With one week remaining in the NFL season there isn’t a whole heck of a lot to be decided. 10 of the 12 teams that are going to make the postseason have already clinched with just the NFC East and the final wildcard spot in the NFC up for grabs.
This doesn’t mean that there won’t be a lot of intrigue come Week 17. We still have to decide who is going to be seeded where.
Today’s article is going to focus on the current seeds in each conference and what needs to happen in order for things to get settled next week.
1. Houston Texans (12-3)
2. Denver Broncos (12-3)
3. New England Patriots (11-4)
4. Baltimore Ravens (10-5)
5. Indianapolis Colts (10-5)
6. Cincinnati Bengals (9-6)
* Houston can clinch the No. 1 overall seed in the AFC with a win over the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday. They hold the tie-breaker over both the New England Patriots and Denver Broncos, so they could acquire the first seed even if they lose to Indianapolis
* Denver needs to beat the Kansas City Chiefs and have Houston go down to Indianapolis to acquire the No. 1 seed. It wraps up a first-round bye with either a win against Kansas City or New England loss to the Miami Dolphins.
* New England needs to have Denver lose to Kansas City and beat Miami to acquire a first-round bye. Due to tie-breakers it is eliminated from the No. 1 overall seed.
* Indianapolis is guaranteed the No. 5 seed and Cincinnati can do no better than the No. 6 seed.
* Baltimore can get the No. 3 seed with a win over Cincinnati and a Patriots loss to the Dolphins.
Most Likely Wildcard Matchups
Cincinnati Bengals at New England Patriots
Indianapolis Colts at Baltimore Ravens
1. Atlanta Falcons (13-2)
2. Green Bay Packers (11-4)
3. San Francisco 49ers (10-4-1)
4. Washington Redskins (9-6)
5. Seattle Seahawks (10-5)
6. Minnesota Vikings (9-6)
7. Chicago Bears (9-6)
8. Dallas Cowboys (8-7)
9. New York Giants (8-7)
* Atlanta has clinched the No. 1 overall seed in the NFC.
* Green Bay can clinch the second seed and a first-round bye with a win over Minnesota next Sunday.
* San Francisco can clinch the NFC West with a win over the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday. It must beat Arizona and have Minnesota take out Green Bay in order to acquire the second seed and a first-round bye.
* Washington can win the NFC East with a win over Dallas on Sunday Night Football. If the Redskins lose, they can still grab a playoff spot with losses by both Chicago and Minnesota.
* Seattle can win the NFC West by defeating the St. Louis Rams and the 49ers losing to Arizona. It has wrapped up the No. 5 overall seed in the NFC.
* Minnesota can clinch a playoff berth with a win over Green Bay on Sunday. If the Vikings lose they need Dallas, New York and Chicago to all lose.
* Chicago needs to defeat the Detroit Lions and have Minnesota lose to Green Bay in order to clinch the No. 6 seed.
* Dallas must defeat Washington in order to get into the playoffs as the NFC East Champions. It has no other avenue to the postseason.
* New York must win and have Dallas/Chicago/Minnesota all lose to make the playoffs.
Most Likely Wildcard Matchups
Chicago Bears at San Francisco 49ers
Seattle Seahawks at Washington Redskins