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How Clear Is The Picture For The 2017 NFL Playoffs?

Heading into Week 14, the 2017 NFL playoff picture is still mostly unclear. Though at this time of the year at least some teams would have clinched a spot in the postseason, this year, it seems, will take more battles on the gridiron to sort things out.

Nevertheless, there are always frontrunners and those that have already left the race which means that we can look forward to some intense battles as teams try to earn their spot on the road to Super Bowl 52.

Let’s take a look at how things stand.

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AFC Standings

Pittsburgh Steelers (10-2)

After winning over the Bengals on Monday night in a rough and tumble game, the Steelers snatched back the No. 1 seed. They face the Ravens next and then the Patriots in Week 15 which for all intents and purposes will probably decide the top seed in the conference and home-field advantage.

New England Patriots (10-2)

As mentioned above, the Patriots’ Week 15 match against the Steelers will decide which team will hold the No. 1. For now, New England is sitting pretty on a first-round bye after defeating the Bills on the road.  

Tennessee Titans (8-4)

The Titans not only beat the Texans, they did so with a 75-yard touchdown run from Derrick Henry that also covered the spread. They’re also in a neck-to-neck battle with the Jaguars for the AFC South division lead and are currently laying claim to the No. 3 seed.

Kansas City Chiefs (6-6)

The Chiefs seem to be in a tailspin after consecutive losses to the Giants, Bills, and Jets. Currently, they’re in a three-way tie for the division with the Chargers and Raiders and holding the tiebreaker but are still in hot water.

Jacksonville Jaguars (8-4)

The Jaguars swiftly defeated the Colts on Sunday behind an iron-clad defense and a strong run game. They might have their sights set on the division title, wanting to snatch it away from the Chiefs, but at the moment they look good to make the postseason.

Baltimore Ravens (7-5)

Baltimore beat up the Lions which allowed them to keep the No. 6 seed in the AFC. The Ravens looked good as they manhandled Matthew Stafford and the Lions offense in the win.

In the hunt:

Los Angeles Chargers (6-6)

Though the Chargers win over the Browns wasn’t impressive, it still kept them alive and in the race.

Buffalo Bills (6-6)

It’s going to take a lot for the Bills to make the postseason. Nathan Peterman will have his work cut out for him and will be pushed to the limit if he’s to lead the Bills to the playoffs.

Oakland Raiders (6-6)

The Raiders defeated the Giants and still find themselves in the running, but will have to scramble if they want to make it forward.

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NFC Standings

Minnesota Vikings (10-2)

Week after week, the Vikings continue following a successful path. As it stands, the Vikings are locked into making the playoffs, but could it be they make it all the way to the Super Bowl held in Minnesota this year? It would be a first in NFL history, but if the Vikings continue playing as they have it’s possible.  

Philadelphia Eagles (10-2)

In losing to the Seahawks in Seattle, the Eagles lost the No. 1 seed in the NFC. They now face the tough prospect that they might not get a bye in the playoffs should they not do their job well from here on out.

Los Angeles Rams (9-3)

After beating the Cardinals on the road, the Rams are right back in the melee. They now face the Eagles and then an NFC West game with the Seahawks in Week 15, so it’s a tough road up ahead.

New Orleans Saints (9-3)

Behind another strong showing from Alvin Kamara, the Saints defeated their bitter rivals Carolina Panthers on Sunday afternoon. New Orleans also held on to the top spot in the NFC South and looks solid heading into the postseason.

Seattle Seahawks (8-4)

After beating the Eagles, the Seahawks catapulted to the No. 5 seed despite their banged up roster. Let’s see how it goes from here on out.

Carolina Panthers (8-4)

Though the Panthers are 8-4, their loss to the Saints and the Eagles has to sting. It also shows some weakness against the NFC’s elite teams and might be too hobbled to push ahead.

In the hunt:

Atlanta Falcons (7-5)

In losing to the Vikings at home, the road is tough for the Falcons with plenty of teams close behind.

Detroit Lions (6-6)

Most likely, the Lions loss to the Ravens on Sunday was a stake to the heart of their playoff hopes.

Green Bay Packers (6-6)

Aaron Rodgers might be back soon, which could put wind in the Packers sails. They could make a run for a wild card.

Dallas Cowboys (6-6)

The Boys saved the day after winning over Washington on Thursday night. But, as is true for other teams, they’ll need to scramble if they want to earn a wild card.

Arizona Cardinals (5-7)

The Cardinals are a hobbled team, but they’re holding on strong. Who knows whether they can make the playoffs under such circumstances.

Washington Redskins (5-7)

After losing to the Cowboys, Washington likely fell out of the race. But, nothing is for certain at this point.

There it is, a full lay of the land for the 2017 NFL playoffs. Now go ahead and make your bets!

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