The NFL playoff picture
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Six teams from each conference make the playoffs — the four division winners plus two wild-card teams. The first three tiebreakers within a division are head-to-head, division record, and record vs. common opponents; the first three for a wild-card spot involving teams not in the same division are head-to-head, conference record, and record vs. common opponents. The two division winners with the best records get first-round byes for the playoffs. The leading contenders in each conference (records reflect games played through Dec. 17).
|c-Houston||12-2||5-0||10-1||Minnesota, at Indianapolis|
|c-Denver||11-3||5-0||8-2||Cleveland, Kansas City|
|c-New England||10-4||5-0||9-1||at Jacksonville, Miami|
|pd-Baltimore||9-5||4-1||8-3||NY Giants, at Cincinnati|
|Indianapolis||9-5||3-2||6-4||at Kansas City, Houston|
|Cincinnati||8-6||1-3||5-5||at Pittsburgh, Baltimore|
|Miami||6-8||1-3||4-6||Buffalo, at New England|
|c-Atlanta||12-2||3-2||8-2||at Detroit, Tampa Bay|
|pd-San Fran||10-3-1||2-1-1||6-3-1||at Seattle, Arizona|
|c-Green Bay||10-4||5-0||8-3||Tennessee, at Minnesota|
|d-Washington||8-6||3-1||6-4||at Philadelphia, Dallas|
|Seattle||9-5||1-3||6-4||San Francisco, St. Louis|
|Minnesota||8-6||3-2||6-5||at Houston, Green Bay|
|Chicago||8-6||2-3||5-5||at Arizona, at Detroit|
|Dallas||8-6||3-2||5-5||New Orleans, at Washington|
|NY Giants||8-6||2-3||7-4||at Baltimore, Philadelphia|
|St. Louis||6-7-1||4-0-1||5-4-1||at Tampa Bay, at Seattle|
|Tampa Bay||6-8||2-3||3-7||St. Louis, at Atlanta|
|New Orleans||6-8||3-2||4-6||at Dallas, Carolina|
c — clinched division title; p — clinched playoff berth; d — division leader.
The race for the AFC’s top two seeds:
Houston: The Texans control their own destiny. They clinch home-ﬁeld advantage throughout the playoffs with one more win. Houston can also be the No. 2 seed. The only way the Texans won’t get a bye is if they lose their remaining games while both the Broncos and Patriots win all theirs.
Denver: The Broncos’ only way to gain the top seed: two wins and two Houston losses. Denver clinches the No. 2 spot and a ﬁrst-round bye by winning its final two games against the Browns and Chiefs.
New England: To be the No. 1 seed, the Patriots would need to win twice, the Texans would need to lose both games, and the Broncos would need to lose at least once. A more realistic goal: If Denver gets upset while the Patriots win their final two games, New England would earn the No. 2 seed on a tiebreaker.
Baltimore: Because of tiebreakers, the Ravens can’t clinch the top seed. Baltimore’s only scenario for a bye: two wins, two Denver losses and two New England losses.