NFL playoff picture entering Week 18: AFCs No. 1 seed, two division crowns at stake with three wild cards still available – USA TODAY

NFL playoff picture entering Week 18: AFCs No. 1 seed, two division crowns at stake with three wild cards still available – USA TODAY

Here’s how the NFL playoff picture looks going into Week 18:


y – 1. Tennessee Titans (11-5), AFC South champions: Huge win Sunday, Tennessee now back-to-back division titlists while moving to the top of the conference standings due to Kansas City’s loss. Week 7 defeat of the Chiefs means a Tennessee victory in Week 18 will give the Titans the AFC’s bye and home-field advantage. They can also be No. 1 despite a loss if the Chiefs and Bengals both lose along with either a Patriots defeat or Bills victory. Remaining schedule: at Texans

y – 2. Kansas City Chiefs (11-5), AFC West champions: They lost their eight-game winning streak in Cincinnati and control of first place in the AFC. K.C. needs win plus a Tennessee loss to earn No. 1 seed for the third time in four seasons. Remaining schedule: at Broncos

y – 3. Cincinnati Bengals (10-6), AFC North champions: Division winners for the first time since 2015, they’ve still got a shot at the conference’s top seed but need a lot of help – including losses by K.C. and Tennessee. Then Cincy’s focus turns to winning its first playoff game in three decades. Remaining schedule: at Browns

x – 4. Buffalo Bills (10-6), AFC East leaders: By eliminating the Atlanta Falcons and benefiting from Baltimore’s loss to the Rams, Buffalo is headed to the playoffs for the third consecutive season. The Bills trail Cincinnati due to an inferior record in AFC games (6-5) but will win the division with a victory next week because their AFC East record (4-1) trumps New England’s. However there’s no scenario that gets Buffalo the No. 1 seed. Remaining schedule: vs. Jets

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x – 5. New England Patriots (10-6), wild card No. 1: A trouncing of Jacksonville paired with Miami’s loss restores Pats to postseason after one-year, post-Tom Brady hiatus. Beat the Fins in Week 18 and hope the New York Jets can ambush Buffalo, and Patriots would reclaim AFC East throne. New England also has an outside shot at the AFC’s top spot but would need a victory in combination with losses by the Bills, Chiefs and Titans. Remaining schedule: at Dolphins

6. Indianapolis Colts (9-7), wild card No. 2: Loss to Las Vegas cost Indy ability to clinch playoff berth Sunday and also knocked them out of running for AFC South crown. But they have to like their Week 18 assignment, a win in Jacksonville finalizing a berth. The Colts can also back in with a loss if the Chargers and Steelers lose and Miami wins. Remaining schedule: at Jaguars

7. Los Angeles Chargers (9-7), wild card No. 3: They eliminated the Denver Broncos, Cleveland Browns and Miami Dolphins with Sunday’s win. But Bolts can’t afford to slip up in the regular-season finale, which is a must-win affair. Remaining schedule: at Raiders

Chargers QB Justin Herbert (10) needs to complete season sweep of Raiders to get Bolts into playoffs.

8. Las Vegas Raiders (9-7), out of playoff field: Sunday’s escape from the Colts was huge, if not enough to launch Silver and Black into projected playoff field. But Raiders are officially into the Super Bowl tournament by beating Bolts at the Death Star in Week 18. They can also gain playoff entry if the Colts and Steelers both lose . Remaining schedule: vs. Chargers

9. Pittsburgh Steelers (8-7-1), out of playoff field: They remain on life support, but Monday night’s crucial win over Cleveland gives them a shot – one that requires a win in Week 18 combined with a loss by Indianapolis … while assuming the Chargers and Raiders don’t tie. Remaining schedule: at Ravens 

10. Baltimore Ravens (8-8), out of playoff field: Losers of five in a row, their mathematical viability has dwindled to almost nothing. The former AFC leaders must win and hope the Chargers, Colts and Dolphins all lose to salvage a spot. Remaining schedule: vs. Steelers 


yz – 1. Green Bay Packers (13-3), NFC North champions: They own league’s best record, a performance that has now brought Aaron Rodgers and Co. a first-round bye and home-field advantage for the second straight year. Remaining schedule: at Lions

x – 2. Los Angeles Rams (12-4), NFC West leaders: Couldn’t quite put a bow on division despite victory in Baltimore but are only one win (or Arizona loss) from beginning their quest to play Super Bowl 56 at SoFi Stadium … at SoFi Stadium. Remaining schedule: vs. 49ers

y – 3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (12-4), NFC South champions: They managed to beat Jets and move up to third seed while simultaneously appearing to unravel amid more Antonio Brown shenanigans. Remaining schedule: vs. Panthers

y – 4. Dallas Cowboys (11-5), NFC East champions: Relatively disastrous loss to Cardinals cost them shot at NFC’s No. 1 seed. Remaining schedule: at Eagles

x – 5. Arizona Cardinals (11-5), wild card No. 1: Timely win over Cowboys means Cards still have chance to win NFC West if Rams cooperate with Week 18 loss. Remaining schedule: vs. Seahawks

6. San Francisco 49ers (9-7), wild card No. 2: Win in Week 18 and they’re in. Saints loss also clinches for Niners. Remaining schedule: at Rams 

x – 7. Philadelphia Eagles (9-7), wild card No. 3: The Minnesota Vikings’ loss Sunday night at Green Bay put Philly, winners of six of the last seven, into the playoffs. The Eagles’ 7-4 record in conference games gave them tiebreaker insurance even though they suffered a head-to-head loss to the 49ers.  Remaining schedule: vs. Cowboys

8. New Orleans Saints (8-8), out of playoff field: Need win and Niners loss to advance. Remaining schedule: at Falcons

x – clinched berth

y – clinched division

z – clinched first-round bye and home-field advantage


Follow USA TODAY Sports’ Nate Davis on Twitter @ByNateDavis.