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NFL Week 17 Playoff Scenarios: Finalizing The Seeding In The AFC

The Cincinnati Bengals have secured the No. 6 seed while the top four teams have more work needed to secure their seeding for a full slate of Week 17 games.

Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports

The Cincinnati Bengals have clinched all they can, with the only question left to be answered this weekend being whom the Cincinnati Bengals will play (which we discuss here). None of the top four AFC seeds are locked into their respective positions with first-round byes and home-field advantage factored for the Patriots, Broncos and Texans -- all the Ravens can do is move to the No. 3 seed if they beat the Bengals and Dolphins beat the Patriots.

The NFC is far more dynamic right now with plenty of scenarios for half the conference to move around (securing a first-round bye or making the postseason).



New England AFC East
Denver AFC West
Baltimore AFC North
Houston AFC South
Indianapolis No. 5 Seed
Cincinnati No. 6 Seed


Clinches First-Round Bye HOU win or tie OR
NE loss or tie OR
DEN loss
Clinches Home-field Advantage HOU win OR
HOU tie plus DEN loss or tie OR
NE loss or tie plus DEN loss


Clinches First-Round Bye DEN win or tie OR
NE loss or tie
Clinches Home-field Advantage DEN win plus HOU loss or tie OR
DEN tie plus HOU loss


Clinches First-Round Bye NE win plus DEN loss OR
NE win plus HOU loss
Clinches Home-field Advantage NE win plus DEN loss plus HOU loss



Atlanta NFC South and Home-field Advantage
Green Bay NFC North
San Francisco Playoff Berth
Seattle Playoff Berth


Clinches First-Round Bye GB win OR
GB tie plus SF loss or tie OR
SF loss plus SEA loss or tie


Clinches NFC West SF win or tie OR
SEA loss or tie
Clinches First-Round Bye SF win plus GB loss or tie OR
SF tie plus GB loss


Clinches NFC West SEA win plus SF loss
Clinches First-Round Bye SEA win plus SF loss plus GB loss


Clinches NFC East WAS win or tie
Clinches Playoff Berth CHI loss plus MIN loss


Clinches NFC East DAL win


Clinches playoff berth NYG win plus DAL loss or tie plus CHI loss plus MIN loss


Clinches playoff berth MIN win OR
MIN tie plus CHI loss or tie OR
DAL loss or tie plus NYG loss or tie plus CHI loss


Clinches playoff berth CHI win plus MIN loss or tie OR
CHI tie plus MIN loss