Each N.F.L. Team’s Playoff Path: Week 17


There are two games left for each NFL team, and while the playoff picture for many teams may seem wide open, there’s no need to guess their odds.

Below is a team-by-team guide for each team not yet eliminated. We’ll describe their playoff odds based on the results of their next two games: if they win both, win one, or win neither. This will all bring you back to our playoff simulator, where you can explore the scenarios at your leisure.

NFC East

Dallas Cowboys (11-4)

Remaining matches: Cardinals, at Eagles

The Cowboys won the NFC East and share the second-best NFC record with the Rams and Buccaneers. They can still win the No.1 seed and the week off that goes with it, but they will most likely have to win their remaining two games.

Philadelphia Eagles (8-7)

Games remaining: at Football Team, Cowboys

The Eagles are playing for a wildcard spot. Winning both games will guarantee that. Winning one will probably be enough. Losing both will most likely eliminate them.

Washington Soccer Team (6-9)

Remaining games: Eagles, at Giants

Washington needs to win its remaining games to be mathematically viable for the playoffs, but even then it would need a lot of help to secure a wildcard spot. Washington fans should be cheering on the Bills, Texans, Panthers and Packers to win their games this week.

NFC North

Green Bay Packers (12-3)

Remaining games: Vikings, at Lions

The Packers, with the best record in football, have already won the NFC North. They’re playing to ensure their chances of retaining the NFC’s No.1 seed and the week off that goes with it. Two victories will guarantee it. A win makes it more likely than not, but they would need the Cowboys to lose one of their remaining games.

Minnesota Vikings (7-8)

Remaining games: at Packers, Bears

In reality, the Vikings must win their last two games, starting Sunday night in Green Bay against the Packers 12-3. But even two wins would only make their chances in the playoffs slightly better than a draw. Before the Vikings take the field at Lambeau, their fans should be rooting against the Eagles and Saints.

NFC South

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (11-4)

Remaining games: at Jets, Panthers

The Buccaneers clinched the top spot in the NFC South, but their poor conference record (their four losses came to NFC teams) reduces their chances of securing the No.1 seed. Two Bucs wins, two losses for the Packers and at least one loss for the Rams would do it. But in the most likely scenario, the Bucs host a wild card team in the first round.

New Orleans Saints (7-8)

Remaining games: Panthers, at Falcons

The Saints are one of six teams vying for two available spots in the NFC, with third place going to the team that loses the NFC West battle between the Cardinals and the Rams. The Saints probably need wins in their last two games. If they can do that, they will have a solid chance of qualifying for the playoffs.

Atlanta Falcons (7-8)

Remaining games: to Bills, Saints

The Falcons are still technically on the hunt for a wildcard spot, but losses to the Eagles and 49ers earlier in the season are making things difficult. The Falcons will need back-to-back wins in addition to a few stumbles from other teams in the wildcard race to advance to the playoffs.

NFC West

Los Angeles Rams (11-4)

Remaining matches: at the Ravens, 49ers

The Rams have clinched a playoff berth, but face an array of possibilities. Winning their remaining two games would secure a division title and leave an outside chance for the No.1 seed. Winning a single game – whatever – would be enough to win the division as long as the Cardinals also lost one of theirs. remaining matches.

Arizona Cardinals (10-5)

Remaining parts: at Cowboys, Seahawks

The Cardinals clinched a playoff berth but lag the Rams (11-4) by one game in NFC West. They can win the division if they win one game more than the Rams.

San Francisco 49ers (8-7)

Remaining parties: Texans, at Rams

The 49ers are in good shape considering they are third in their division. Two wins would secure a playoff spot, and two losses wouldn’t necessarily eliminate them. Their Week 18 game against the Rams is the more important of the two to their playoff chances.

