In a league known for parity, it's not often you see a team earn the No. 1 overall playoff seed in consecutive seasons and it's even rarer to see it happen in both the AFC and NFC at the same time, but that's exactly what could happen this year if both the Packers and the Chiefs end up earning the No. 1 overall seed in their respective conferences.
With just three weeks to go in the regular season, not only are the Packers currently at the top of the NFC, but they're also a full game ahead of their next closest competitor, which means Green Bay will almost certainly earn the top seed as long as they go 3-0 or 2-1 down the stretch. This would come one year after they also earned the NFC's top seed.
In the AFC, the Chiefs also have a one-game lead over their next closest competitor, and right now, Kansas City is the betting favorite to earn the top seed. Last season, the Chiefs earned the AFC's No. 1 overall seed after finishing the year with a 14-2 record.
If the Chiefs and Packers both end up with a No. 1 overall seed in the playoffs this year, it will mark the first time in nearly 40 years that both the AFC and NFC produced the same top seed in consecutive seasons. The last time time it happened came in 1982 and 1983 when the Raiders won the AFC's top seed in consecutive years while Washington won the NFC's top seed two years in a row.
The one big thing the Chiefs and Packers won't be able to match is the fact that each of the prior two teams also won a Super Bowl during their two-year reign as the top seed in their conference. For Washington, its win came in Super Bowl XVII against the Dolphins following the 1982 season. Although the Raiders were the top seed in the AFC that year, they didn't make it out of the divisional round after a loss to the Jets.
In 1983, the Raiders rebounded from their divisional round loss to destroy Washington 38-9 in Super Bowl XVIII.
The reason it's been nearly 40 years since the last time we saw both the AFC and NFC produce the same top seed in consecutive seasons is because it's difficult to repeat as the top seed. In the AFC, we've only seen it happen four times since 1983 with the Bills (1990-91), Patriots (2010-11, 2016-17) and Broncos (2012-13) all pulling it off. In the NFC, although there have been some dominant teams like the 1980s 49ers and 1990s Cowboys, we've still only seen three teams repeat as the top seed since 1983 with the 49ers (1989-90), Eagles (2002-04) and Seahawks (2013-14) being the only ones to pull it off.