The 2017 NFL regular season will draw to a close by 8 p.m. ET on Sunday, and that will seal the books on disappointing seasons for 20 teams, including 2016 playoff competitors like the Packers, Cowboys, Texans, and Giants. That leaves 12 teams to battle for a spot in Super Bowl 52 — but the field of participants isn’t set quite yet.
A handful of afternoon battles will fill out this January’s brackets as the Falcons, Seahawks, Ravens, Bills, Titans, and Chargers all try to force their way into a crowded landscape. Only three playoff spots are up for grabs in the final week of the season, but first-round byes and home-field advantage in the AFC will also be determined Sunday.
Who’s already in the playoffs, and how did they get there?
Nine teams have punched their postseason tickets — five from the NFC and four from the AFC.
In the NFC, Philadelphia has ensured home-field advantage throughout the playoffs atop its conference, while Minnesota and Los Angeles have each won their respective divisions. New Orleans and Carolina are battling for the NFC South title, but they’ll both qualify for next week’s Wild Card round thanks to identical 11-4 records.
All four of the AFC’s divisions are spoken for, with New England, Pittsburgh, Jacksonville, and Kansas City commissioning new banners. The Patriots and Steelers have also secured first-round byes. That leaves the conference with two playoff spaces and four eligible teams to fight over them.
What about the teams that clinched in before Week 17?
Home-field advantage, first-round byes, and division titles are still at stake in Week 17, but some teams have the latitude to treat the final game of the season as an exhibition. The Eagles are locked into the NFC’s top spot, and thus won’t have to try very hard against the Cowboys, whose playoff hopes were dashed last week. The Chiefs are stuck in the AFC’s No. 4 spot and decided a season finale against the Broncos is a great time to throw Patrick Mahomes into an audition as the team’s starting quarterback.
The Jaguars are the AFC’s No. 3 seed, but they’ll still be playing to screw up the Titans’ playoff hopes when the two meet on Sunday.
New England Patriots clinch No. 1 seed and home-field advantage in the AFC
New England’s win over the Jets sealed up the No. 1 seed for them for the second season in a row. The Patriots’ win also helped lock up the No. 2 seed in the conference.
Pittsburgh Steelers clinch the No. 2 seed in the AFC and a first-round bye.
The Steelers had a chance to get the No. 1 seed this week, but they needed New England to lose to the Jets for that to happen. It didn’t. So, along with the Steelers’ win over the Browns AND a Patriots win, Pittsburgh has the No. 2 seed.
Minnesota Vikings clinch a first-round bye.
All the Vikings had to do was beat the Bears, and they did that, no problem. Now, they’ve got the NFC’s No. 2 seed.
New Orleans Saints clinch the NFC South.
New Orleans didn’t beat the Buccaneers, thanks to a last-minute Bucs touchdown, but they didn’t need to. Carolina’s loss to the Falcons gives the Saints the NFC South crown.
Who got in this week?
Three teams just need victories to lock down the final three playoff spots in the 2017 postseason. The Ravens, Titans, and Falcons are all just one win from extending their seasons, although those Ws come with varying degrees of difficulty.
The Ravens have the easiest path against a 6-9 Bengals team — albeit one that crushed the Lions’ playoff hopes a week before. The Titans have to face the AFC South champion Jaguars, but Jacksonville is locked into its spot and doesn’t have much motivation beyond pride in Sunday’s game. Atlanta has the toughest challenge, as it will face a Carolina team still battling for a division title and the chance to bring a playoff game to Charlotte next week.
Here are the franchises that control their own destinies in Week 17.
Atlanta Falcons clinched a playoff spot.
They’re win over the Panthers gives them the NFC’s last Wild Card spot.
Buffalo Bills clinch a playoff spot.
They beat the Dolphins, and got some help from the Bengals who beat the Ravens to give Buffalo the last AFC Wild Card spot.
Tennessee Titans clinch a Wild Card playoff spot.
Tennessee’s 15-10 win over the Jaguars was all they needed. They’re in.
Who failed to clinch a spot this week?
Three teams can still challenge Week 16’s standings and rally their way into the playoffs. Of the three, the Bills got here in the dumbest possible fashion. A 9-6 Buffalo team would have the inside track on the fifth playoff spot and likely be able to get in even with a surprising Week 17 loss. Instead, the Bills punted a Week 11 loss to the Chargers by starting rookie quarterback Nathan Peterman, who needed just 14 passes to throw five interceptions.
As such, the 8-7 club’s playoff-less streak seems likely to extend to an 18th season.
