NFL Week 17 Playoff Scenarios
Which teams can clinch playoff berths or improve their postseason positioning today? Here's a look at the NFL Week 17 playoff scenarios for games that matter.
Jets (-3) at Bills: New York can clinch a playoff berth with a victory over the Bills or a Steelers loss to the Browns. If the Chiefs also lose to the Raiders, the Jets would earn the No. 5 seed in the AFC. According to oddsmakers from online sports book Mybookie.ag, the Jets are favored by a field goal over their former coach Rex Ryan and the Bills today.
Patriots (-10) at Dolphins: New England has already clinched a first-round bye but it can wrap up home-field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs with a win today versus Miami.
Ravens (+10) at Bengals: Cincinnati can earn a first-round bye with a win over the Ravens but it also needs Denver to lose at home against San Diego.
Steelers (-11) at Browns: Pittsburgh needs a win and some help if its going to make the playoffs. The Steelers first need to beat the Browns but also needs the Jets to lose to the Bills. If Pittsburgh and New York both win today, then the Jets will secure the final wild card spot in the AFC playoff race.
Jaguars (+6.5) at Texans: Houston will wrap up the AFC South with a victory over Jacksonville. Due to their record, the Texans can't improve their playoff positioning so if they win, they'll host a game next week in the wild card round. Even if they lose today, you can see below why the odds are still in the Texans' favor to win the AFC South.
Titans (N/A) at Colts: The Colts need a lot of help to win the AFC South. First they need to beat the Titans and then hope that the Texans lose to the Jaguars. Then they need the Steelers to beat the Browns, the Broncos to beat the Chargers, the Falcons to beat the Saints, the Bills to beat the Jets, the Dolphins to beat the Patriots, the Ravens to beat the Bengals and the Raiders to beat the Chiefs. Good luck with that, Indy.
Bucs (+10.5) at Panthers: Carolina can wrap up homefield advantage throughout the NFC playoffs with a win over Tampa Bay or an Arizona loss to Seattle. The Panthers have already clinched a first-round bye and the NFC South Division.
Seahawks (+6.5) at Cardinals: Arizona needs to beat Seattle and also have Carolina lose to Tampa Bay in order to earn the top seed in the NFC playoff race. The Cardinals have already wrapped up the NFC West Division and the No. 2 seed in the playoffs. They can only improve their positioning today. (See "Vikings at Packers" for more on the Seahawks' playoff positioning.)
Chargers (+10) at Broncos: Denver can wrap up the No. 2 seed in the AFC playoff race with a win over San Diego, or a Cincinnati loss to Baltimore. The Broncos can also secure the No. 1 seed with a win and a Patriots' loss to the Dolphins, but could wind up playing on the road to start the playoffs if they lose to the Chargers and the Chiefs beat the Raiders. Denver will also wrap up the AFC West crown with a win today.
Raiders (+7.5) at Chiefs: The Chiefs have already clinched a playoff spot but they can wind up winning the AFC West with a victory over the Raiders plus a Broncos' loss to the Chargers. In that scenario, Kansas City will go from playing on the road next week to hosting a playoff game. The Chiefs could also wind up as the sixth seed in the AFC if they lose to Oakland and the Jets beat the Bills.
Vikings (+3) at Packers: Both of these teams are already in the playoffs. But if the Vikings win tonight, they will clinch the NFC North, the No. 3 seed in the conference and a home playoff game against the Seahawks. If they lose to Green Bay and Seattle loses at Arizona, then the Vikings will be the No. 5 seed and open at Washington next week. If they lose and the Seahawks win, the Vikings will be the No. 6 seed and begin the playoffs with another game at Lambeau Field. If the Packers lose tonight to the Vikings, they're the No. 5 seed regardless of whether the Seahawks beat the Cardinals.