NFL Playoff Picture 2022-23 Week 18: Standings, Scenarios After Jaguars vs. Titans

Erin WalshJanuary 8, 2023

JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA - JANUARY 07: Trevor Lawrence #16 of the Jacksonville Jaguars celebrates with Christian Kirk #13 of the Jacksonville Jaguars after Kirk's receiving touchdown during the second quarter against the Tennessee Titans at TIAA Bank Field on January 07, 2023 in Jacksonville, Florida. (Photo by Mike Carlson/Getty Images)
Mike Carlson/Getty Images

The final week of the 2022 NFL regular season is here, and it's going to be a fight to the finish as bubble teams get one final chance to punch their tickets to the postseason.

Week 18 kicked off with a matchup between the Kansas City Chiefs and Las Vegas Raiders on Saturday afternoon. Patrick Mahomes helped lead the Chiefs to an 31-13 victory over the already-eliminated Raiders to lock up the No. 1 seed in the AFC.

The Jacksonville Jaguars then defeated the Tennessee Titans 20-16 to clinch the AFC South and earn a playoff berth for the first time since the 2017 season.

One playoff spot remains up for grabs in each conference. The remaining Week 18 schedule is set to kick off on Sunday, so let's take a look at the updated standings and clinching scenarios.

AFC Standings

  1. Kansas City Chiefs: 14-3 (clinched AFC West)
  2. Buffalo Bills: 12-3 (clinched AFC East)
  3. Cincinnati Bengals: 11-4 (clinched playoff berth)
  4. Jacksonville Jaguars: 9-8 (clinched AFC South)
  5. Los Angeles Chargers: 10-6 (clinched playoff berth, tiebreaker over BAL on conference record)
  6. Baltimore Ravens: 10-6 (clinched playoff berth)
  7. New England Patriots: 8-8 (in the hunt, tiebreaker over MIA on division record, tiebreaker over PIT on head-to-head)
  8. Miami Dolphins: 8-8 (in the hunt, tiebreaker over PIT on head-to-head)
  9. Pittsburgh Steelers: 8-8 (in the hunt)
  10. New York Jets: 7-9 (eliminated)
  11. Cleveland Browns: 7-9 (eliminated)
  12. Tennessee Titans: 7-10 (eliminated)
  13. Las Vegas Raiders: 6-11 (eliminated)
  14. Indianapolis Colts: 4-11-1 (eliminated)
  15. Denver Broncos: 4-12 (eliminated)
  16. Houston Texans: 2-13-1 (eliminated)

NFC Standings

  1. Philadelphia Eagles: 13-3 (clinched playoff berth)
  2. San Francisco 49ers: 12-4 (clinched NFC West, tiebreaker over MIN on conference record)
  3. Minnesota Vikings: 12-4 (clinched NFC North)
  4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 8-8 (clinched NFC South)
  5. Dallas Cowboys: 12-4 (clinched playoff berth)
  6. New York Giants: 9-6-1 (clinched playoff berth)
  7. Seattle Seahawks: 8-8 (in the hunt, tiebreaker over DET on head-to-head)
  8. Detroit Lions: 8-8 (in the hunt, tiebreaker over GB on head-to-head)
  9. Green Bay Packers: 8-8 (in the hunt)
  10. Washington Commanders: 7-8-1 (eliminated)
  11. New Orleans Saints: 7-9 (eliminated)
  12. Carolina Panthers: 6-10 (eliminated)
  13. Atlanta Falcons: 6-10 (eliminated)
  14. Los Angeles Rams: 5-11 (eliminated)
  15. Arizona Cardinals: 4-12 (eliminated)
  16. Chicago Bears: 3-13 (eliminated)

Rich Eisen @richeisen

Here's your full, complete and updated AFC playoff clinching scenarios entering the final day of the regular season. <a href="https://t.co/FXIcmDsiFh">pic.twitter.com/FXIcmDsiFh</a>

For the AFC, the NFL has announced that the Jan. 2 matchup between the Buffalo Bills and the Cincinnati Bengals has been canceled after Bills safety Damar Hamlin suffered a cardiac arrest during the first quarter, resulting in the suspension of the game.

With the game being ruled a no contest, the Chiefs have locked up the No. 1 seed following their 31-13 win over the Raiders on Saturday. The Bills can secure the No. 2 seed with a win against the New England Patriots on Sunday.

The NFL also approved the following scenarios for the 2023 postseason following the cancellation of Bills-Bengals:

Adam Schefter @AdamSchefter

A neutral AFC Championship Game site now is possible, per the NFL: <a href="https://t.co/5gmd0drq7q">pic.twitter.com/5gmd0drq7q</a>

Tom Pelissero @TomPelissero

What's at stake this weekend:<br><br>If the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Chiefs?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Chiefs</a> lose and the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Bills?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Bills</a> win, Buffalo is the 1 seed. AFCCG in BUF.<br><br>If the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Chiefs?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Chiefs</a> win and the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Bills?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Bills</a> lose, Kansas City is the 1 seed. AFCCG in KC.<br><br>If the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Chiefs?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Chiefs</a> and <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Bills?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Bills</a> both win and meet in AFFCG, it'd be at a neutral site. <a href="https://t.co/447AxVtEhu">https://t.co/447AxVtEhu</a>

Cincinnati is out of the running for the No. 1 seed. The Bengals can finish as the No. 2 seed if they beat the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday and the Bills lose to the Patriots, though it would come down to a strength-of-victory tiebreaker.

There are four teams in the running to clinch the No. 7 seed: the Patriots, Jaguars, Miami Dolphins and Pittsburgh Steelers.

The Patriots can clinch the AFC's final seed with:

  • A win against the Bills.
  • A Dolphins loss to the Jets AND a Steelers loss to the Cleveland Browns AND a Jaguars win over the Titans. 

The Dolphins can claim the No. 7 seed with a win over the Jets and a Patriots loss to the Bills.

Pittsburgh, meanwhile, can grab the last seed with a win over the Browns, a Dolphins loss to the Jets and a Patriots loss to the Bills.

For the NFC, the No. 7 seed remains up for grabs, but the No. 1 seed is also available for the taking this weekend.

The Philadelphia Eagles have held the NFC's top spot for much of the 2022 campaign, but the San Francisco 49ers and Dallas Cowboys remain in contention for the conference crown.

The Eagles can clinch the No. 1 seed, including a first-round bye and home-field advantage, with:

  • A win or tie against the New York Giants.
  • A Cowboys loss or tie against the Washington Commanders.
  • A 49ers loss or tie against the Arizona Cardinals.

San Francisco can seal the No. 1 seed with a win against the Cardinals and an Eagles loss to the Giants.

Dallas has the most difficult path to the top seed, needing a win against the Commanders, an Eagles loss to the Giants and a 49ers loss or tie to the Cardinals.

As for the No. 7 seed in the NFC, the Green Bay Packers will clinch with a win over the Detroit Lions on Sunday. Aaron Rodgers is expected to lead the franchise to a fourth consecutive playoff appearance.

The Lions can clinch the final seed with:

  • A win against the Packers AND a Seattle Seahawks loss/tie to the Los Angeles Rams.
  • A tie against the Packers AND a Seahawks loss to the Rams.
  • A tie against the Packers AND a Seahawks-Rams tie AND Commanders win over Cowboys.

The Seahawks, meanwhile, can seal the No. 7 seed with:

  • A win against the Rams AND a Packers loss/tie against the Lions.
  • A tie against the Rams AND a Packers-Lions tie AND a Commanders loss/tie to the Cowboys.