2017 NFL playoff picture

Nate Davis

Here's how the NFL playoff picture looks with the regular season now complete.

Playoff picture

1. y*-New England Patriots (13-3): AFC East champion. Their controversial win in Pittsburgh on Dec. 17 wound up proving decisive in the battle for home-field advantage. The Patriots will host the lowest-seeded winner from the wild-card round on Jan. 13 or 14.

2. yz-Pittsburgh Steelers (13-3): AFC North champion. Playing their backups — wise considering they ultimately had nothing to gain Sunday — they remained relatively healthy and avoided being victimized by the 0-16 Browns. This is Pittsburgh's first bye since 2010, the last time the Steelers reached the Super Bowl.

3. y-Jacksonville Jaguars (10-6): AFC South champion. They've already received permission to remove upper-deck tarps to increase stadium capacity by 3,500 for their first playoff home game since 1999 ... also the last time Buffalo was in postseason.

4. y-Kansas City Chiefs (10-6): AFC West champion. Back-to-back division champs for the first time in franchise history, they will host Tennessee on Saturday.

5. x-Tennessee Titans (9-7): Wild card No. 1. Sweeping Jacksonville gave Titans first playoff trip since 2008 while knocking out Chargers. They got higher seed than Buffalo by virtue of superior record in AFC games and will next play at Kansas City.

6. x-Buffalo Bills (9-7): Wild card No. 2. Baltimore's shocking loss means Bills are headed to playoffs for first time this century. Buffalo, which previously appeared in postseason in 1999, no longer has longest absence in North American pro team sports, a distinction that now belongs to Major League Baseball's Seattle Mariners. The Bills will play in Jacksonville next Sunday.

x-clinched playoff berth
y-clinched division
z-clinched first-round bye
*-clinched home-field advantage

1. y*-Philadelphia Eagles (13-3): NFC East champion. They blew an opportunity to win franchise record 14th game Sunday. More concerning, the offense has scored all of 16 points in its last nine quarters without Carson Wentz. This team is in trouble despite having NFC's home field.

2. yz-Minnesota Vikings (13-3): NFC North champion. They finally locked up a bye Sunday. And if the Eagles falter in the divisional round, the Vikes could be playing games at U.S. Bank Stadium all the way into Super Bowl LII, potentially becoming the first team ever to play Super Sunday on its home field — though, in a possible touch of irony, this year's NFC representative will be designated the "away" team.

3. y-Los Angeles Rams (11-5): NFC West champion. Division kings for the first time since 2003, they wound up retaining third seed (thanks to head-to-head defeat of Saints) despite resting key starters Sunday. They'll host Falcons on Saturday night.

4. y-New Orleans Saints (11-5): NFC South champion. Not how they wanted to finish regular season, giving up last-gasp TD in loss to Bucs. But Saints still came away with division crown that allows them to open postseason in Superdome.

5. x-Carolina Panthers (11-5): Wild card No. 1. Missed chance to win NFC South and must now return to New Orleans and play Saints team that's already beaten Carolina twice this year.

6. x-Atlanta Falcons (10-6): Wild card No. 2. Beating Carolina affords them shot to defend NFC crown while keeping Seahawks home for first time since 2011. They'll play in L.A. on Saturday.

x-clinched playoff berth
y-clinched division
z-clinched first-round bye
*-clinched home-field advantage


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PHOTOS: Week 17 NFL action