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NFL Playoff Picture 2022-23: Updated AFC, NFC Standings After Week 18

Joe TanseyJanuary 8, 2023

MIAMI GARDENS, FL - JANUARY 8: Skylar Thompson #19 of the Miami Dolphins warms up prior to an NFL football game against the New York Jets at Hard Rock Stadium on January 8, 2023 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Kevin Sabitus/Getty Images)
Kevin Sabitus/Getty Images

The Miami Dolphins and Seattle Seahawks survived the chaos of NFL Week 18 to advance to the postseason.

The Dolphins used three field goals to beat the New York Jets, and they received help from the Buffalo Bills to secure a postseason berth.

Miami entered Sunday behind the New England Patriots in the AFC wild-card standings.

Buffalo's win, which was to secure the No. 2 seed in the AFC, allowed the Dolphins to get into the postseason on Jason Sanders' game-winning field goal.

Miami's win eliminated the Pittsburgh Steelers. Pittsburgh beat the Cleveland Browns, but it did not get the help it needed from the Jets to get into the postseason.

The Seahawks survived an overtime battle with the Los Angeles Rams and then had an arduous wait for four hours for their fate to be decided.

The fourth-quarter comeback from the Detroit Lions allowed the Seahawks to land the NFC's seventh seed over the Green Bay Packers.


AFC

Division Winners

1. Kansas City (14-3)

2. Buffalo (13-3)

3. Cincinnati (12-4)

4. Jacksonville (9-8)

Wild-Card Teams

5. Los Angeles Chargers (10-7)

6. Baltimore (10-7)

7. Miami (9-8)


Miami jumped into the final wild-card spot with its win over the New York Jets and Buffalo's win over New England.

The Dolphins did not play their best at home with Skylar Thompson at quarterback.

However, their defense held firm against Joe Flacco and did not allow a touchdown.

Jason Sanders won the game with 23 seconds left on a field goal. Miami added a late safety after the Jets' lateral play sent the ball out of bounds in the end zone.

The final score does not matter to the Dolphins. All that matters is they are through to the wild-card round.

New England was eliminated with its loss to Buffalo and Pittsburgh came up short because of its head-to-head loss to the Dolphins in Week 7.

The top of the AFC did not change Sunday.

The Kansas City Chiefs secured the No. 1 seed with a win over the Las Vegas Raiders on Saturday.

Buffalo's home win over New England, which was powered by two kickoff return touchdowns from Nyheim Hines and three interceptions of Mac Jones, kept the Bills in second place.

Josh Allen and Co. will not play a true road game in the AFC postseason. If the Bills and Chiefs advance to the AFC Championship Game, that contest will be played at a neutral site.

Buffalo would host the AFC Championship Game if the Chiefs lose at some point in the postseason.

Cincinnati remained in third place with its win over the Baltimore Ravens. The Bengals will host the Ravens in the wild-card round as a result of their home victory.

Baltimore is confirmed as the No. 6 seed. The Los Angeles Chargers are the No. 5 seed and will head to Jacksonville to face the AFC South-winning Jaguars.

Los Angeles' result against the Denver Broncos has no effect on the playoff seeding.


NFC

Division Leaders

1. Philadelphia (14-3)

2. San Francisco (13-4)

3. Minnesota (13-4)

4. Tampa Bay (8-9)

Wild-Card Race

5. Dallas (12-5)

6. New York Giants (9-7-1)

7. Seattle (9-8)


Seattle survived a scare from the Los Angeles Rams in overtime. The Seahawks remained alive on a game-winning field goal from Jason Myers.

Then the Seahawks had to wait for the final regular-season result to be confirmed. Pete Carroll's team needed the Lions to beat the Packers since Green Bay would have had a tiebreaker on the NFC West side.

Seattle now faces a tough test on the road, as it faces divisional rival San Francisco for the third time this season. The 49ers won the two regular-season meetings 27-7 and 21-13.

The Philadelphia Eagles won in Jalen Hurts' return to secure the NFC East title, the No. 1 overall seed and home-field advantage.

Philadelphia has an extra week for Hurts to rest, and it will avoid San Francisco and Minnesota until the NFC Championship Game.

San Francisco also won in the late window to confirm its spot as the No. 2 seed.

The 49ers got Elijah Mitchell back on Sunday, and Deebo Samuel is getting better with each week. They could be the top contender to the Eagles in the conference.

Minnesota is confirmed as the No. 3 seed and will host the New York Giants on wild-card weekend.

Minnesota and New York played two weeks ago at U.S. Bank Stadium. The Vikings won 27-24 on Greg Joseph's last-second field goal.

Tampa Bay secured the No. 4 seed last week by winning the NFC South. The Buccaneers rested their starters for a majority of Sunday's loss to the Atlanta Falcons.

The Buccaneers will host the fifth-seeded Dallas Cowboys. Dallas comes in with some questions about Dak Prescott, who has a seven-game interception streak.

Prescott was picked off once in the disappointing road loss to the Washington Commanders on Sunday.