This Is The NFL Playoff Picture And The Scenarios At Play In Week 17

What a spectacular weekend of football it was, with a few games having major playoff implications. Watching the Seattle Seahawks vs Dallas Cowboys this past Sunday, gave me butterflies of excitement because it felt like playoff football. We are only one week away from the playoffs becoming a reality and since only six teams from each conference can make it in, it's important to know who is in and who is out. Time to dive into the current playoff picture and the scenarios at play in Week 17.

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Below you will see the symbols x,y,z, and *. The meaning of those symbols is here:

X: Clinched Playoff Birth
Y: Clinched Division
Z: Clinched First Round Bye
*: Clinched Home Field Advantage

AFC Playoff Picture
1.) New England Patriots (12-3), (XYZ)

The Patriots took care of business against the Buffalo Bills on Sunday, winning 37-16 at home. Now they just need to beat the New York Jets and home-field advantage is all theirs. 

2.) Pittsburgh Steelers (12-3), (XYZ)
With the Steelers losing 27-24 to the Patriots, their hopes of home field advantage are likely over. The Steelers locked up a first-round bye with their 34-6 win over the Houston Texans on Monday.

3.) Jacksonville Jaguars (10-5), (XY)
For the first time since 2007, the Jaguars will be going to the playoffs, which they clinched after their Week 15 win. That may have led to them having a hangover game against the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday, considering they lost 44-33. The Jaguars still clinched the division this past week after the Tennessee Titans lost. They also are locked into the three-seed heading into the playoffs.

4.) Kansas City Chiefs (9-6), (XY)
The Chiefs locked up the four-seed and the AFC West crown with a 29-13 win over the Miami Dolphins. This will be the third year in a row the Chiefs have made the playoffs.

5.) Baltimore Ravens (9-6)
The Raven's path is simple - beat the Cincinnati Bengals and make the playoffs.

6.) Tennessee Titans (8-7)
The Titans can clinch the sixth seed in the AFC playoffs with a win on the road vs. the Jaguars. If the Titans lose, they need both the Chargers and Bills to lose their Week 17 matchup to get in.

In The Hunt

7.) Los Angeles Chargers (8-7)
The Chargers need to beat the Raiders and the Titans and Bills to lose in order to sneak into the six-seed. They can also get into the playoffs with a Ravens loss.

8.) Buffalo Bills (8-7)
The Bills making the playoffs is complicated. They must win in order to get in and have a Ravens loss or losses by both the Chargers and Titans.

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NFC Playoff Picture
1.) Philadelphia Eagles (13-2), (XYZ*)

Last week's win against the Giants locked up a first-round bye in the playoffs. Now, with their win on Monday Night Football over Oakland Raiders, the Eagles locked up home-field advantage. 

2.) Minnesota Vikings (12-3), (XY)
With a win over the Chicago Bears, the Vikings will clinch a first-round bye for the first time since 2009. 

3.) Los Angeles Rams (11-4), (XY)
The Rams and running back Todd Gurley continue to run over teams after their 27-23 win over the Titans. With that win, the Rams have clinched the NFC West and are heading to the playoffs for the first time since 2004. They also clinched a home playoff game.

4.) New Orleans Saints (11-4), (X)
The Saints beat the Atlanta Falcons 23-13 and remain in first place in the NFC South. With a win in Week 17 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the Saints will clinch the NFC South for the first time since 2011. If the Saints win and the Rams lose, the Saints move to the three seed.

5.) Carolina Panthers (11-4), (X)
The Panthers won a nail-biter at home against the Buccaneers, 22-19. If the Saints lose and the Panthers win, they would grab the four seed and the NFC South. If the Panthers win and both the Vikings and Saints lose, then the Panthers would get a first-round bye and the two-seed. 

6.) Atlanta Falcons (9-6)
The Falcons control their own destiny because if they beat the Panthers, they're in. If the Falcons lose and the Seahawks win, the Falcons are out. If the Seahawks lose, then the Falcons are in, even with a loss. 

In The Hunt

7.) Seattle Seahawks (8-7)
The Seahawks need to beat their NFC West rival Arizona Cardinals and the Falcons need to lose.

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Mitchell Renz is the Senior Writer & On-Air Host at Chat Sports. Check out his article archive and live videos on Chat Sports Facebook page. Please follow him on Twitter @MitchellRenz365. 

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