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Updated NFL Playoff Picture: What Could Happen Today?

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The Minnesota Vikings won’t be making the playoffs, but there’s still plenty up for grabs today.

NFL: Green Bay Packers at Washington Redskins Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

UPDATE at 6:30 PM Central time: The AFC playoff field is set.

#1 seed - New England (AFC East champ)

#2 seed - Kansas City (AFC West champ)

Wild Card Weekend games - #6 Miami (wild card) at #3 Pittsburgh (AFC North champ), #5 Oakland (wild card) at #4 Houston (AFC South champ)

The NFC playoff field has all the teams, but matchups are not yet settled.

#1 seed - Dallas (NFC East champ)

#2 seed - Atlanta (NFC South champ)

#3 seed - Seattle (NFC West champ)

#4 seed - Green Bay/Detroit winner (NFC North champ)

#5 seed - New York Giants (wild card)

#6 seed - Green Bay/Detroit loser (wild card)

With Washington’s loss, both Detroit and Green Bay will make the playoffs. The winner of the Sunday Night Football matchup will host the New York Football Giants next weekend, while the loser will travel to Seattle to take on the Seahawks.

UPDATE at 3:20 PM Central time: The only thing left to be decided in the AFC are the #2 and the #5 seeds. Oakland will get the #2 seed with a win over Denver, while Kansas City will get that spot with an Oakland loss and a victory of their own over San Diego. New England will be the #1 seed, Pittsburgh the #3 seed, Houston the #4 seed, and Miami the #6 seed.

Nothing has been clarified in the NFC, as all of the games that matter are taking place during the 3:25 games or the Sunday night game. But the AFC is updated with what’s happened thus far. We will update the NFC picture after the late games and before the Sunday night game.

We all know that the Minnesota Vikings won’t be participating in this year’s NFL postseason, but there’s still some drama to play out in Week 17. In order to help everyone figure out who’s still alive and what could happen, we’ll detail the various NFL scenarios right here for you.

We’ll start in the AFC, where the six post-season teams are set but the seedings are not. The AFC playoff teams will be the New England Patriots, the Oakland Raiders, the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Houston Texans, the Kansas City Chiefs, and the Miami Dolphins.

AFC Playoff Picture

#1 seed

  • New England clinches with a victory over Miami or an Oakland loss to Denver
  • Oakland clinches with a victory over Denver and a New England loss to Miami

#2 seed

  • Oakland clinches with a victory over Denver or a Kansas City loss to San Diego
  • Kansas City clinches with a victory over San Diego and an Oakland loss to Denver

#3 seed

  • Pittsburgh is locked into this spot and will host the #6 seed (Miami) in the Wild Card round

#4 seed

  • Houston is locked into this spot and will host the #5 seed (Oakland or Kansas City) in the Wild Card round

#5 seed

  • Kansas City clinches with a victory over San Diego or a Miami loss to New England
  • Miami clinches with a victory over New England and a Kansas City loss to San Diego

#6 seed

  • Only Miami or Kansas City can be the #6 seed in the AFC playoffs

Synopsis

New England can be the #1 seed or the #2 seed

Oakland can be the #1 seed, the #2 seed, or the #5 seed

Kansas City can be the #2 seed, the #5 seed, or the #6 seed

Miami can be the #5 seed or the #6 seed.

Now, we’ll move on to the NFC, where things are a bit more complicated. The Dallas Cowboys, the Atlanta Falcons, the Seattle Seahawks, and the New York Football Giants have locked themselves into playoff spots, while the Detroit Lions, the Green Bay Packers, and the Washington Redskins are still alive going into the final week.

NFC Playoff Picture

#1 seed

  • Dallas is locked into this spot and will have a first-round bye

#2 seed

  • Atlanta clinches with a victory over New Orleans or any of the following combinations: tie with New Orleans + San Francisco beating or tying Seattle, San Francisco beating Seattle + Green Bay tying or beating Detroit, or San Francisco/Seattle tie + Green Bay beating Detroit
  • Seattle clinches with a victory over San Francisco and an Atlanta loss, or a combination of a tie against San Francisco, a New Orleans victory over Atlanta, and a Detroit/Green Bay tie
  • Detroit clinches with a victory over Green Bay and a New Orleans victory over Atlanta and a San Francisco win or tie against Seattle

#3 seed

  • Atlanta clinches with a tie against New Orleans or a Green Bay win or tie against Detroit or a San Francisco win over Seattle
  • Seattle clinches with a victory over San Francisco or a tie against San Francisco and a Detroit/Green Bay tie or a tie against San Francisco and a New Orleans victory over Atlanta and a Detroit win over Green Bay
  • Detroit clinches with a win over Green Bay and a New Orleans victory over Atlanta or a win over Green Bay and a San Francisco win or tie against Seattle
  • Green Bay clinches with a win over Detroit and a San Francisco win or tie against Seattle

#4 seed

  • Detroit clinches with a win over Green Bay
  • Green Bay clinches with a win or tie against Detroit

#5 seed

  • The New York Giants are locked into this spot and will travel to play the #4 seed on Wild Card weekend

#6 seed

  • Washington clinches with a victory over the New York Giants, provided the Detroit/Green Bay game does not end in a tie

Synopsis

  • Atlanta can be the #2, #3, or #4 seed
  • Seattle can be the #2, #3, or #4 seed
  • Detroit can be the #2, #3, #4, or #6 seed. . .or miss the playoffs entirely
  • Green Bay can be the #3, #4, or #6 seed. . .or miss the playoffs entirely
  • Washington can be the #6 seed. . .or miss the playoffs entirely

A Washington loss would put both Detroit and Green Bay into the playoffs. A Washington win would put them in the playoffs if Detroit and Green Bay don’t tie. A tie between Detroit and Green Bay would put both NFC North teams into the playoffs, regardless of what Washington does.

For a greater clarification, you can check out the work put together by the good folks at PlayoffStatus.com.

Oh, and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are still alive for the #6 spot, but they need all of the following to happen:

  • Tampa Bay victory over Carolina
  • Indianapolis victory over Jacksonville
  • Tennessee victory over Houston
  • San Francisco victory over Seattle
  • Dallas victory over Philadelphia
  • Detroit victory over Green Bay
  • Tie between Washington and the New York Giants

That sequence of events would give them the strength of victory tiebreaker over Green Bay, putting them in the playoffs. So, yeah. . .they have a shot. But it isn’t really a very good shot.

That’s a quick look at how the NFL playoff picture could shake out here in Week 17, folks. It would be more interesting of the Vikings were involved, but it should be relatively interesting in any case.