2023 NFL Playoff Picture: How Saturday wins by Chiefs and Jaguars impacts postseason race, clinching scenarios

2023 NFL Playoff Picture: How Saturday wins by Chiefs and Jaguars impacts postseason race, clinching scenarios

The final week of the NFL season kicked off with a doubleheader on Saturday.

The first game of the day took place in Las Vegas, where Kansas City destroyed the Raiders 31-13. It was a huge win for the Chiefs, who now have the No. 1 overall seed in the AFC and the first-round bye that comes with it.

When the week began, the Chiefs were unable to clinch the No. 1 overall pick with a win in Week 18, but that changed Thursday after the NFL officially decided to cancel the Bills-Bengals game. This cancellation put the Chiefs in the driver’s seat for the top spot and they took advantage of it by beating the Raiders.

Although the leaders hold the top spot, there is still a chance that they will not host the AFC Championship match. If the Bills beat the Patriots on Sunday and end up facing Kansas City in the AFC title game, then the game will be played at a neutral site. If the Chiefs play any team other than the Bills, the game will be played in Kansas City.

Saturday night’s game took place in Jacksonville, where the Jaguars won the AFC South title by defeating the Titans, 20-16. The victory was not achieved until Josh Allen returned for a touchdown with less than three minutes to play. The win by the Jaguars means they have now clinched fourth overall in the AFC and will host a game next week in the wild card round.

With that in mind, here’s a look at the current playoff standings after wins by Kansas City and Tennessee.

AFC playoff standings

Dolphins (8-8): If the Dolphins beat the Jets on Sunday, they will take over the AFL’s last seed if the Patriots also lose to the Bills.
Steelers (8-8): For the Steelers to make the playoffs three things must happen: They must beat the Browns, the Patriots must lose to the Bills and the Dolphins must lose to the Jets.

Titans (7-10): The Titans could have made the playoffs with a win over Jacksonville, but they were officially eliminated Saturday night after losing to the Jaguars.

NFC playoff standings

Lions (8-8): To make the playoffs, the Lions will need two things to happen: They need to beat the Packers and they also need the Seahawks to lose to the Rams.
Packers (8-8): Although the Packers are currently below the Lions and Seahawks in the standings, they are actually the only one of those three teams in control of their own destiny this week. If the Packers beat the Lions on Sunday night, they’ll be in the playoffs.

Wild Card Round-robin Matches (Based on Current Standings)


(7) Patriots at (2) Bills (6) Ravens vs. (3) Bengals (A coin flip would determine the location of this game if Baltimore beats Cincinnati on Sunday) (5) Chargers at (4) Jaguars

Farewell: Chiefs


(7) Seahawks at (2) 49ers (6) Giants at (3) Vikings (5) Cowboys at (4) Buccaneers

Bye: Eagles

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