NFL Playoff Picture 2019: Updated AFC, NFC Wild Card Bracket Ahead of Week 17

Jake RillContributor IDecember 26, 2018

CARSON, CA - DECEMBER 22:  Philip Rivers #17 of the Los Angeles Chargers passes the ball under pressure in the pocket during the second half of a game against the Baltimore Ravens at StubHub Center on December 22, 2018 in Carson, California.  (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

The NFL playoffs begin in less than two weeks, but there is still a lot to be decided during the final week of the regular season.

The AFC has three divisions still undecided, and none of the six seeds have been locked in yet. There's also a playoff berth up for grabs in the NFC.

Before the Wild Card Round takes place on Jan. 5 and 6, here's a look at what the playoff brackets look like heading into Week 17 of the NFL season.


AFC Playoff Bracket Entering Week 17

INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA - DECEMBER 23: Andrew Luck #12 of the Indianapolis Colts celebrates after a touchdown in the game against the New York Giants in the second quarter at Lucas Oil Stadium on December 23, 2018 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Andy Ly
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

No. 6 Indianapolis Colts (9-6) at No. 3 Houston Texans (10-5)
No. 5 Los Angeles Chargers (11-4) at No. 4 Baltimore Ravens (9-6)

First-round byes: No. 1 Kansas City Chiefs (11-4), No. 2 New England Patriots (10-5)

In the hunt: Tennessee Titans (9-6), Pittsburgh Steelers (8-6-1)

A lot can still change in the AFC before the playoffs begin, and that includes at the top. The Chiefs, Patriots and Chargers could all still secure the No. 1 seed.

Kansas City will secure the top spot with a win over the Raiders in Week 17. Los Angeles would move to No. 1 with a win over the Broncos and a Chiefs loss. New England would move up to No. 1 with a win over the Jets and losses by the Chiefs and Chargers.

Even if they don't move up to the No. 1 seed, the Patriots will secure at least the No. 2 seed and a first-round bye with a win in Week 17.

If the Chargers don't move up to the No. 1 seed with a win and Chiefs loss, they'll be the No. 5 seed, which means going on the road for the Wild Card Round.

The Texans, Colts and Titans are all still alive in the AFC South race. Houston will clinch the division with a win over the Jaguars. But if the Texans lose, the Colts-Titans matchup on Sunday night will determine the division champion.

If the Texans win, the Colts-Titans game will be a win-or-go-home matchup for the final wild-card spot. In that scenario, the winner will be the No. 6 seed and the loser will not make the playoffs.

The Ravens are in control in the AFC North race. They'll win the division with a victory over the Browns. If they lose and the Steelers beat the Bengals, then Pittsburgh would win the division.

None of the AFC seeds have been locked in, so Week 17 will be important for every team in the playoff hunt.


NFC Playoff Bracket Entering Week 17

Minnesota Vikings v Detroit Lions
Leon Halip/Getty Images

No. 6 Minnesota Vikings (8-6-1) at No. 3 Chicago Bears (11-4)
No. 5 Seattle Seahawks (9-6) at No. 4 Dallas Cowboys (9-6)

First-round byes: No. 1 New Orleans Saints (13-2), No. 2 Los Angeles Rams (12-3)

In the hunt: Philadelphia Eagles (8-7)

Unlike the AFC, the NFC has less uncertainty heading into Week 17, as all four divisions have already been decided.

The Saints have clinched the No. 1 seed and will have home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. The Rams will clinch the No. 2 seed with a win over the 49ers or a Bears loss to the Vikings. Chicago can only move up to No. 2 with a win and a Los Angeles loss.

Unless they move up to No. 2, the Bears will be the No. 3 seed. The Cowboys are locked in as the No. 4 seed.

The Seahawks will clinch the No. 5 seed with a win over the Cardinals or a Vikings loss to the Bears. They can only fall to No. 6 with a loss and a Minnesota win.

The Vikings will secure the final playoff berth with a win or an Eagles loss to the Redskins. Philadelphia can only make the playoffs with a win and a Minnesota loss.


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