NFL standings: Updated AFC, NFC playoff picture for Week 17 of 2023 season

January 2024 is almost here, which means there are only two weeks left in the 2023 NFL regular season before the playoffs begin. Before the tournament toward Super Bowl 58 in Las Vegas in February can kick off however, the 14 playoff positions must be set, from the top seeds in the NFC and AFC to the third and final wild-cards team from each conference.

Going into Week 17, only 6 teams (2 in AFC, 4 in NFC) have clinched playoff spots, with only two crowned division winners so far.

Here’s a look at the current standings and near-future scenarios to consider in the latest, updated look at the entire NFL playoff picture:

POWER RANKINGS: Ravens rout 49ers for undisputed top spot; Chiefs slip behind Browns, Bills for Week 17

NFL standings for Week 17

AFC playoff picture

1. Baltimore Ravens (12-3), first place, AFC North. The Ravens, who have already clinched at least a wild-card berth, are up 1.5 games on the Browns in the division. They can clinch the division with a win over the Dolphins even after the Browns beat the Jets to open Week 17 on Thursday night. That also would come with locking down the top seed, lone bye and home-field advantage.

2. Miami Dolphins (11-4), first place, AFC East. The Dolphins, who have already clinched at least a wild-card berth, are up two games on the Bills in the division. They will clinch the division with a win over the Ravens with a chance to steal No. 1. They can also win the East if the Bills lose to the Patriots.

3. Kansas City Chiefs (9-6), first place, AFC West. The Chiefs have yet to clinch a playoff berth and they no longer are in the race for the top AFC playoff seed. They now need to focus on winning the division again, which would happen with a win over the Bengals or losses by both the Raiders and Chiefs, who are each two games behind.

4. Jacksonville Jaguars (8-7), first place, AFC South. The Jaguars have the same record as the second-place Colts and Texans, but they are still up the division going into Sunday thanks to owning the best division record (4-1). They can clinch a second consecutive division title with a win over the Panthers and losses by the Colts and the Texans.

5. Cleveland Browns (11-5), second place, AFC North. The Browns kept the pressure on the Ravens in the division race by beating the Jets on Thursday night. They also clinched at least a wild-card berth with the victory and are looking good for at least this seed should the Ravens still win the North.

6. Buffalo Bills (9-6), second place, AFC East. The Bills will want to set up a de facto AFC East title game with the Dolphins in Week 18 in Miami and can do that with a win over the Patriots plus a Dolphins loss to the Ravens. But the Bills can clinch at least a wild-card playoff berth with a victory. The easiest way for that to happen is by the Steelers losing at the Seahawks and the Bengals to losing at the Chiefs. If one of those teams win, then the Bills can nail down a wild-card spot with a Jaguars loss or losses by both the Texans and Colts.

7. Indianapolis Colts (8-7), second place, AFC South. The Colts need to beat the Raiders at home on Sunday to keep pace with the Jaguars in the division and also bolster their chances of earning the final wild-card spot at the same time. Behind them, they beat the Texans, whom they play again in Week 18, and Steelers, but they also previously lost to the Bengals.

Who’s in the hunt?

8. Houston Texans (8-7)

9. Cincinnati Bengals (8-7)

10. Pittsburgh Steelers (8-7)

11. Las Vegas Raiders (7-8)

12. Denver Broncos (7-8)

The Texans, Bengals and Steelers all need to take care of their own tough games and need some good help. The Raiders and Broncos are just hanging on barely behind the Chiefs in their division.

NFC playoff picture

1. San Francisco 49ers (11-4), champions, NFC West. The 49ers have clinched a second consecutive division title and hold the conference record tiebreaker (9-1) over the same-record Eagles and Lions. They can clinch the top seed, the lone bye and home-field advantage with a win over the Commanders and losses by those two other teams.

2. Philadelphia Eagles (11-4), first place, NFC East. The Eagles, who already have clinched at least a wild-card playoff spot, are in full control of the division again with a one-game lead over the Cowboys. They can sew up a repeat East title with a win over the Cardinals if the Cowboys lost to the Lions.

3. Detroit Lions (11-4), champions, NFC North. The Lions have clinched their first division title in 30 years. They are guaranteed to finish no lower than this seed and need to keep winning against the Cowboys and Vikings to have a shot at jumping up to No. 1 over the 49ers and Eagles.

4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (8-7), first place, NFC South. The Buccaneers are up a full game in the division over the Saints and Falcons. They also can take a second consecutive South title with a win over the Saints, no matter what the Falcons do against the Bears.

5. Dallas Cowboys (10-5), second place, NFC East. The Cowboys have already clinched another playoff berth as at least a wild card and thanks to beating the Rams and Seahawks behind them earlier in the season, they are set to not finish any lower than this seed. But they need to keep winning vs. the Lions to keep the Eagles from clinching the divsiion in Week 16.

6. Los Angeles Rams (8-7), second place, NFC West. The Rams, who can no longer catch the 49ers in the division, can clinch a wild-card berth with a win over the Giants if either the Seahawks lose to the Steelers or the Vikings tie the Packers.

7. Seattle Seahawks (8-7), third place, NFC West. The Seahawks, behind the Rams based on the head-to-head tiebreaker, are also looking good a game ahead of the Vikings and Packers. They also can clinch this final wild-card berth with a win over the Steelers coupled with a Vikings-Packers tie.

Who’s in the hunt?

8. Minnesota Vikings (7-8)

9. Green Bay Packers (7-8)

10. New Orleans Saints (7-8)

11. Atlanta Falcons (7-8)

12. Chicago Bears (6-9)

The Buccaneers, Rams and Seahawks can end the playoff hopes of everyone here, but there’s a very good chance the winner of the Vikings-Packers game will still be alive. The Bears will be eliminated if either the Rams or Seahawks win.

Source : ESPN.com

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