NFL Playoff Picture Week 17 standings: Every single NFL team's clinching and seeding scenarios

The insanity of Week 17 is about to kick in with gusto -- the NFL likes to make sure no one has a competitive advantage in terms of knowing outcomes during the final week of the season, so the league schedules every single game on Sunday, making sure games that affect one another start at the same time. The result can be absolute chaos when it comes to the standings. 

To make sure you know what's going on, I broke down every possible seeding outcome for every single NFL team remaining in the playoff hunt. The AFC and NFC couldn't be more different right now -- in the AFC almost every team is still alive for a bye and several surprising teams are still alive for the top seed. The NFC is a little more cut and dry. 

Let's run through every single team, in their current playoff order ahead of Week 17, and look at every scenario for where each team could be seeded.

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AFC Playoffs

Kansas City Chiefs (11-4)

Clinched playoff spot? Yes

No. 1 AFC seed: There are several ways to get home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. The easy one is the Chiefs (13.5-point favorites) beat the Raiders. Expect Patrick Mahomes, et al, to play as a result. The Chiefs can also clinch the No. 1 seed if they tie the Raiders and the Chargers lose or tie the Broncos. They can also clinch the top seed if the Chargers lose, the Patriots lose/tie and the Texans lose/tie. Finally, they can clinch the No. 1 seed if the Chargers lose, the Patriots lose/tie and the Chiefs clinch a strength of victory tie over the Texans through the outcome of other games. Suffice to say, the Chiefs should just go win their game. 

No. 2 AFC seed: The Chiefs would lose a tiebreaker to the Patriots by virtue of their head-to-head loss in New England. But they can still lose and get the No. 2 seed if the Chargers lose and the Patriots lose/tie. OR if the Chargers lose and the Texans lose/tie. OR if the Chargers lose and the Chiefs secure a strength of victory tiebreaker over the Texans through the outcome of other games.

No. 3 AFC seed: The Chiefs can still clinch the AFC West without getting a first-round bye if they lose and the Chargers lose or if they tie and the Chargers tie. 

No. 5 AFC seed: If the Chiefs lose and the Chargers win, the Chiefs would be the No. 5 seed in the AFC.

New England Patriots (10-5)

Clinched playoff spot? Yes

No. 1 AFC seed: The Patriots need help to get home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. If they win and the Chiefs and Chargers lose, the Patriots could get the top seed.

No. 2 AFC seed: The Patriots already won their division but they very much want a bye. To get one, they need simply beat the Jets at home this week. They can also get home field if they tie the Jets and the Texans lose or tie against the Jaguars. If the Patriots lose, they can still get home field by the Ravens losing/tying, the the Texans losing and the Titans losing/tying.

No. 3 AFC seed: If the Patriots lose and ONE of the Titans, Texans and Ravens win, the Patriots would fall to the third seed. (Baltimore would beat Indianapolis and New England in a tiebreaker for the second seed.)

No. 4 AFC seed: If the Patriots lose and two of the Titans, Texans and Ravens win, the Patriots would fall to the fourth seed. Tennessee and Baltimore both have a tiebreaker over New England. 

Houston Texans (10-5)

Clinched playoff spot? Yes

No. 1 AFC seed: This is real longshot but still on the table: if the Texans win, the Chiefs lose, the Chargers lose, the Patriots lose AND if the Texans get the strength of victory tiebreaker over the Chiefs, Houston would be the No. 1 seed.

No. 2 AFC seed: There are four ways the Texans can still get a first-round bye. First is easy: if they win Sunday against the Jaguars and have the Patriots lose or tie they are the No. 2 seed. Second, the Texans can also win, have the Chiefs lose, the Chargers lose and get the strength of victory tiebreaker over the Chiefs. Third, the Texans can tie and the Patriots can lose. Fourth, the Texans can lose and still get the bye if Titans-Colts ends in a tie, the Patriots lose, the Ravens win and Houston gets strength of victory over the Ravens. Simple! 

No. 3 AFC seed: The Texans will be the third seed if they win against the Jaguars OR if they lose against the Jaguars and the Titans-Colts game ends in a tie. 

No. 6 AFC seed: If the Texans lose to the Jaguars, they still make the playoffs but they won't win the AFC South because one of the Colts and Titans will win and supplant them. The Texans also can't catch the Chargers or Chiefs at this point, so they would be the sixth seed if they lose to the Jaguars and Colts-Titans doesn't end in a tie.

Baltimore Ravens (9-6)

Clinched playoff spot: No

No. 2 AFC seed: The Ravens don't have a playoff spot yet, but they can still be the No. 2 seed. That's how wild the AFC is! They can get the bye in two ways. One, the Ravens win, the Patriots lose, the Texans lose and Colts-Titans does not end in a tie. Two, the Ravens win, the Patriots lose, the Texans lose and Baltimore tops Houston in the strength of victory tiebreaker through the outcome of other games. 

No. 3 AFC seed: If the Texans lose, the Ravens win and Colts-Titans does not end in a tie, the Ravens would be the No. 3 seed in the AFC. They could also get it if the Texans lose, the Ravens win and the Ravens get the strength of victory tiebreaker over the Texans based on the outcome of other games. The Ravens hold the tiebreak over the Colts and Titans on conference record and head-to-head record, respectively. If the Texans win, the Patriots lose and the Ravens win, Baltimore would be the No. 3 seed too. They hold the conference record tiebreak over New England as well.

