The 2021 NFL season has come to the end of its new 17-game schedule with only one game remaining for each team. Here’s the updated standings check and what the playoff picture looks like for the final week 18.
The league has retained its expanded field of play, with 14 of its 32 teams (43.8%) set to advance to the final playoffs. This includes 7 each from the AFC and NFC, with only the No.1 seeds securing passes in addition to the home court advantage.
Who would be, who is still in contention and who should be thinking about next season? Here’s a full rundown:
NFL POWER RANKS:
The chiefs, the cowboys, the colts go astray; Titans, Bengals and Raiders rise for week 18
NFL Ranking for Week 18
AFC qualifying photo
Who would be in it?
1. Kansas City Chiefs (12-5), champions, AFC West. The Chiefs lost to the Bengals in Week 17 to lose control of the AFC playoff seed. To get back to No.1 after beating the Broncs in Week 18, they need a loss to the Titans in Week 1. They won’t fall any lower than that given the cushion between them and the Bengals and the Bills.
2. Tennessee Titans (11-5), champions, AFC South. The Titans won the division with their Week 17 home loss to the Dolphins, while the Colts, second, also lost to the Raiders. They had the bonus of returning to the seed and home field advantage in the AFC playoffs with the loss of the Chiefs. They have the tiebreaker due to a Week 7 home win over Kansas City. They have to beat the Texans in Week 18 to get the lone pass.
3. Cincinnati Bengals (10-6), champions, AFC North. The Bengals won the division title with their thrilling Week 17 victory over the Chiefs, further bolstered by the Ravens’ home loss to the Rams. They also stayed ahead of the winning Bills, which they did not play, due to a higher record in the AFC game (8-3 v 6-5). A win in Week 18 would keep them here and perhaps allow them to move the Chiefs to No.2. A loss could open the door for the Bills to jump here and the Bengals to end up at No.4. Either way, the Bengals are key players at rest, including QB Joe Burrow against the Browns. Remaining time: at the CLE
4. Buffalo Bills (10-6), first place, AFC Est. The Bills stayed here for Week 18, rallying in the second half to beat the NFC Falcons at home in Week 17. The victory allowed them to keep pace with the winning Titans and Bengals and win a game. against the Chiefs. They also stayed ahead of the winning Patriots due to a higher division record (4-1 to 3-2). They’ll win the Division and at least No. 4 with a victory over the Jets in Week 18 and could move up to No. 2 depending on what the Chiefs and Bengals do. However, reaching No.1 on the Titans doesn’t happen, as this team has beaten both the Bills and the Chiefs.
5. New England Patriots (10-6), second place, AFC East. The Patriots ended their two-game losing streak as planned by destroying the Jaguars in Week 17. They kept pace with the winning Bills to push the division race into the final week, needing a win. over the Dolphins and a loss for the Bills to retake the East. The Week 17 win also pushed the Patriots to a game ahead of the Colts, to whom they lost in Week 15.
6. Indianapolis Colts (9-7), second place, AFC South. The Colts failed to secure a wildcard spot behind the winning Titans as they lost to the Raiders at home in Week 17. It cost them a spot, going from No.5 ahead of the Patriots to behind them. The Colts still need one more win in Week 18 against the Jaguars or another loss for the Ravens to the Steelers to secure a wild card spot. Their playoff chances remain strong despite the loss.
7. Los Angeles Chargers (9-7), second place, AFC West. The Chargers returned to the playoff position with their home win over the Broncos, rebounding from the poor loss to the Texans. They are so far in last place on the Raiders before playing them again in Las Vegas because they beat them at home in Week 4. The rematch winner will be in the playoffs at 10-7.
Who can go there?
8. The Adventurers of Las Vegas (9-7)
9. Pittsburgh Steelers (8-7-1)
10. Baltimore Ravens (8-8)
The Chargers replaced the Raiders, whom they beat once and replayed in Week 18, with their victory over the Broncos. The Steelers stayed alive by beating the Browns and will start their Week 18 game with the Ravens having a chance, like their opponents.
