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2013 NFL playoff picture: NFC North, East up for grabs; final AFC seed on the line in Week 17

Here's everything you need to know about the NFC Playoff Picture heading into the final week of the season.

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Sunday's games cleared up the NFL playoff picture a little, but there's still plenty left to be decided as the regular-season winds to a close. In the AFC, all four divisions have been locked up, and four teams are competing for the sixth and final playoff seed. Only two NFC teams have officially clinched a playoff spot, and Week 17 will feature two winner-take-all affairs to decide division titles in the East and North.


NFC playoff picture

No team in the NFC seems to want to wrap up its playoff fate.

The Seahawks lost and failed to secure home-field advantage. The Lions, Packers and Bears all lost, and the NFC North is in the same place it was at the beginning of the day. Even the Saints lost with a chance to clinch the NFC South.

The result is a very different looking playoff picture coming out of Week 16.

(X) - clinched playoff berth (Y) - clinched division


No. 1 - (X) Seattle 12-3

No. 2 - (X) Carolina 11-4

No. 3 - Philadelphia 9-6

No. 4 - Chicago 8-7

No. 5 - San Francisco 10-4

No. 6 - New Orleans 10-5

In the hunt: Arizona 10-5, Green Bay 7-7-1, Dallas 8-7

The Arizona Cardinals pulled off a shocking upset of the Seahawks in Seattle and are still in the thick of the wild card race. By winning, the Cardinals also kept the 49ers in contention for the NFC West title and the No. 1 seed in the NFC. The 49ers need to beat the Falcons on Monday Night Football and take care of business against the Cardinals in Week 17 to win the division. They would also need the Seahawks to lose to the Rams next week. Seattle will secure home-field advantage with a win in Week 17 or one more 49ers loss in the next two weeks.

Arizona, meanwhile, needs a lot of help to get into the postseason. The Cardinals are tied with the Saints for the final wild card spot, but New Orleans has the tiebreaker. San Francisco clinches a playoff spot with a win against Atlanta on Monday Night Football. If the 49ers win, the Cardinals will need to beat the 49ers and have the Saints lose to the Buccaneers in order to get in.

Both the NFC East and NFC North will be decided in Week 17. The Eagles and Cowboys will play in Dallas for the division championship in the East, while the Bears and Packers play with the NFC North Championship on the line.

AFC playoff picture

While the first five seeds in the AFC are locked in, the sixth seed will provide plenty of drama. There is a four-way tie at the No. 6 seed and all four teams are still alive for the second wild card spot.

Here's a look at the updated AFC playoff picture.

(X) - clinched playoff berth (Y) - clinched division


No. 1 - (Y) Denver 12-3

No. 2 - (Y) New England 11-4

No. 3 - (Y) Cincinnati 10-5

No. 4 - (Z) Indianapolis 10-5

No. 5 - (X) Kansas City 11-4

No. 6 - Miami 8-7

In the hunt: Baltimore 8-7, San Diego 8-7, Pittsburgh 7-8

Not only did the Patriots clinch the AFC East on Sunday, but they also managed to stay in the hunt for the top seed in the conference and stay a game ahead of the Colts and Bengals for a first-round bye in the playoffs. Both the Bengals and the Colts could also jump into the second seed, but they'd need a New England loss next week to the Bills next week.

Things get interesting when it comes to the final wild card spot. With the Chargers' win, it forced a three-way tie between San Diego, Miami and Baltimore. If all three teams win in Week 17, Miami will head to the playoffs. If Miami and Baltimore win, but San Diego loses, Baltimore will head to the postseason since it has the head-to-head tiebreaker with Miami. If the Chargers win, but the Ravens and Dolphins lose, the Chargers get the final wild card spot. But if all three teams lose and Pittsburgh wins, the Steelers will sneak away with the No. 6 seed.

Get ready for a high stakes Week 17 in the AFC.

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