFC Playoff Seedings:
1. Baltimore Ravens (12-2)
2. New England Patriots (11-3)
3. Kansas City Chiefs (10-4)
4. Houston Texans (9-5)
5. Buffalo Bills (10-4)
6. Pittsburgh Steelers (8-6)
The Steelers end their season with two road games against the New York Jets (5-8) and Baltimore Ravens. The Ravens beat the Steelers back in Week 5 with a narrow 3-point victory.
The Titans play the New Orleans Saints (11-3) and Houston Texans to end their season. If the Titans can win both games, they will earn the right to participate in the playoffs.
NFC Playoff Picture: Vikes and Niners in Wild Card
In Week 17, the Seahawks and Niners clash in a game that could determine the outcome of the NFC West, and shake up the NFC playoff seeding. At present, the second-place team in the NFC West will be relegated to a wild-card game, which means no home games in the postseason.
NFC Playoff Seedings:
1. Seattle Seahawks (11-3)
2. Green Bay Packers (11-3)
3. New Orleans Saints (11-3)
4. Dallas Cowboys (7-7)
5. San Francisco Niners (11-3)
6. Minnesota Vikings (10-4)
The Minnesota Vikings and Green Bay Packers meet this weekend. The Packers can clinch the NFC North with a victory in Minnesota. Meanwhile, the Vikings could take a huge stride in denying the Packers the division title. If the Packers lose both of their remaining games, and the Vikings can win their final two, then the Vikes would lock up the NFC North, and the Packers would fall to one of the NFC wild-card teams.
The Dallas Cowboys are the worst team in the league right now that could qualify for the playoffs. The NFC East is easily the weakest division in the NFL, and the division champ will most likely finish with an 8-8 record.
The Eagles are like a cockroach that won’t die. They’re still alive, but must win out the rest of their games, including one final game against the Cowboys this weekend. The Eagles are a +3 home dog in Week 16.
The Cowboys end the season in Week 17 with a home game against the Washington Redskins (3-11). The Eagles head to New Jersey to face the New York Giants (3-11) in the season finale.