The Chargers need even more help. Also 8-7, they need a win and at least one (but possibly two) losses/ties to truly overcome an 0-4 start and push on to game No. 17. Things are much more simple for the Seahawks, who need to beat the Cardinals and hope the Falcons lose to a motivated Panthers team to keep their playoff streak alive.
Seattle Seahawks DID NOT clinch a playoff spot.
They needed the Falcons to lose.
Baltimore Ravens DID NOT clinch a playoff spot.
They needed to beat the Bengals. They almost did, except for Andy Dalton’s incredible last minute touchdown.
Los Angeles Chargers DID NOT clinch a playoff spot.
The Titan’s win ended the season for the Chargers.
Here’s what the playoff seeding looks like now.
Here are the current postseason standings and seedings:
- New England Patriots**
- Pittsburgh Steelers**
- Jacksonville Jaguars**
- Kansas City Chiefs**
- Buffalo Bills*
- Tennessee Titans*
Still in the hunt: nobody.
Eliminated: everyone else!
- Philadelphia Eagles**
- Minnesota Vikings**
- Los Angeles Rams**
- New Orleans Saints**
- Carolina Panthers*
- Atlanta Falcons*
*clinched playoff spot
Eliminated: Everyone else.
Let’s hope for s a Super Bowl better than this one
1) New England Patriots: 13-3
2) Miami Dolphins: 8-8
3) Buffalo Bills: 6-10
4) New York Jets: 2-14
1) Pittsburgh Steelers: 10-6
2) Baltimore Ravens: 9-7
3) Cincinnati Bengals: 7-9
4) Cleveland Browns: 4-12
1) Houston Texans: 10-6
2) Jacksonville Jaguars: 7-9
3) Tennessee Titans: 7-9
4) Indianapolis Colts: 5-11
1) Oakland Raiders: 12-4
2) Kansas City Chiefs: 10-6
3) Los Angeles Chargers: 7-9
4) Denver Broncos: 5-11
AFC Playoff Picture:
1) New England Patriots and 2) Oakland Raiders
Wild Card Round:
3) Pittsburgh Steelers vs 6) Kansas City Chiefs and 4) Houston Texans vs 5) Baltimore Ravens
1) New York Giants: 10-6
2) Dallas Cowboys: 9-7
3) Philadelphia Eagles: 7-9
4) Washington Redskins: 5-11
1) Minnesota Vikings: 11-5
2) Green Bay Packers: 9-7
3) Detroit Lions: 6-10
4) Chicago Bears: 1-15
1) Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 11-5
2) Atlanta Falcons: 10-6
3) New Orleans Saints: 8-8
4) Carolina Panthers: 6-10
1) Seattle Seahawks: 9-7
2) Arizona Cardinals: 8-8
3) Los Angeles Rams: 6-10
4) San Francisco 49ers: 3-13
NFC Playoff Picture:
1) Minnesota Vikings and 2) Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Wild Card Round:
3) New York Giants vs 6) Dallas Cowboys and 4) Seattle Seahawks vs 5) Atlanta Falcons
Week 3 of the 2017 NFL regular season schedule is in the books. Now it's time to see where all 32 teams rank. For reference purposes, here is a link to last week's NFL Power Rankings.
BLG's WEEK 4 NFL POWER RANKINGS
1 - Kansas City Chiefs (Last Week: 1) - The Chiefs are one of two remaining undefeated teams in the NFL. Andy Reid’s team has the strongest resume through three weeks of the season.
2 - Atlanta Falcons (LW: 2) - The Falcons are the other remaining undefeated team. Atlanta was inches away from losing in Week 3, however.
3 - New England Patriots (LW: 4) - So it looks like the Patriots are looking a little more shaky than people thought they’d be heading into this season. It took a last minute touchdown to beat the Texans at home.
4 - Detroit Lions (LW: 7) - I’m moving the Lions up despite their loss because they were literally inches away from beating the Falcons and being one of the only two undefeated teams in the league.
5 - Green Bay Packers (LW: 8) - It took Green Bay more effort than it should have to beat the Bengals in overtime at Lambeau, but Aaron Rodgers ultimately got it done for the Pack.
6 - Pittsburgh Steelers (LW: 3) - When the Steelers play at home, they’re pretty good. They’ve been much less fearsome on the road.
7 - Jacksonville Jaguars (LW: 23) - The Jags in the top seven?! How could I not put them here after blowing out the Ravens? Baltimore had one of the better defenses in the league and the Jags dropped 44 on them! While playing at a neutral field. Crazy.
