The 2022 NFL season is down to the final two weeks.
Although the playoff picture for the AFC and NFC won’t be finalized until Week 18, it’s time to keep looking at the updated standings and which teams would be in the playoffs if the season ended in Week 17.
Here’s a breakdown of the NFL’s latest playoff field and seedings, as well as a look at the contenders on the brink of joining the postseason party:
POWER RANKINGS: Cowboys, Packers climb in playoff picture; Steelers jump Patriots, Jets for Week 17
NFL standings for Week 17
AFC playoff picture
1. Buffalo Bills (12-3), champions, AFC East. The Bills blew out the Bears in Week 16, clinching a third consecutive division title. Now the Bills can focus on holding off the Chiefs for the home-field advantage and the lone bye. The key to that is beating the Bengals in Cincinnati in Week 17. The Bills can clinch No. 1 with a win and a Chiefs loss.
2. Kansas City Chiefs (12-3), champions, AFC West. The Chiefs stayed right with the Bills by beating the Seahawks in Week 17. They remain down a head-to-head tiebreaker to the Bills, to whom they lost at home in Week 6. They also stayed ahead of the winning Bengals, who beat them in Cincinnati in Week 13. The Chiefs will look to win out and hope the Bills lose once to take the top seed.
3. Cincinnati Bengals (11-4), first place, AFC North. The Bengals beat the Patriots in Week 16 for their seventh consecutive victory. That kept them right behind the Bills and Chiefs in the conference and still ahead of the winning Ravens in the division. Cincinnati will host Baltimore in Week 18 after playing Buffalo there in Week 17. The Bengals can clinch the division with a win and a Ravens loss.
4. Jacksonville Jaguars (7-8), first place, AFC South. The Jaguars jumped here by beating the Jets in Week 17. Jacksonville is ahead of Tennessee by a half-game and a head-to-head tiebreaker because of winning in Nashville in Week 14. Despite the Titans falling in Dallas in Week 17, the division comes down to Week 18, when the Jaguars host the Titans with the tiebreaker of division record on the line.
5. Baltimore Ravens (10-5), second place, AFC North. The Ravens held off the Falcons in Week 16 to keep pace with the Bengals in the division race. They also clinched at least a wild-card playoff berth. The Ravens will host the Steelers on Sunday night before finishing the season in Cincinnati.
6. Los Angeles Chargers (9-6), second place, AFC West. The Chargers clinched a wild-card spot with their convincing Week 16 road rout of the Colts. They are looking more dangerous with Justin Herbert, Austin Ekeler and an improving defense and will look to stay hot in Week 17.
7. Miami Dolphins (8-7), second place, AFC East. The Dolphins have lost four consecutive games to fall into this spot. The loss to the Packers in Week 16 puts them in a precarious position for the final two games, but the Dolphins can clinch a wild-card berth with a win and a Jets loss on Sunday.
Who’s in the hunt?
8. New England Patriots (7-8), third place, AFC East
9. New York Jets (7-8), last place, AFC East
10. Pittsburgh Steelers (7-8), third place, AFC North
11. Tennessee Titans (7-9), second place, AFC South
12. Las Vegas Raiders (6-9), third place, AFC West
The Patriots and Jets are giving the Dolphins a break by losing, too, and both teams get a shot at that team in the final two weeks. The Steelers and Raiders are barely alive for a wild-card berth, while the Titans are facing a de facto AFC South title game against the Jaguars in Week 18.
13. Cleveland Browns (6-9), last place, AFC North 14. Indianapolis Colts (4-10-1), third place, AFC South 15. Denver Broncos (4-11), last place, AFC West 16. Houston Texans (2-12-1), last place, AFC South
The Browns were the latest team to be eliminated from playoff contention with their home loss to the Saints in Week 16. The Texans are in good shape for the No. 1 overall draft pick despite beating the Titans.
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NFC playoff picture
1. Philadelphia Eagles (13-2), first place, NFC East. The Eagles have already clinched a playoff berth and will clinch the division with one more win or a Cowboys loss. They also can lock down the No. 1 seed with one more win or a Vikings loss. The Eagles will need to do that without starting QB Jalen Hurts for a second game, however.
2. Minnesota Vikings (12-3), champions, NFC North. The Vikings moved to 11-0 in one-possession games by surviving a wild home game against the Giants in Week 17. They stayed alive in the race for the top seed, home-field advantage and lone bye, but they need to finish a game ahead of the Eagles to do that, given they lost the head-to-head tiebreaker way back in Week 2.
3. San Francisco 49ers (11-4), champions, NFC West. The 49ers clinched their second division title in four seasons by beating the Seahawks in Week 15. After routing the Commanders in Week 16, they are still long shots to catch the Eagles at No. 1 at two games behind with two games left, but have a fair chance to displace the Vikings for No. 2, being a game down while also holding the tiebreaker.
4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (7-8), first place, NFC South. The Buccaneers are clinging to a one-game division lead over the Panthers and Saints, who both won to improve to 6-9 in Week 17. The Buccaneers will win the division with a home win over the Panthers on Sunday.
5. Dallas Cowboys (12-4), second place, NFC East. The Cowboys kept putting pressure on the Eagles by beating the Titans on Thursday night to open Week 17. They can still win the division but need to win out at the Commanders in Week 18 while the Eagles lose out to the Saints and Giants.
6. New York Giants (8-6-1), third place, NFC East. The Giants can clinch a wild-card berth behind the Eagles and Cowboys with a win over the Colts on Sunday. If the Giants lose, they can still clinch with losses by the Seahawks and Commanders. They can also clinch with a loss should either the Seahawks, Lions and Packers or lose or the Commanders, Lions and Packers lose.
7. Washington Commanders (7-7-1), last place, NFC East. The Commanders fell here after losing to the Giants, whom they still now trail by a full game and head-to-head tiebreaker after losing badly to the 49ers in Week 17. They remain a half-game ahead of the Seahawks and Lions. The Commanders can clinch a wild-card berth with a win over the Browns and losses by the Seahawks, Lions and Packers.
Who’s in the hunt?
8. Seattle Seahawks (7-8), second place, NFC West
9. Detroit Lions (7-8), second place, NFC North
10. Green Bay Packers (7-8), third place, NFC North
11. Carolina Panthers (6-9), second place, NFC South
12. New Orleans Saints (6-9), third place, NFC South
The Seahawks have lost five of their past six to fall from 6-3 to well out of the picture. The Lions’ great momentum toward a wild-card berth was derailed by their loss at Carolina.
The Packers are now tied with the Seahawks and Lions and can make the playoffs with two more wins and a Commanders loss. The Panthers and Saints won in Week 16 to stay right behind the Buccaneers.
13. Los Angeles Rams (5-10), third place, NFC West
14. Atlanta Falcons (5-10), last place, NFC South
15. Arizona Cardinals (4-11), last place, NFC West
16. Chicago Bears (3-12), last place, NFC North
The Rams had a big win over the Broncos to feel better about their Super Bowl hangover. The Falcons were the latest team to be eliminated as their loss at Baltimore in Week 16 put both the NFC South title and final wild-card berth out of reach with two games left. The Cardinals and Rams were eliminated in Week 15. The Bears are hoping to get out of the conference cellar by Week 18.
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