NFL playoff picture after Week 17: 49ers hang on to win NFC West, home field; Eagles, Titans clinch final berths
Here’s how the NFL playoff picture looks with the 2019 regular season complete:
z-1. San Francisco 49ers (13-3): NFC West leader. Barely hung on to claim division and steal home-field advantage by winning final game of NFL’s 100th regular season.
y-2. Green Bay Packers (13-3): NFC North champions. Escape act in Detroit conveyed first-round bye.
x-3. New Orleans Saints (13-3): NFC South champions. Inferior conference record ultimately kept them out of mix for first-round bye. Still, they’ll be home in Superdome for wild-card round when Vikings come calling.
x-4. Philadelphia Eagles (9-7): NFC East champions. Battered team pulled away from Giants late Sunday, wrapping up the division and putting the Cowboys out to pasture.
x-5. Seattle Seahawks (11-5): Wild card No. 1. Came up inches short of winning NFC West and now must travel to face red-hot Eagles.
x-6. Minnesota Vikings (10-6): Wild card No. 2. Locked into sixth spot, they had nothing to gain Sunday. Now they’ll face wrath of Saints fans two years after Minneapolis Miracle.
x-3. New England Patriots (12-4): AFC East champions. Shocking loss to Miami relegates them to wild-card weekend for first time since 2009 by virtue of Week 14 loss to Kansas City. Pats have never reached Super Bowl under Bill Belichick and Tom Brady when they didn’t have benefit of a first-round bye. Next up: Tennessee.
x-4. Houston Texans (10-6): AFC South champions. Chiefs’ win early Sunday locked Texans into fourth slot. Houston will host Bills on wild-card weekend.
x-5. Buffalo Bills (10-6): Wild card No. 1. Lost to Jets on Sunday, but Buffalo had nothing at stake. Bills head to Houston for wild-card matchup next weekend.
x-6. Tennessee Titans (9-7): Wild card No. 2. They creamed the Texans, got Derrick Henry the rushing title … and earned coach Mike Vrabel a wild-card reunion with his former employer in New England. Titans’ win officially eliminated Steelers and Raiders.