8 - Denver Broncos (LW: 6) - Trevor Siemian has his moments but Denver’s loss to the Bills shows why he’s not an ideal long-term answer. Zero touchdowns, two picks, and a 58.2 passer rating.
9 - Dallas Cowboys (LW: 13) - The Cowboys got back on track after mightily struggling in Denver last week.
10 - Tennesee Titans (LW: 14) - The Titans are sure looking like a team on the rise. Good win over the Seahawks at home.
11 - Philadelphia Eagles (LW: 12) - It sure wasn’t pretty, but the Eagles were able to beat the Giants thanks to a 61-yard field goal from Jake Elliott. Philadelphia was on the bad end of a lot of close games in 2016. Maybe their luck is starting to turn around.
12 - Seattle Seahawks (LW: 9) - See below.
13 - Washington Redskins (LW: 19) - Washington has won two in a row. They’ve looked a lot better than they did in Week 1.
14 - Oakland Raiders (LW: 5) - Oakland’s offense has some nice weapons. But man, that defense has some issues. The Raiders totally came out flat on Sunday night.
15 - Minnesota Vikings (LW: 18) - Who needs Sam Bradford or Teddy Bridgewater when you have Case Keenum? (What a depressing question.) Pretty surprising win for the Vikes.
16 - Los Angeles Rams (LW: 20) - Sean McVay’s offense has been pretty effective through the first three weeks of the season. The Rams are averaging 35.7 points per game!
17 - Buffalo Bills (LW: 26) - Ten point win over the Broncos is a pretty legit victory.
18 - Baltimore Ravens (LW: 10) - What happened to Baltimore’s defense? The Ravens were absolutely demolished in London.
19 - Tampa Bay Buccaneers (LW: 11) - Yikes. The Bucs got absolutely carved up by Case Keenum.
20 - Houston Texans (LW: 21) - Bill O’Brien’s team was two touchdown underdogs to the Patriots. Houston almost stole a win on the road before falling short in the final minutes.
21 - Arizona Cardinals (LW: 16) - The reality is that the Cardinals are an overtime win against the Colts away from being 0-3.
22 - New Orleans Saints (LW: 24) - Looks like the Saints might not be the worst team in the NFC South after all. That offense can still get going.
23 - Chicago Bears (LW: 30) - Chicago isn’t great. But they did only lose by one possession to the Falcons at home in Week 1. And now they’ve defeated the Steelers. So it’s not all terrible.
24 - Carolina Panthers (LW: 15) - Carolina’s offense is in trouble. Cam Newton wasn’t playing well to begin with and now both Greg Olsen and Kelvin Benjamin have suffered injuries in recent weeks.
25 - Miami Dolphins (LW: 17) - Oof. Losing to the Jets is a bad look.
26 - Los Angeles Chargers (LW: 22) - It’s another Chargers year for the Chargers. Injuries are taking their toll as the team possesses a better point differential than their record would indicate. Maybe they’re cursed.
27 - Indianapolis Colts (LW: 29) - Indy has looked a little more respectable since benching Scott Tolzien. Who would’ve thought? The good news for the Colts is that Andrew Luck might begin practicing this week.
28 - New York Giants (LW: 25) - The G-Men played their best game of the 2017 season but it wasn’t enough to get a win. New York’s inability to both run the ball and stop the run will continue to be an issue for them.
29 - New York Jets (LW: 32) - So much for a winless season! The Jets are on the board. Now they better stop winning before they lose their shot to get the No. 1 pick.
30 - San Francisco 49ers (LW: 27) - The 49ers have only lost by a combined five points in their last two games. So there’s that. But they’re still 0-3.
31 - Cincinnati Bengals (LW: 31) - Cincinnati’s change at offensive coordinator sparked the offense. The Bengals almost upset Green Bay on the road. Keyword: “almost.”
32 - Cleveland Browns (LW: 28) - To no surprise, the 0-3 Browns are at the bottom of the league again.
NFL Standings 2017-18: Week 14 Records, Playoff Scenarios, Wild-Card Review
We think we know everything about the playoff races in the NFL, but in reality, we have no idea what will transpire over the next four weeks.
The only certainties are that the New England Patriots and Pittsburgh Steelers will be the top two seeds in the AFC, with home-field advantage being determined by their Week 15 showdown at Heinz Field.
Over in the NFC, the Philadelphia Eagles and Minnesota Vikings are still on top of the standings, with the Los Angeles Rams and New Orleans Saints occupying the third and fourth positions.
Once you look past the division leaders in each conference, the wild-card waters get murky. The AFC has a bunch of .500 teams fighting to stay alive, while the NFC boasts a race that could demand 10 wins to make the postseason.