No. 4 AFC seed: If the Texans win, the Patriots win and the Ravens win, Baltimore would be the No. 4 seed. The Ravens could also secure the No. 4 seed if they lose and the Steelers lose OR if they tie and the Steelers tie in Week 17. Both of those scenarios would give Baltimore the AFC North crown and the fourth seed. 

No. 6 AFC seed: This is a WILD situation: if the Steelers win and the Ravens TIE the Browns, Pittsburgh would win the division and be the fourth seed. Baltimore would be out of the playoffs unless the Colts-Titans game ALSO ENDED IN A TIE. If that happens, the Ravens would be the sixth seed. 

Los Angeles Chargers (11-4)

Clinched playoff berth? Yes

No. 1 AFC seed: The Chargers need help here, but they can still get the top seed and home-field "advantage" in the playoffs. If they win and the Chiefs lose or tie the Raiders, Los Angeles would be the top seed. If they tie and the Chiefs lose, they would also land it.

No. 5 AFC seed: It's either all or nothing in terms of byes, home field, etc. for the Chargers and Chiefs. The Chargers are either No. 1 with a win or No. 5. If the Chiefs win, they're the fifth seed OR if the Chiefs tie and the Chargers lose. If the Chiefs win and the Chargers win, Los Angeles will be a 12-win fifth seed. 

Indianapolis Colts (9-6)

Clinched playoff berth? No

No. 3 AFC seed: If the Colts beat the Titans, the Texans lose, the Ravens lose and the Steelers win, the Colts will win the AFC South and be the third seed.

No. 4 AFC seed: If the Colts beat the Titans, the Texans lose and the Ravens win, the Colts will win the AFC South and be the fourth seed.

No. 6 AFC seed: If the Colts win and the Texans win, the Texans will win the AFC South and the Colts will be the sixth seed. (They can't catch the Chargers or Chiefs for the fifth seed.)

Tennessee Titans (9-6)

Clinched playoff berth? No

No. 2 AFC seed: Tennessee has more upside than the Colts but needs a lot of help. If the Titans beat the Colts, the Texans lose, the Patriots lose and the Ravens lose or tie, the Titans would be the No. 2 seed in the AFC and get a first-round bye.

No. 3 AFC seed: Just like the Colts, if the Titans beat Indy, the Texans lose, the Ravens lose and the Steelers win, the Titans win the AFC South and will be the third seed.

No. 4 AFC seed: If the Titans win, the Texans lose and the Ravens win, the Titans would be the fourth seed. 

No. 6 AFC seed: If the Titans win and the Texans win, the Texans claim the AFC South and the Titans will be the sixth seed (they can't catch the Chiefs or Chargers either).

Pittsburgh Steelers (8-6-1)

Clinched playoff berth? No

No. 4 AFC seed: If the Steelers win and the Ravens lose, the Steelers would win the AFC North and be the fourth seed in the AFC. They also get the fourth seed if the Steelers tie the Bengals and the Ravens lose. 

No. 6 AFC seed: If the Steelers beat the Bengals and Colts-Titans ends in a tie on Sunday night, the Steelers would get in as a wild card.

NFC Playoffs

New Orleans Saints (13-2)

Clinched playoff berth? Yes

No. 1 NFC seed: The Saints have CLINCHED the top spot in the NFC regardless of what happens on Sunday.

Los Angeles Rams (12-3)

Clinched playoff berth? Yes

No. 2 NFC seed: If the Rams beat OR tie the 49ers, they will be the second seed in the NFC and have a first-round bye. They would also clinch the No. 2 seed if the Bears lose or tie the Vikings.

No. 3 NFC seed: If the Rams lose to the 49ers and the Bears beat the Vikings, Los Angeles would be the third seed.

Chicago Bears (11-4)

Clinched playoff berth? Yes

No. 2 NFC seed: If the Bears beat the Vikings and the Rams lose to the 49ers, the Bears would get the second seed over L.A. based on their head-to-head victory.

No. 3 NFC seed: If the Rams win or tie, the Bears outcome doesn't matter and they'll be the third seed in the NFC. 

Dallas Cowboys (9-6)

Clinched playoff berth? Yes

No. 4 NFC seed: The Cowboys are locked into the fourth seed because they won the division but are two games back of the Bears.

Seattle Seahawks (9-6)

Clinched playoff berth? Yes

No. 5 NFC seed: If the Seahawks beat OR tie the Cardinals on Sunday, they'll be the No. 5 seed. They will also be the No. 5 seed if they lose AND the Vikings lose AND the Eagles win. 

No. 6 NFC seed: If the Seahawks lose to the Cardinals on Sunday AND the Vikings beat the Bears, the Seahawks will be the No. 6 seed. 

Minnesota Vikings (8-6-1)

Clinched playoff berth? No

No. 5 NFC seed: If the Vikings beat the Bears and the Seahawks lose to the Cardinals on Sunday, the Vikings would be the fifth seed (any other outcome involving ties doesn't help Minnesota). 

No. 6 NFC seed: This is the most likely scenario. If the Vikings win OR tie against the Bears they clinch a playoff berth. They are the sixth seed if the Seahawks win or tie. The Vikings can also clinch the sixth seed if they lose and the Eagles lose OR tie against the Redskins

Philadelphia Eagles (8-7)

No. 6 NFC seed: The only shot the Eagles have to get into the playoffs involves the Bears beating the Vikings and the Eagles beating the Redskins.

CBS Sports Senior Writer

Will Brinson joined CBS Sports in 2010 and enters his seventh season covering the NFL for CBS. He previously wrote for FanHouse along with myriad other Internet sites. A North Carolina native who lives... Full Bio

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