NFL playoff scenarios taking shape heading into Week 17

Chicago Bears in position for playoff berth despite 54-11 loss to Eagles on Sunday Night Football.
Posted By Evan Bleier   |  Dec. 23, 2013 at 9:51 AM
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Even though there is still one more game left to play in Week 16, the NFL’s playoff scenarios are already starting to take shape.

If the playoffs started today, the Denver Broncos, New England Patriots, Seattle Seahawks and Carolina Panthers would all receive bye weeks in the first round.

The AFC wild card games would feature the Miami Dolphins traveling to Cincinnati to take on the Bengals and Kansas City Chiefs heading to Indianapolis for a showdown with the Colts.

In the NFC, the New Orleans Saints would head to Philly to take on the Eagles while the 49ers would take the field in Chicago against the Bears.

However, there is still some important football to be played.

The San Diego Chargers, Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens are all still in play for the No. 6 seed currently held by the Dolphins. If all four teams lose in Week 17, the Ravens get in. The Chargers and Steelers both need to win and need help to get in.

In the NFC, the Bears will take on the Green Bay Packers in a winner-take-all game for the NFC North crown, while the Eagles will to go to Dallas to decide who wins the NFC East title and a playoff spot.

If the 49ers win tonight, that will clinch their playoff berth while effectively eliminating the Arizona Cardinals. Should San Francisco lose, that will open the door for the Cardinals and all but guarantee that New Orleans gets in.

Just like most years, Week 17 in the NFL should be a wild one.


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