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NFL Playoff Picture Entering Week 17

Week 17 is upon us and there are just two playoff spots remaining.

The AFC figured out its six teams while the NFC is looking to fill two more spots. Either the Packers or Lions will win the NFC North while the Redskins and Bucs can also still sneak into the wild card picture.

Let’s take a look at where the standings lie…

X – Clinched Playoff Spot, Y – Clinched Division, Z – Clinched Home Field Advantage


  1. Z – Dallas Cowboys (13-2)

Dallas is all but ready to make their Super Bowl run. Jerry Jones recently said the starters would not sit out the finale at Philadelphia so expect Dak Prescott to start the game at quarterback. Tony Romo however, will be inactive to preserve his health (I guess that makes sense). Mark Sanchez will backup Prescott.

  1. Y – Atlanta Falcons (10-5)

A win for Atlanta or a Seattle loss will clinch a first round bye. The Falcons either way will have one home playoff game at minimum due to holding off the Bucs in the NFC South.

  1. Y – Seattle Seahawks (9-5-1)

While the Seahawks already clinched the division, they are backing into the playoffs after losing at home via a walk off field goal against the Cardinals. Having a home playoff game will help Seattle, but they need a win and a Falcons loss to get a first round bye.

  1. Green Bay (9-6)

Green Bay is easily the hottest team in the NFL right now but could still miss out on the playoffs. A win will clinch the division and they can actually finish as high as third with a win and a Seattle loss.

  1. X – New York Giants (10-5)

The Giants are in and can finish a spot lower but they are going to be a wild card team no matter what. It will be interesting to see if Head Coach Ben McAdoo will limit the playing time for starters like Eli Manning and Odell Beckham Jr.

  1. Detroit Lions (9-6)

Detroit is hanging on for dear life. A win will give them the NFC North but a loss could knock them out of the playoffs. Earlier in the day, the Redskins will be playing the Giants and as long as Washington loses that game, Green Bay and Detroit will both clinch a spot in the postseason. The winner will win the division crown. What is also interesting is if Detroit ties Green Bay, they both make the playoffs, with the Packers still winning the division.

In the Hunt:

Washington Redskins (8-6-1)

-A win actually will get the Redskins in as long as the Packers and Lions do not tie. What seemed like little hope just last week has now turned into a practical win and you’re in situation for the Redskins. it’s an expensive ticket for this Sunday, with the get-in price at $102 and Washington DC parking starting at $30 near the stadium.  Redskins fans will be fired up for this one.

Tampa Bay Bucs (8-7)

-Losing last week hurt a lot, so here is what needs to happen for the Bucs in addition to them winning their final game in order to get into the playoffs:

The Colts defeat the Jaguars

The Cowboys defeat the Eagles

The Lions defeat the Packers

The Titans defeat the Texans

The 49ers defeat the Seahawks

The Giants and the Redskins TIE

Yes, so that is a lot to digest and I do not expect this happen. The NFL has given us some crazy scenarios come to fruition but having to rely on a tie is pretty much unrealistic.



  1. Y – New England Patriots (13-2)

A win will secure home field advantage for New England. Or, the Raiders could lose and they will still clinch.

  1. X – Oakland Raiders (12-3)

A win and the Raiders clinch the division and a first round bye. They will need a Patriots loss as well to get home field advantage.

  1. Y – Pittsburgh Steelers (10-5)

Steelers cannot finish any higher. A win will secure the 3rd seed and they’ll have at least one home playoff game.

  1. Y – Houston Texans (9-6)

It is going to be interesting to see what the Texans do against the Titans. Will they rest starters? This game was supposed to be for the division but because of Tennessee’s loss last week, the Texans were able to win and clinch the South.

  1. X – Kansas City Chiefs (11-4)

Kansas City earns the division and a first round bye with a win and a Raiders loss. Does seem possible now with Derek Carr on the mend for Oakland.

  1. X – Miami Dolphins (10-5)

The Dolphins are back in for the first time since 2008. Now the bigger question is: will they try to get Ryan Tannehill ready to go for the wild card game next week and keep Matt Moore ready to go off the bench? Or is Matt Moore the man to go with all the way through?

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Nick is an NFL Analyst at as well as the Philadelphia Soul Beat Writer.
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