We know who all six AFC playoff teams are, and we have a pretty good idea of their playoff order. Week 17 isn’t meaningless in the AFC — home-field advantage is still up for grabs — but it won’t feature any dramatic changes in the way the AFC playoffs look.
The NFC is another matter. Nine teams remain alive for the six playoff spots, and although the Falcons have already clinched home-field advantage, everything else is jumbled.
Below we provide the state of the playoff race, through Week 16:
1. Texans (12-3): Houston clinches home-field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs with a win over the Colts, or if both the Broncos and the Patriots lose.
2. Broncos (12-3): Denver clinches home-field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs with a win over the Chiefs and a Texans loss to the Colts. The Broncos will be the No. 2 seed and have a first-round playoff bye with if they beat the Chiefs and the Texans beat the Colts.
3. Patriots (11-4): New England clinches home-field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs with a win over the Dolphins, plus both the Texans and the Broncos losing. New England can also earn the No. 2 seed and a first-round playoff bye with a win over the Dolphins and either the Texans or the Broncos losing.
4. Ravens (10-5): Baltimore has clinched the AFC North and cannot get a first-round playoff bye. The Ravens will be the No. 4 seed in the AFC playoffs unless they beat the Bengals and the Patriots lose to the Dolphins, in which case the Ravens would be the No. 3 and the Patriots would be the No. 4.
5. Colts (10-5): Indianapolis will definitely be the No. 5 seed in the AFC playoffs regardless of what happens next week. The Colts will most likely play at Baltimore in the wild card round.
6. Bengals (9-6): Cincinnati will definitely be the No. 6 seed in the AFC playoffs regardless of what happens next week. The Bengals will most likely play at New England in the wild card round.
1. Falcons (13-2): Atlanta has clinched home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs.
2. Packers (11-4): Green Bay earns the No. 2 seed with a win over the Vikings in Week 17, or a San Francisco loss. If the Packers lose and the 49ers win in Week 17, Green Bay will be the No. 3 seed.
3. 49ers (10-4-1): The 49ers will be the No. 2 seed if they win in Week 17 and the Packers lose, the No. 3 seed if they win and the Packers win, the No. 3 seed if they lose and the Seahawks lose, and the No. 5 seed if they lose and the Seahawks win.
4. Redskins (9-6): The winner of the Week 17 Cowboys-Redskins game wins the NFC East and will be the No. 4 seed. If the Redskins lose to the Cowboys they can still be a wild card team if they end up in a three-way tie at 9-7 with the Vikings and Bears.
5. Seahawks (9-5): Seattle has clinched a playoff berth and at least the No. 5 seed. Seattle would need to win in Week 17 while San Francisco loses to win the NFC West and move up to the No. 3 seed.
6. Vikings (9-6): Minnesota clinches a wild card with a Week 17 win over Green Bay. The Vikings also earn a wild card if the Giants, Cowboys and Bears all lose.
In the mix: The 8-7 Cowboys clinch the NFC East if they beat the Redskins in Week 17. The 9-6 Bears clinch a wild card if they beat the Lions and the Packers beat the Vikings in Week 17. The 8-7 Giants get a wild card if they beat the Eagles while the Vikings, Bears and Cowboys all lose.