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2014 NFL playoff picture: Ravens clinch last wild card spot in AFC

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The final wild card spot in the AFC was claimed Sunday when the Ravens took down the Browns and the Chargers fell to the Chiefs.

Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

With no games on Thursday or Monday, Week 17 features a full slate of Sunday games. Coming into the day, only two playoff spots had not been claimed but seeding across both conferences remained largely up for grabs.

UPDATE: The NFC bracket is all set.

Five of the 10 morning games carried playoff implications, with three of those games centered around the final seed in the AFC. The lone wild card spot remaining was down to the San Diego Chargers, Baltimore Ravens, Houston Texans and Kansas City Chiefs. All four of those teams were in action in the early games.

The Ravens needed a couple of things to swing their way Sunday. First, they needed to beat the Cleveland Browns, which they managed to do with a fourth-quarter rally. Second, they needed the Chargers to lose to the Chiefs, which they did, 19-7. Both results gave Baltimore the No. 6 seed in the AFC, eliminating San Diego, Kansas City and Houston. With all the spots now claimed in the AFC, half of the field comes from the AFC North.

Here is the playoff picture as it stands right now:


1. New England Patriots (12-4)

2. Denver Broncos (11-4)

3. Cincinnati Bengals (10-4-1)

4. Indianapolis Colts (11-5)

5. Pittsburgh Steelers (10-5)

6. Baltimore Ravens (10-6)

Though the No. 6 seed was decided, there's still plenty on the line in the afternoon games. The Denver Broncos will try to secure the No. 2 seed with a win over the Oakland Raiders. Cincinnati can take that seed if it beats Pittsburgh and Denver loses. New England is locked in as the top seed, while the Colts would need a tie between the Bengals and Steelers to move into the third seed, so they're essentially locked in to No. 4.

The loser of the game between Pittsburgh and Cincinnati will take the fifth seed. The winner will clinch the AFC North title when the two rivals face off on Sunday Night Football.


1. Seattle Seahawks (11-4)

2. Detroit Lions (11-4)

3. Dallas Cowboys (12-4)

4. Carolina Panthers (6-8-1)

5. Green Bay Packers (11-4)

6. Arizona Cardinals (11-4)

Still alive: Atlanta Falcons (6-9)

In the early games, only the Cowboys were playing for anything. Dallas is currently the No. 3 seed and can take the No. 2 spot if the Seattle Seahawks lose to the St. Louis Rams and the Arizona Cardinals lose to the San Francisco 49ers. The Cowboys also have an outside shot of getting the No. 1 seed if the Detroit Lions and Green Bay Packers play to a tie.

That's pretty unlikely, however. Seattle can take the No. 1 seed with a win, while Arizona gets it if it wins, the Seahawks lose and the Lions win. Detroit can get it if both the Seahawks and Cardinals lose while the Lions win. The Packers claim it if they win and the Seahawks lose. The NFC South is also up for grabs, with the winner between the Carolina Panthers and Atlanta Falcons earning the No. 4 seed.