NFL Playoff Picture Week 17 standings, updates, bracket: Colts grab final playoff spot, Chiefs get home field
Everything you need to know about the NFL playoff hunt with the Week 17 results rolling in
The Chiefs left nothing to chance on Sunday afternoon, snuffing out any hope the Raiders might have had early and often, piling up the points and blasting their way to the first overall seed in the AFC and home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. It was cruise control from the get go, with the Chiefs scoring early and piling on points in a runaway win.
Indianapolis had a similar effort against the Titans, piling up points in an excellent effort in Tennessee, with Andrew Luck running his undefeated record against the Titans to even more impressive heights and bringing the Colts back to the playoffs in Frank Reich's first year as coach and Luck's first year back under center.
It was the opposite of the Vikings game, a complete and utter disaster that could best be dubbed "The Minneapolis Meh-ricle" for how terrible Kirk Cousins and the Vikings offense looked. Bears coach Matt Nagy could have pulled his guys early and let the Vikings win and gotten Minnesota instead of Philadelphia in a playoff matchup. I criticized it at the time and I believe you'd rather play Minnesota than Philadelphia, with Nick Foles conjuring his playoff voodoo. But, man, it's hard not to love the Bears with how they handled business against the Vikings.
Things might have to change in Minnesota. This was a "win and in" game for the Vikings, who couldn't produce enough on offense to handle a shorthanded Bears team. Can anyone trust Kirk Cousins in big spots? He should be trustworthy, he's being paid $84 million over three years to win those games and he couldn't get it done on a big stage again.
Philly's back in the playoffs now and they're terrifying; Foles is rolling and the Eagles could do some damage. The Steelers didn't get the same break, with the Ravens holding on to win the AFC North in a squeaker over the Browns.
Houston's win secured the AFC South for the Texans, locking them into a top-three seed. The Patriots' victory gave them something they covet: a first-round bye.
Now the two teams can sit and wait and hope for the Raiders and Broncos to throw them a bone and create some real chaos. The NFC saw almost nothing happen in the early games -- the only two potential teams involved in the 1 p.m. games were the Saints and Cowboys and neither had anything to play for in their respective games.
AFC: Who's in
1. (*) Kansas City Chiefs (12-4)
The Chiefs hammered the Raiders, locked up the top seed in the AFC, home-field advantage throughout the playoffs and probably an MVP award for Patrick Mahomes.
2. (z) New England Patriots (11-5)
The Patriots clinched the AFC East last week and snuffed out the Jets to clinch a first-round bye for what feels like the 50th year in a row. It's a huge win for them -- the Pats have never won a Super Bowl without having a first-round bye.
3. (x) Houston Texans (11-5)
The Texans hammered the Jaguars and Blake Bortles, which shouldn't have been surprising unless you're Pete Prisco and Nick Kostos putting in the Jaguars as a best bet on the Pick Six Podcast (subscribe here the world's greatest and maybe only daily NFL podcast). The Texans are the third seed.
4. (y) Baltimore Ravens (10-6)
The Ravens survived a scare from Cleveland with a late defensive stop and guaranteed themselves a playoff spot by winning the AFC North.
5. (x) Los Angeles Chargers (12-4)
The Chargers snuck past the Broncos in a game that ultimately didn't matter with the Chiefs steamrolling the Raiders and winning the AFC West.
6. (x) Indianapolis Colts (10-6)
The Colts manhandled the Titans on Sunday night, with Andrew Luck out-dueling Blaine Gabbert for a win and a playoff berth in Frank Reich's first year. The win sets up the Colts to play the Texans for the third time this season.
AFC: Who's Eliminated
7. Pittsburgh Steelers (9-6-1)
8. Tennessee Titans (9-7)
9. Cleveland Browns (7-8-1)
10. Miami Dolphins (7-9)
11. Denver Broncos (6-10)
12. Cincinnati Bengals (6-10)
13. Buffalo Bills (6-10)
14. Jacksonville Jaguars (5-11)
15. New York Jets (4-12)
16. Oakland Raiders (4-12)
NFC: Who's in
1. (*) New Orleans Saints (13-3)
2. (z) Los Angeles Rams (13-3)
The Rams locked up the NFC West weeks ago and clinched the first-round bye by stomping the 49ers.
3. (y) Chicago Bears (12-4)
The Bears took care of business against the Vikings, stomping out their divisional rival and sweeping Minnesota right out of the playoffs, in turn helping the Eagles into the playoffs.
4. (y) Dallas Cowboys (10-6)
The Cowboys had nothing to play for -- at all -- and played their starters the entire game. Good for the playoff momentum, bad for anyone who teased the Giants down to a pick. Sigh. Congrats on the 10 wins, Jason Garrett.
5. (x) Seattle Seahawks (10-6)
The Seahawks locked down the No. 5 seed with a win over the Cardinals (27-24, it wasn't easy) although they would have been the fifth seed anyway when Minnesota lost.
6. (x) Philadelphia Eagles (9-7)
The Eagles were dead weeks ago and just NEVER GAVE UP and they snuck into the playoffs with a win over Washington and a loss by the Vikings to the Bears. Now they will head to Chicago to say "thanks" as a very dangerous wild-card team.
NFC: Who's Eliminated
7. Minnesota Vikings (8-7-1)
8. Atlanta Falcons (7-9)
9. Washington Redskins (7-9)
10. Carolina Panthers (7-9)
11. Green Bay Packers (6-9-1)
12. Detroit Lions (6-10)
13. New York Giants (5-11)
14. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5-11)
15. San Francisco 49ers (4-12)
16. Arizona Cardinals (3-13)
(x) - clinched playoff berth
(y) - clinched division
(z) - clinched first-round bye
(*) - clinched home-field advantage
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