1. Pittsburgh (10-2)
2. New England (10-2)
3. Tennessee (8-4)
4. Kansas City (6-6)
5. Jacksonville (8-4)
6. Baltimore (7-5)
7. Los Angeles Chargers (6-6)
8. Buffalo (6-6)
9. Oakland (6-6)
10. New York Jets (5-7)
11. Miami (5-7)
12. Cincinnati (5-7)
13. Houston (4-8)
14. Indianapolis (3-9)
15. Denver (3-9)
16. Cleveland (0-11)
New England can clinch the AFC East with a win over Miami on Monday night, or if Buffalo loses to Indianapolis on Sunday.
The AFC wild-card race is a messy mix of teams looking to break away from the pack but who haven't just yet. The AFC South appears to be the only division in the conference guaranteed of having two teams in the postseason at the moment.
The Tennessee Titans hold the advantage over the Jacksonville Jaguars in the AFC South since they won the first head-to-head meeting 37-16 in Week 2. The second clash between the teams in Week 17 could end up determining the division winner and who gets sent on the road in the wild-card round against the winner of the AFC West.
Speaking of the AFC West, there's a wide-open race for the title with the Kansas City Chiefs somehow still in the lead. Andy Reid's team has left no wiggle room for itself after losing four straight and five of its last six games.
The good news for the Chiefs is they can still control their fate if they beat the Oakland Raiders and Los Angeles Chargers in the next two weeks.
The Chargers, Raiders and Buffalo Bills are aligning themselves underneath the Baltimore Ravens to pounce if John Harbaugh and Co. drop a game, and that could be the case in Week 14 as the Ravens visit Pittsburgh.
A loss by the Ravens and victories by the Bills over the Colts and Chargers against the Redskins could throw the AFC wild-card race into another ugly turn.
However, if the Ravens knock off the Steelers and finish off the Cleveland Browns in Week 15, they should be in the driver's seat to advance to the postseason alongside the second-place team from the AFC South.
1. Minnesota (10-2)
2. Philadelphia (10-2)
3. Los Angeles Rams (9-3)
4. New Orleans (9-3)
5. Seattle (8-4)
6. Carolina (8-4)
7. Atlanta (7-5)
8. Detroit (6-6)
9. Green Bay (6-6)
10. Dallas (6-6)
11. Washington (5-7)
12. Arizona (5-7)
13. Tampa Bay (4-8)
14. Chicago (3-9)
15. San Francisco (2-10)
16. New York Giants (2-10)
The Philadelphia Eagles can clinch the NFC East title with a win over the Los Angeles Rams, or with a New York Giants win over the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday.
Minnesota can wrap up the NFC North with a win over the Carolina Panthers or through losses by the Detroit Lions to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Green Bay Packers to the Cleveland Browns.
The dream of having three NFC South teams qualify for the postseason took a hit in Week 13, with the Atlanta Falcons falling at home to the Vikings and the Seattle Seahawks knocking off the Eagles on Sunday night.
All eyes will once again be on Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Week 14, as the Falcons play host to the New Orleans Saints on Thursday night.
The Panthers will have a chance to gain ground in some regard on Sunday, but they face a difficult test in the form of the visiting Vikings.
Although they both sit at 6-6, the Lions and Packers are still alive in the conversation for the two wild-card spots, and there's a good chance one or both will stick around for Week 15. The Packers have an easier matchup in Cleveland, while the Lions have to pick up a win on the road in Tampa Bay.
The hopes of putting a second NFC North team into the postseason could come in Week 15, when the Packers visit the Panthers. If the Packers are able to move to 8-6 while knocking off the Panthers and letting the NFC South teams bully each other in head-to-head contests, they could have a good chance to squeak into the playoffs.
Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90.
Nfl standings 2017
Atlanta Falcons final 2017 NFL standings
Here is where the Atlanta Falcons stand in the important NFL rankings at the end of the 2017 NFL regular season ...
364.8 YPG (8th in NFL)
249 YPG (8th in NFL)
115.4 YPG (13th in NFL)
44.7 percent (1st in NFL)
22.1 PPG (15th in NFL)
Red Zone Offense
50 percent (23rd in NFL)
318.4 PPG (9th in NFL)
214.3 YPG (12th in NFL)
110.5 YPG (9th in NFL)
38.3 percent (16th in NFL)
19.7 PPG (8th in NFL)
Red Zone Defense
46 percent (5th in NFL)
It was her leg. At first she did not make any movements, she just pressed against my trunk. I froze, I didn't even seem to breathe.
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