NFL Scores Week 17: Final Results, Playoff Standings and Picture for AFC, NFC

Alec Nathan@@AlecBNathanFeatured ColumnistJanuary 3, 2016

Pittsburgh Steelers inside linebacker Sean Spence (51) and wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey (88) signal a first down after the Cleveland Browns fumbled the kickoff and Pittsburgh recovered during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Jan. 3, 2016, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane)
Ron Schwane/Associated Press

Week 17 of the NFL season is always a nerve-racking time for teams in the thick of the chase for playoff spots and preferable seeds, and the final weekend of the regular season facilitated plenty of drama across the league. 

Whether it was the New England Patriots fighting for home-field advantage throughout the playoffs, the New York Jets and Pittsburgh Steelers looking to lock up the AFC's final wild-card spot or the Houston Texans hoping to snag an AFC South title, Sunday was loaded with high-stakes football. 

Before diving into the updated playoff picture, here's a look at the Week 17 scoreboard: 

Week 17 Results
Detroit Lions def. Chicago Bears, 24-20Calvin Johnson: 137 yards, 1 TD
New Orleans Saints def. Atlanta Falcons, 20-17Drew Brees: 323 yards, 1 TD
Philadelphia Eagles def. New York Giants, 35-30Sam Bradford: 320 yards, 2 TD
Buffalo Bills def. New York Jets, 22-17Sammy Watkins: 136 receiving yards
Pittsburgh Steelers def. Cleveland Browns, 28-12Antonio Brown: 187 yards, 1 TD
Houston Texans def. Jacksonville Jaguars, 30-6Brian Hoyer: 249 yards, 1 TD
Indianapolis Colts def. Tennessee Titans, 30-24Coby Fleener: 88 yards, 1 TD
Miami Dolphins def. New England Patriots, 20-10Ryan Tannehill: 350 yards, 2 TD
Washington Redskins def. Dallas Cowboys, 34-23Kirk Cousins: 176 yards, 3 TD
Cincinnati Bengals def. Baltimore Ravens, 24-16Jeremy Hill: 96 yards, 1 TD
Seattle Seahawks def. Arizona Cardinals, 36-6Russell Wilson: 197 passing yards, 3 TD
Kansas City Chiefs def. Oakland Raiders, 23-17Kansas City's 10th straight win
Carolina Panthers def. Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 38-10Cam Newton: 293 passing yards, 2 TD
Denver Broncos def. San Diego Chargers, 27-20Peyton Manning replaces Brock Osweiler
San Francisco 49ers def. St. Louis Rams, 19-16 (OT)Blaine Gabbert: 354 pass yards, 1 TD
Minnesota Vikings def. Green Bay Packers, 20-13.Adrian Peterson: 67 yards, 1 TD



Updated Playoff Picture

1. Carolina PanthersClinched home-field throughout playoffs1. Denver BroncosClinched home-field throughout playoffs
2. Arizona CardinalsClinched first-round bye2. New England PatriotsClinched first-round bye
3. Minnesota VikingsClinched NFC North3. Cincinnati BengalsClinched AFC North
4. Washington RedskinsClinched NFC East4. Houston TexansClinched AFC South
5. Green Bay PackersClinched Wild Card Spot5. Kansas City ChiefsClinched Wild Card Spot
6. Seattle SeahawksClinched Wild Card Spot6. Pittsburgh SteelersClinched Wild Card spot

We'll start in the AFC. The Texans took care of business and locked up the AFC South, which means they will host a Wild Card Round contest next weekend against the Kansas City Chiefs. 

In more surprising news, the Steelers downed the Cleveland Browns and are into the playoffs as the AFC's final wild-card team by virtue of the Jets' loss to the Buffalo Bills in a sloppy display by quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, per ESPN Stats & Info:

NFL Network's Ian Rapoport summed up the scene for the winning and losing sides: 

"We understand the consequences," Jets head coach Todd Bowles said, per the NFL Network's Kimberly Jones. "We got to live with it."

Another stunning development: The Patriots' loss to the Miami Dolphins allowed the Denver Broncos to seize control of their own destiny and capture home-field advantage throughout the playoffs with a 27-20 win over the San Diego Chargers.  

Here is a look at the complete bracket from SNF on on NBC:

The NFC seeding structure is pretty straightforward. The Carolina Panthers locked up home-field advantage thanks to the Arizona Cardinals' loss to the Seattle Seahawks. As a result, Arizona is locked into the No. 2 seed and will only travel on the road if it squares off against Carolina in the NFC Championship Game.  

The race for the No. 3 seed ended on Sunday Night Football when the Minnesota Vikings downed the Green Bay Packers, 20-13. The victory gave the Vikings the NFC North championship and a home game on Wild Card Weekend against the Seattle Seahawks.

Green Bay falls to the No. 5 spot and will hit the road to play the NFC East champion Washington Redskins.

SNF on NBC shared the NFC playoff bracket after the game ended:

Minnesota surely is happy to win the division, but the back-to-back NFC Champion Seahawks come into the playoffs having won six of seven games, including a 36-6 victory over the No. 2 Cardinals in Week 17.

However, when it comes to the playoffs, anything can happen. Teams can't worry about who or where they are playing, instead they have grind it out for four quarters and take it one game at a time if they want to take home the Lombardi Trophy at Super Bowl 50.