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NFL Playoff Picture 2022-23 Week 17: Standings, Scenarios After Cowboys vs. Titans

Doric SamDecember 30, 2022

NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE - DECEMBER 29: Dalton Schultz #86 of the Dallas Cowboys celebrates with Michael Gallup #13, Jake Ferguson #87 and Dak Prescott #4 after scoring a six yard touchdown against the Tennessee Titans during the third quarter of the game at Nissan Stadium on December 29, 2022 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

The penultimate week of the 2022 NFL season is upon us, and time is running out for teams to make a push for the playoffs.

The Dallas Cowboys kicked Week 17 off with a 27-13 win over the Tennessee Titans on Thursday Night Football to keep their chances at competing for an NFC East title alive.

Here's how things stand as well as a deep dive into the clinching scenarios:


AFC

1. Buffalo Bills, 12-3 (tiebreaker: head-to-head. Clinched AFC East)

2. Kansas City Chiefs, 12-3 (clinched AFC West)

3. Cincinnati Bengals, 11-4 (clinched playoff berth)

4. Jacksonville Jaguars, 7-8 (tiebreaker: head-to-head)

5. Baltimore Ravens, 10-5 (clinched playoff berth)

6. Los Angeles Chargers, 9-6 (clinched playoff berth)

7. Miami Dolphins, 8-7

8. New England Patriots, 7-8 (tiebreaker: AFC winning percentage)

9. New York Jets, 7-8 (tiebreaker: winning percentage in common games)

10. Pittsburgh Steelers, 7-8

11. Tennessee Titans, 7-9

12. Las Vegas Raiders, 6-9 (tiebreaker: AFC winning percentage)

13. Cleveland Browns, 6-9 (eliminated)

14. Indianapolis Colts, 4-10-1 (eliminated)

15. Denver Broncos, 4-11 (eliminated)

16. Houston Texans, 2-12-1 (eliminated)


NFC

1. Philadelphia Eagles, 13-2 (clinched playoff berth)

2. Minnesota Vikings, 12-3 (clinched NFC North)

3. San Francisco 49ers, 11-4 (clinched NFC West)

4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 7-8

5. Dallas Cowboys, 12-4 (clinched playoff berth)

6. New York Giants, 8-6-1

7. Washington Commanders, 7-7-1

8. Seattle Seahawks, 7-8 (tiebreaker: head-to-head)

9. Detroit Lions, 7-8 (tiebreaker: head-to-head)

10. Green Bay Packers, 7-8

11. Carolina Panthers, 6-9 (tiebreaker: head-to-head)

12. New Orleans Saints, 6-9

13. Los Angeles Rams, 5-10 (eliminated)

14. Atlanta Falcons, 5-10 (eliminated)

15. Arizona Cardinals, 4-11 (eliminated)

16. Chicago Bears, 3-12 (eliminated)


Multiple NFC teams need only a win this weekend to seal their postseason fates.

Let's start with the team with the best record in the NFL, the Philadelphia Eagles. A win against the New Orleans Saints not only clinches the franchise's first NFC East title since 2019, but also home-field advantage and a first-round bye.

The Eagles face the possibility of being without star quarterback Jalen Hurts for the second week in a row, although he was a limited participant in Thursday's practice for the first time since injuring his shoulder in Week 15.

Philadelphia will surely be motivated to bounce back from last week's loss against the Cowboys, which snapped a five-game winning streak. A return to their winning ways is all the Eagles need to cap off their stellar 2022 campaign.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers can clinch the NFC South for the second straight year with a win against the Carolina Panthers, who sit right behind them in the division standings. Nothing has been guaranteed for the Bucs amid an inconsistent season, especially considering they lost the first meeting against the Panthers 21-3 in Week 7.

However, after last week's win over the Arizona Cardinals, perhaps Tampa Bay has found the formula it needs to secure its spot in the postseason.

The New York Giants were not expected to compete for a playoff spot entering this season, but a win over the Indianapolis Colts will clinch their first postseason berth since 2016.

The Washington Commanders also can punch their ticket to the playoffs with a win against the Cleveland Browns and losses by the Seattle Seahawks, Detroit Lions and Green Bay Packers.

Over in the AFC, things aren't as simple. Each team that can clinch something with a win also need a loss from another squad.

The Buffalo Bills will have the chance to lock up home-field advantage with a win over the Cincinnati Bengals and a loss by the Kansas City Chiefs, who are hosting the lowly Denver Broncos. The Bengals will be hoping to clinch the AFC North with a victory and a loss by the Baltimore Ravens against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

The Miami Dolphins can clinch the last playoff spot with a win against the New England Patriots and a loss by the New York Jets in their road matchup against the Seahawks.