The final week of the NFL regular season always gives us a lot of drama, and this year has been no different.
The Seahawks kept their playoff hopes alive with one of the wildest wins of the day. With just three minutes left in the fourth quarter, the Seahawks were trailing 16-13 and on the brink of elimination from the playoffs, but they managed to force overtime where Jason Myers hit a game-winning field goal from 32 yards away to give Seattle a 19-16 wins.
The victory by the Seahawks means that the Lions are now eliminated from playoff contention heading into their Sunday night game against Green Bay. If the Packers beat the Lions, then Green Bay will advance to the postseason, but if the Packers lose, then Seattle will be headed to the playoffs.
In the early slate of games, the Dolphins were the biggest winner after they were able to sneak into the playoffs by stealing the seventh seed in the AFC away from the Patriots.
To get in the postseason, the Dolphins needed a win over the Jets and a loss by New England, which was playing the Bills. The Dolphins had their hands full with the Jets, but they were able to come away with an 11-6 win after Jason Sanders hit a 50-yard field goal with just 18 seconds left to play (Miami also got a safety on the final play , which pushed it to 11 points). The victory over the Jets marked the first time since 2003 that Miami was able to win a game without scoring a touchdown.
The Dolphins officially punched their ticket to the postseason after the Bills beat the Patriots 35-23, a victory that came thanks in large part to two kickoff return touchdowns by Nyheim Hines. The win by Buffalo means that a neutral-site AFC Championship is still in play, and that will happen if the Bills and Chiefs end up meeting in the AFC title game.
One thing that won’t be happening is a coin flip to determine where the Bengals and Ravens will be playing in the wild-card round. Although those two teams will be playing next week, the game will officially be in Cincinnati, thanks to the Bengals’ 27-16 win over Baltimore.
With that in mind, here’s a look at the current playoff standings heading into the Sunday night game.
AFC playoff standings
Steelers (9-8): The Steelers picked up a win in Week 18, but to make the playoffs, they needed the Dolphins to lose to the Jets and that didn’t happen. The only upside here for Mike Tomlin is that his streak of consecutive seasons finishing above .500 will increase to 16 straight.
Patriots (8-9): All the Patriots had to do to get in the playoffs was beat Buffalo on Sunday, but they couldn’t get that done, which means they’ll be sitting at home for the postseason.
Titans (7-10): The Titans could have gotten into the playoffs with a win over Jacksonville, but they were officially eliminated on Saturday night after losing to the Jaguars.
NFC playoff standings
Packers (8-8): Although the Packers are currently below the Seahawks in the standings, they actually control their fate going into Sunday night. For Green Bay, it’s pretty simple: If the Packers beat the Lions, they’ll be headed to the playoffs.
Lions (8-8): To stay in playoff contention, the Lions needed the Rams to beat the Seahawks, but that didn’t happen, which means the Lions have no path to the postseason. The Lions will be playing for pride on Sunday night knowing that if they beat the Packers, Green Bay will also be eliminated from the playoffs.
Wild card round matchups (based on current standings)
AFC (all games official in the AFC)
- (7) Dolphins at (2) Bills
- (6) Ravens at (3) Bengals
- (5) Chargers at (4) Jaguars
bye (1) Chiefs
- (7) Seahawks at (2) 49ers
- (6) Giants at (3) Vikings
- (5) Cowboys at (4) Buccaneers
bye: (1) Eagles
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