2023 NFL Playoff Picture: How Saturday wins by Chiefs and Jaguars impact 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 have now captured the No. 1 overall in the AFC and the first round to go with it.

As the week started, the Chiefs were unable to take the No. 1 overall with a Week 18 win, but that changed on Thursday after the NFL officially decided to cancel the Bills-Bengals match. That cancellation put the Chiefs in the driver’s seat for the top seed and they took advantage of that by beating the Raiders.

Although the Chiefs have the top seed, there is still a chance they will not host the AFC Championship game. If the Bills beat the Patriots on Sunday and finally face Kansas City in the AFC title game, then the game will be played at a neutral site. If the Chiefs play a different team than the Bills, the game will be played in Kansas City.

Saturday’s nightcap took place in Jacksonville, where the Jaguars clinched the AFC South title by beating the Titans 20-16. The win was not secured until Josh Allen answered a fumble for a touchdown with less than three minutes left to play. The Jaguars’ win means they are now fourth overall in the AFC and will host a game in the wild card round next week.

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

AFC playoff standings

Dolphins (8-8):
If the Dolphins beat the Jets on Sunday, they will get the last wild card spot from the AFC IF the Patriots also lose to the Bills.
Steelers (8-8): For the Steelers to make the playoffs, three things have to happen: they have to beat the Browns, the Patriots have to lose to the Bills, and the Dolphins have to lose to the Jets.

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

Standings of the NFC playoffs

Lions (8-8):
To make the playoffs, the Lions need two things: they need to beat the Packers, and they also need the Seahawks to lose to the Rams.
Packers (8-8): While 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 fate this week. If the Packers beat the Lions on Sunday night, they will advance to the playoffs.

Wild card round matchups (based on current standings)


  • (7) Patriots against (2) Bills
  • (6) Ravens vs. (3) Bengals (Coin flip would determine the venue of this game if Baltimore beats Cincinnati on Sunday)
  • (5) Chargers on (4) Jaguars

Bye: Chefs


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

bye: Eagles

The Valley Voice
The Valley Voicehttp://thevalleyvoice.org
Christopher Brito is a social media producer and trending writer for The Valley Voice, with a focus on sports and stories related to race and culture.


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