Playoff picture: Week 17 notes on how early games impact late games
Here's a quick look at the games played in both the early and late windows on Week 17 and their impact on playoff berths and seedings.
As you sit back to take in all of what Week 17 offers, here are a few things to look for as the day progresses that will impact playoff berths and seedings this year.
In the race for the AFC No. 6 seed, the Miami and Baltimore games at 1 p.m. ET are key here.
- If both Miami and Baltimore win, a San Diego win at 4:25 p.m. ET gets Miami the No. 6 seed and a Kansas City win gets Baltimore the No. 6 seed
- If Miami wins and Baltimore loses early, Miami is the No. 6 seed
- If Baltimore wins and Miami loses early, Baltimore is the No. 6 seed
- If both Miami and Baltimore lose and Pittsburgh wins early, a San Diego win gets the Chargers the No. 6 seed and a Kansas City win gets Pittsburgh the No. 6 seed
- If Miami, Baltimore and Pittsburgh all lose early, a San Diego win gets the Chargers the No. 6 seed and a Kansas City win gets Baltimore the No. 6 seed
The AFC No. 1 seed will be decided in the late window as both Denver and New England play at 4:25 p.m. ET. If Denver wins or New England loses, the Broncos will be the No. 1 seed. New England needs a win and a Denver loss to gain homefield advantage throughout the playoffs. Also, New England could have the first-round bye locked up prior to playing if both Cincinnati and Indianapolis lose early.
Indianapolis can still get a first-round bye as well if they win and Cincinnati loses to Baltimore early, and then New England loses to Buffalo late.
Cincinnati would lock up the No. 3 seed with:
1) Win early plus a New England win late
2) Indianapolis loss early
On the NFC side, the Carolina-Atlanta game is the only game of impact at 1 p.m. ET. If Carolina wins early they will gain at least the No. 2 seed and can get the No. 1 seed late if San Francisco wins and Seattle loses.
If Carolina wins early, New Orleans will get in the playoffs late with either a win against Tampa Bay or an Arizona loss against San Francisco.
If Carolina loses early, New Orleans can get the No. 2 seed with a win over Tampa Bay late.
At 4:25 p.m. ET, Seattle will try to lock up the No. 1 seed with either a win or a San Francisco loss. If neither happens, San Francisco will be either the No. 2 seed (if Carolina won early) or the No. 1 seed (if Carolina lost early).
In the late window, Green Bay will be at Chicago in a battle for the NFC North title. If Green Bay wins they will be the No. 4 seed. If Chicago wins, they will be either the No. 4 seed (if Philadelphia beats Dallas Sunday night) or the No. 3 seed (if Dallas wins).
Arizona will be playing at 4:25 p.m. ET and will be cheering for Tampa Bay, as they need a win and a New Orleans loss to get in the playoffs.
At night, Philadelphia can lock up the NFC East division title and the No. 3 seed with a win. If Dallas wins, they will be the No. 3 seed if Chicago lost earlier in the day. Otherwise the Cowboys will be the No. 4 seed and will host the No. 5 seed on Wild Card Weekend.
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