Who is about to go out?
11. Miami Dolphins (8-8, eliminated)
12. Cleveland Browns (7-9, eliminated)
13. Denver Broncos (7-10, eliminated)
14. New York Jets (4-12, eliminated)
15. Houston Texans (4-12, eliminated)
16. Jacksonville Jaguars (2-14, eliminated)
The Browns, Broncos and Dolphins were all eliminated by the Chargers by beating the Broncos.
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NFC playoff photo
Who would be in it?
1. Green Bay Packers (13-3), champions, NFC North. The Packers clinched the No.1 seed, lone pass and home ground advantage from Lambeau in the NFC playoffs with their victory over the Vikings in Week 17, tying their two-season record. previous games with Aaron Rodgers under Matt LaFleur with one more game remaining in the new schedule. They will rest Rodgers and their other key regulars against the Lions in Week 18.
2. Los Angeles Rams (12-4), first place, NFC West. The Rams nabbed a playoff berth before entering the field against the Ravens, but still clinched the Week 17 victory in Baltimore. They couldn’t win the division after the Cardinals beat the Cowboys, but the Rams came in at No.2 ahead of the Cowboys with the West lead and may look to wrap up at home against the 49ers in the Week 18. They also hold a head-to-head tiebreaker against the Buccaneers.
3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (12-4), champions, NFC South. The Buccaneers unexpectedly beat the Jets in Week 17 to keep pace with the winning Rams and also jump the losing Cowboys. They would have a chance to move up to No. 2 with a win over the Panthers in Week 18 and if the Rams, who beat them in Week 3, lose to the 49ers.
4. Dallas Cowboys (12-5), champions, NFC Est. The Cowboys rebounded to rout the resting Eagles in Week 18 after losing to the Cardinals in a failed comeback in Week 17 to fall behind the winning Rams and Buccaneers. The division came full circle in Week 16, but the Cowboys missed the opportunity to push for the No.1 seed behind the Packers. They probably now stay at No.4 and would have a home rematch against the Cardinals for now.
5. Arizona Cardinals (11-5), second place, NFC West. The Cardinals, who clinched at least the top wildcard spot, stayed alive in the NFC West race by beating the Cowboys and keeping pace with the winning Rams. They can still win the West based on the division’s record-breaking tie-breaker (5-1 to 3-3) if they can beat the Seahawks at home in Week 18 while the Rams lose at home to the 49ers.
6. San Francisco 49ers (9-7), third place, NFC West. The 49ers moved closer to securing a wild card with their Week 17 home win over the Texans, but they still have some work to do against the Rams in Week 18. They stayed ahead of the Eagles. winners because they beat this team on the road in Week 2. They need a win against the Rams or a loss for the Saints to the Falcons to qualify for the playoffs.
7. Philadelphia Eagles (9-8), second place, NFC East. The Eagles took care of their business as they beat Washington in Week 17. They nabbed a wildcard behind the Cowboys in the division, with the Vikings losing to the Packers. They rested the home players against the Cowboys in Week 18, with the chance to rise just one spot to No.6.
Who can go there?
8. Saints of New Orleans (8-8)
The Saints kept the pressure on the winning 49ers by beating the Panthers in Week 17. They can advance to the playoffs with a win over the Falcons and a loss by the 49ers to the Rams, both very possible outcomes.
Who is about to go out?
9. Minnesota Vikings (7-9, eliminated)
10. Atlanta Falcons (7-9, eliminated)
11. Washington Football Team (6-10, eliminated)
12. Chicago Bears (6-10, eliminated)
13. Seattle Seahawks (6-10, eliminated)
14. Carolina Panthers (5-11, eliminated)
15. New York Giants (4-12, eliminated)
16. Detroit Lions (2-13-1, eliminated)
Minnesota, Atlanta and Washington were the last teams to join this equally active club with their Week 17 losses.