2023 NFL Playoff Photo: How Saturday’s Chiefs Win Affects Post-Season Races and Clinching Scenarios

2023 NFL Playoff Photo: How Saturday’s Chiefs Win Affects Post-Season Races and Clinching Scenarios

2023 NFL Playoff Photo: How Saturday’s Chiefs Win Affects Post-Season Races and Clinching Scenarios

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The final week of the NFL season kicked off Saturday with a double-match.

The first game of the day was in Las Vegas where Kansas City defeated the Raiders 31-13. It was a massive victory for the Chiefs, who now finished first overall in the AFC standings, and the first-round bye that comes with it.

Earlier in the week, the Chiefs were unable to take first overall with a win in Week 18, but that changed Thursday after the NFL officially decided to cancel the Bills-Bengals game. This cancellation put the Chiefs in the driver’s seat in the battle for first place, and they took advantage of this by defeating the Raiders.

Although the Chiefs are in first place, there is still a chance that they will not host the AFC Championship game. If the Bills beat the Patriots on Sunday and face Kansas City in the AFC Title Game, the game will be played at neutral ground. If the Chiefs play a team other than the Bills, the game will be played in Kansas City.

As for the other game on Saturday night, the AFC South title will be on the line as the Jaguars (8-8) take on the Titans (7-9) at 8:15pm ET (ABC/ESPN).

With that in mind, let’s look at the current playoff position after Kansas City’s victory.

AFC playoff table

Still alive
Dolphins (8-8):
If the Dolphins beat the Jets on Sunday, they will get the last wild card in the AFC IF the Patriots also lose to the Bills.
Steelworkers (8-8): For the Steelers to advance to the playoffs, three things need to happen: They need to beat the Browns, the Patriots need to lose to the Bills, and the Dolphins need to lose to the Jets.

NFC playoff standings

Still alive
Lions (8-8):
To get to the playoffs, the Lions will need two things to happen: they need to beat the Packers, and they will also need the Seahawks to lose to the Rams.
Packers (8-8): While the Packers are currently below the Lions and Seahawks in the standings, they are actually the only three teams in control of their fortunes this week. If the Packers beat the Lions on Sunday night, they will advance to the playoffs.

Matchups of the rounds with a wild card (based on the current table)

AFC

  • (7) Patriots in (2) Bills
  • (6) Ravens vs. (3) Bengals (a coin toss will determine the location of this game if Baltimore beats Cincinnati on Sunday)
  • (5) Chargers on (4) Jaguars

Goodbye: Bosses

NFC

  • (7) Seahawks in (2) 49ers
  • (6) Giants and (3) Vikings
  • (5) Cowboys and (4) Corsairs

Goodbye: Eagles

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