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

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistJanuary 2, 2022

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

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    Aaron Gash/Associated Press

    Eleven of the 14 NFL postseason berths have been handed out. 

    The NFC filled its sixth playoff spot at the end of Sunday's Week 17 schedule. The Green Bay Packers' win over the Minnesota Vikings clinched the No. 1 seed for the NFC North winner and secured a postseason spot for the Philadelphia Eagles. 

    The San Francisco 49ers come into Week 18 in need of a victory to fill the final NFC playoff spot. The New Orleans Saints are the only other franchise that can earn a berth out of the NFC.

    The Cincinnati Bengals flipped the AFC playoff picture around with an unusual end-of-game sequence that resulted in a game-winning field goal.

    Cincinnati ran nine plays inside the Kansas City Chiefs' 10-yard-line in the final two-and-a-half minutes before Evan McPherson knocked in the division-clinching 20-yard field goal.

    McPherson's kick clinched the AFC North for the Bengals, and it moved the Chiefs out of the No. 1 seed in the AFC. The Tennessee Titans took over that position through a better conference record.

    Tennessee, Kansas City and Cincinnati will go into Week 18 as division champions. The Buffalo Bills and New England Patriots are both still alive in the AFC East title race.

    Five franchises are still in contention for the final two playoff spots in the AFC. The Los Angeles Chargers and Las Vegas Raiders won Sunday to put themselves into great position ahead of their Week 18 matchup. The Indianapolis Colts, Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens are still alive as well.

NFL Week 17 Scores

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    Paul Connors/Associated Press

    Buffalo 29, Atlanta 15

    Cincinnati 34, Kansas City 31

    Chicago 29, New York Giants 3

    Las Vegas 23, Indianapolis 20

    Los Angeles Rams 20, Baltimore 19

    New England 50, Jacksonville 10

    Philadelphia 20, Washington 16

    Tampa Bay 28, New York Jets 24

    Tennessee 34, Miami 3

    Arizona 25, Dallas 22

    Los Angeles Chargers 34, Denver 13

    New Orleans 18, Carolina 10

    San Francisco 23, Houston 7

    Seattle 51, Detroit 29

    Green Bay 37, Minnesota 10

AFC Playoff Picture

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    AJ Mast/Associated Press

    Division Leaders

    1. Tennessee (11-5)

    2. Kansas City (11-5)

    3. Cincinnati (10-6)

    4. Buffalo (10-6)

    The Titans moved into the top spot in the AFC through their win over the Miami Dolphins and the Kansas City Chiefs' loss in Cincinnati.

    The Titans own a better record in AFC play over the Chief, and they can lock up home-field advantage with a victory over the Houston Texans in Week 18.

    The Chiefs can finish no lower than the No. 2 seed if they beat the Denver Broncos next week. A Texans win over the Titans combined with a Chiefs victory over the Broncos would put Andy Reid's team into the No. 1 seed.

    Cincinnati also owns a conference-record tiebreaker over the Buffalo Bills. The Bengals will fight for seeding against the Cleveland Browns in Week 18.

    Buffalo is tied with the New England Patriots at 10-6. The Bills hold the first tiebreaker of division record over the Patriots. Buffalo plays the New York Jets at home, while the Patriots visit the Miami Dolphins.


    Wild-Card Race

    5. New England (10-6)

    6. Indianapolis (9-7)

    7. Los Angeles Chargers (9-7)

    8. Las Vegas (9-7)

    9. Baltimore (8-8)

    10. Pittsburgh (7-7-1)

    New England is the only team in an AFC wild-card position that has clinched a playoff spot.

    The rest of the wild-card contenders will be playing for two spots in Week 18. The Indianapolis Colts finished Sunday in sixth place despite losing to the Las Vegas Raiders.

    The Raiders dropped from No. 6 to No. 8 after the Los Angeles Chargers defeated the Denver Broncos. The divisional tiebreakers come into play first in three-way ties. The Chargers own a head-to-head win over the Raiders. Las Vegas can change that math with a victory over Los Angeles in Week 18.

    Indianapolis possesses a better conference record than the Chargers, which is why it leapfrogged the AFC West squads into the No. 6 spot.

    Los Angeles' victory eliminated the Miami Dolphins, Cleveland Browns and Broncos from playoff contention. The Browns can play spoiler on Monday night against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Pittsburgh needs two wins and a lot of help to get into the playoffs.

    Baltimore is still alive as well in the wild-card hunt, but like Pittsburgh, it needs a Week 18 victory combined with a lot of help elsewhere to sneak into the seven-team field.

NFC Playoff Picture

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    John Munson/Associated Press

    Division Leaders

    1. Green Bay (13-3)

    2. Los Angeles Rams (12-4)

    3. Tampa Bay (12-4)

    4. Dallas (11-5)

    The Green Bay Packers clinched the No. 1 seed in the NFC with their Sunday night win over the Minnesota Vikings. 

    Green Bay earned the only first-round bye in the NFC and it has two weeks to get healthy ahead of a Super Bowl push that runs through Lambeau Field. 

    The Los Angeles Rams and Tampa Bay Buccaneers remained in second and third place, respectively, with their wins on Sunday afternoon. 

    The Rams went into M&T Bank Stadium to beat the Baltimore Ravens, while the Bucs used a second-half comeback to knock off the New York Jets.

    Tampa Bay lost wide receiver Antonio Brown during the victory. Brown took off his jersey and exited the field during the third quarter. Head coach Bruce Arians confirmed after the game that Brown is "no longer a Buc."

    The Dallas Cowboys failed to keep pace with the Rams and Bucs, as they fell at home to the Arizona Cardinals. The Cowboys already have the NFC East title wrapped up, and it looks like they are set for the No. 4 seed, which could come with a rematch against Arizona if the Cardinals do not win the NFC West next week.


    Wild-Card Race

    5. Arizona (11-5)

    6. San Francisco (9-7)

    7. Philadelphia (9-7)

    8. New Orleans (8-8)

    The Cardinals are already locked into a playoff spot, and they are still alive in the NFC West title race. Arizona plays Seattle in Week 18, while the Rams take on the 49ers.

    The 49ers need a Week 18 victory to solidify their position in the playoff field, so the Cardinals stand a decent chance of coming away with the NFC West crown.

    The Eagles' head-to-head loss to the 49ers put them at No. 7 in the NFC after Sunday, but they clinched a playoff spot before the 49ers because of a head-to-head win of their own.

    The Saints can't leap the Eagles because they lost to the NFC East team. The Saints' playoff math comes down to a Week 18 win combined with a San Francisco loss.

    New Orleans became the only team that could challenge San Francisco for the playoff spot after Minnesota fell to the Packers.