NFL Playoff Picture: Steelers, Chiefs, Dolphins All Clinch Postseason Berths

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The AFC playoff field (mostly) is set after a wild Christmas Day in the NFL.

The Pittsburgh Steelers, Kansas City Chiefs and Miami Dolphins punched their playoff tickets, which means the New England Patriots, Oakland Raiders, Steelers, Houston Texans, Chiefs and Dolphins will be the six AFC playoff teams.

However, seeding still is up for grabs when the teams play in Week 17.

Here’s how the NFL playoff picture looks following Sunday’s Week 16 action.

AFC
East: New England Patriots (13-2)
West: Oakland Raiders (12-3)
North: Pittsburgh Steelers (10-5)
South: Houston Texans (9-6)
In the hunt for a wild-card berth: Kansas City Chiefs (11-4), Miami Dolphins (10-5)

The No. 1 seed will come down to the final week, as both the Patriots and Raiders could finish in the top spot.

The Patriots need to beat the Dolphins in Week 17 to clinch home-field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs, as the Raiders own the tiebreakers if the two teams finish with the same record. The Raiders, however, still have work to do to win the AFC West, and they won’t have quarterback Derek Carr to help do it.

The Steelers clinched the No. 3 seed with their thrilling win over the Baltimore Ravens, who have been eliminated from playoff contention. The Texans are the No. 4 seed.

The Dolphins clinched a wild-card spot thanks to the Broncos’ loss to the Chiefs, which ended Denver’s postseason chances. Either the Chiefs or the Raiders will be the other wild-card team.

NFC
East: Dallas Cowboys (12-2)
West: Seattle Seahawks (9-5-1)
North: Detroit Lions (9-5)
South: Atlanta Falcons (10-5)
In the hunt for a wild-card berth: New York Giants (10-5), Green Bay Packers (9-6), Washington Redskins (8-6-1), Tampa Bay Buccaneers (8-7)

The Cowboys will be the No. 1 seed, and the Falcons will clinch the other first-round bye with a Week 17 win over the New Orleans Saints. Both teams already have won their divisions.

The Seahawks and Giants also have clinched playoff berths. The winner of the Lions-Packers game Sunday will determine the NFC North winner, while the other team will have to fend off the Redskins and Bucs for the other wild-card spot.

Thumbnail photo via Jay Biggerstaff/USA TODAY Sports Images

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