For the first time in 17 years, the NFL scheduled a Saturday doubleheader for the final week of the season and both of those games ended about exactly as expected with the Chiefs and Cowboys both winning.
The Chiefs, who were an 11-point favorite over the Broncos, got an unexpected scare in Denver in a 28-24 win. As for Dallas, there was no scare for the Cowboys as they rolled to an 51-26 blowout win over Philadelphia. The Cowboys' victory didn't come as a surprise and that's mostly due to the fact that the Eagles benched their starters while Dallas played its starters for the better part of three quarters.
So how do these two games impact the playoff race heading into the final day of the season? Glad you asked.
Although the Chiefs have moved up to the top spot in the AFC thanks to their win, they might not be there for long and that's because the Titans can claim the No. 1 overall seed by beating the Texans on Sunday.
In the NFC, the win by Dallas didn't cause the standings to change, but it did open the door for the Cowboys to move up as high as the two-seed if a few things go their way on Sunday.
With the in mind, here's a look at the current playoff standings following the wins by the Chiefs and Cowboys.
AFC playoff standings
|1. AFC West Champion (12-5)|
|Thanks to their win over the Broncos, the Chiefs are currently in the AFC's top spot, but that might not last long, because the only way they'll be staying here is if the Titans lose to the Texans on Sunday. However, the Chiefs did officially clinch at least the two-seed, which means they're guaranteed to get two home playoff games as long as they win in the wild-card round.|
|2. AFC South Champion (11-5)|
|The Chiefs might be in the top spot right now, but the Titans can take it from them on Sunday. With a win over the Texans, Tennessee will clinch the top seed in the AFC and the first-round bye that comes with it. That would be huge for Tennessee, because it would mean that Derrick Henry would get another week to heal before potentially making his return in the divisional round. |
|3. AFC North Champion (10-6)|
|Due to the Chiefs' win, the Bengals no longer have a chance to earn the AFC's top seed, which means they don't have a lot to play for on Sunday. The Bengals clearly realize there won't be much on the line for them, which is likely one big reason that Joe Burrow won't be playing. If the Bengals lose to the Browns, they'll almost certainly be getting the fourth-seed. |
|4. AFC East Champion (10-6)|
|If the Bills beat the Jets on Sunday, they'll clinch the AFC East. The Bills will also move up to the third-seed with a win AND a Bengals loss. Unfortunately for the Bills, there's no way for them to jump up to the two-seed due to the Chiefs' win over Denver. |
|5. Wild Card 1 (10-6)|
|With a win over the Dolphins on Sunday, the Patriots will clinch the fifth-overall seed. New England can also still win the AFC East, but that will only happen if the Patriots win AND the Bills lose to the Jets. |
|6. Wild Card 2 (9-7)|
|The Colts can lock up a playoff spot on Sunday by beating the Jaguars in Jacksonville, which might sound easy on paper, but it's something they haven't done since 2014. That being said, even if the Colts win, they won't know what seed they'll be getting until after the Raiders and Chargers play on Sunday night.|
|7. Wild Card 3 (9-7)|
|The Chargers currently hold the seventh-spot in the AFC and they can officially clinch it by beating the Raiders on Sunday night. However, a Raiders win would put Las Vegas in the postseason over Los Angeles (They could also both get in if the Jags beat the Colts, but they probably shouldn't count on that happening).|
Raiders (9-7): The Raiders will get in the playoffs with a win over the Chargers on Sunday. They could also get in if both the Colts AND Steelers lose.
Steelers (8-7-1): For the Steelers to make the playoffs three things have to happen: They have to beat the Ravens, the Colts have to lose to the Jags and the Chargers-Raiders game can't end in a tie.
Ravens (8-8): For the Ravens to make the playoffs, four things have to happen: They have to beat the Steelers, the Colts have to lose to the Jags, the Dolphins have to lose to the Patriots and the Chargers have to lose to the Raiders.
NFC playoff standings
|1. NFC North Champion (13-3)|
|The Packers have already clinched the top seed in the NFC and the first-round bye that comes with it, so there will be no drama for this spot on Sunday. |
|2. NFC West Champion (12-4)|
|If the Rams want to win the NFC West this year all they have to do is beat the 49ers on Sunday. However, if they lose and the Cardinals beat the Seahawks, then L.A. would drop all the way down to the five-seed.|
|3. NFC South Champion (12-4)|
|The Buccaneers can't get the top seed, but they can still move up to the two-spot. If Tampa Bay beats the Panthers and the Rams lose to the 49ers, then the Buccaneers will finish as the two-seed in the NFC.|
|4. NFC East Champion (12-5)|
|Although the Cowboys are likely going to earn the fourth-seed, the win over the Eagles has opened the door for them to get up to the two-spot. If the Cardinals, Rams and Buccaneers all lose, Dallas will get the two-seed. If the Cardinals OR Rams end up winning, then Dallas will be locked into the fourth-seed.|
|5. Wild Card 1 (11-5)|
|The Cardinals have an outside shot at winning the NFC West, but they're going to need some help from the 49ers. If San Francisco upsets the Rams, then Arizona will take home the division title with a win over Seattle. If the Rams win or if the Cardinals lose, then Arizona will be stuck as the fifth-seed.|
|6. Wild Card 2 (9-7)|
|Although the 49ers are sitting pretty right now, it's still possible for them to miss the playoffs. If they lose to the Rams AND the Saints beat the Falcons, then San Francisco's season will be over. However, the 49ers will get in the postseason with a win OR a Saints loss.|
|7. Wild Card 3 (9-8)|
|The Eagles have already clinched a playoff spot, so the loss to the Cowboys on Saturday night didn't really mean anything to them. The only drama for them on Sunday is whether they'll end up with the sixth-or the seventh-seed. If the 49ers lose AND the Saints win, then the Eagles will get the sixth-seed. If the Saints lose, then the Eagles will be locked into the seventh-seed regardless of what happens in the 49ers game.|
Saints (8-8): The only way the Saints can't get in the playoffs is if they beat the Falcons AND the 49ers lose to the Rams.
Wild card round matchups (Based on current standings)
(7) Chargers at (2) Titans
(6) Colts (3) Bengals
(5) Patriots at (4) Bills
(7) Eagles at (2) Rams
(6) 49ers at (3) Buccaneers
(5) Cardinals at (4) Cowboys