AFC East

Bison bills (9-6)

Remaining games: Falcons, Jets

The Bills lead the AFC East and are very likely to advance to the playoffs. If they beat the Falcons (7-8) in Week 17, they’re almost certain to land a playoff berth; if they beat the humble Jets (4-11) in Week 18, they are sure to do so. If they lost both games, however, a 9-8 record would likely prevent them from making the playoffs. The Bills also have a very, very narrow path to the No.1 seed.

New England Patriots (9-6)

Games remaining: Jaguars, Dolphins

The Patriots are second in the AFC East and share the Bills 9-6 record. And, like the Bills, the Patriots face relatively weak opponents in their remaining games. Their most likely playoff result is a wild card team, but the division title is still a possibility if the Bills drop out of a game.

Miami Dolphins (8-7)

Remaining games: to Titans, Patriots

For a third-place team in their division, the Dolphins have a very reasonable post-season outlook. If they win their remaining games, they’ll be in the playoffs, most likely as a wild-card team. (There’s an outside chance they could win the division, but don’t bet on that.) If the Dolphins can win just one of their remaining games, their Week 18 game against the Patriots is the most important of all. of them. Unfortunately for the Dolphins, their two opponents are likely playoff teams.

AFC North

Cincinnati Bengals (9-6)

Remaining games: Chiefs, at Browns

The Bengals are at the top of AFC North and face a wide range of playoff results. If they win their remaining games, they could finish first in the AFC at 11-6 and get the accompanying week off. A win in one of their remaining matches would bring them their first division title since 2015.

But it’s also possible that they’ll miss the playoffs altogether. The Bengals host the AFC Chiefs on Sunday and visit the Browns in Week 18. If they lose both games, a 9-8 record would make a playoff spot uncertain.

Baltimore Ravens (8-7)

Remaining games: Rams, Steelers

Realistic way to think of the Ravens’ chances in the playoffs: two wins should probably be enough, and one win probably won’t be enough. Ravens fans are expected to face the Bengals, Raiders and Dolphins in Week 17.

Pittsburgh Steelers (7-7-1)

Remaining games: Browns, at Ravens

The Steelers must win their remaining games to stand a chance in the playoffs.

Cleveland Browns (7-8)

Remaining games: Steelers, Bengals

Like the Steelers, the Browns must win their remaining games to stand a chance in the playoffs. But a 9-8 record would just as likely keep them out of the playoffs.

AFC South

Tennessee Titans (10-5)

Remaining games: Dolphins, Texans

The Titans lead the AFC South and are very likely to advance to the playoffs, possibly as a division champion. The # 1 seed of the AFC remains possible. If the Titans win their remaining games, they’ll only need the Chiefs to lose one of their two remaining games.

Indianapolis Colts (9-6)

Remaining parts: Raiders, at Jaguars

The Colts are one game behind the Titans in the AFC South, but are likely to advance to the playoffs as a wild-card team. A victory Sunday against the Raiders (8-7) would secure a place in the playoffs.

AFC West

Kansas City Chiefs (11-4)

Remaining games: Bengals, Broncos

The Chiefs have the best record in the AFC and have already clinched a playoff berth and their sixth straight division title. Their remaining matches will determine whether they are the No.1 seed, with a week off and a field advantage throughout the conference playoffs, or whether they host a wild-card team in the first round of the. playoffs. Two wins would secure the No.1 seed. One win would be enough as long as the Titans also lose a game.

Los Angeles Chargers (8-7)

Remaining games: Broncos, to Raiders

In reality, the Chargers need to win their remaining games for a playoff berth. A loss in either game would make that prospect unlikely.

Las Vegas Raiders (8-7)

Remaining parts: at Colts, Chargers

The Raiders sit third in the AFC West, but their playoff prospects are under their control. If they win their remaining games, they will make the playoffs. If they can only win one, the Week 18 game against the Chargers is the more important of the two.

Denver Broncos (7-8)

Remaining games: at Chargers, Chiefs

The Broncos are virtually eliminated mathematically. Even a 9-8 record would make a playoff berth very, very unlikely (but not impossible).


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