NFL playoff picture entering Week 18 2021: AFC, NFC clinch scenarios

Here's how the NFL playoff picture looks going into Week 18:


y – 1. Tennessee Titans (11-5), AFC South champions: Huge win Sunday, Tennessee now back-to-back division titlists while moving to the top of the conference standings due to Kansas City's loss. Week 7 defeat of the Chiefs means a Tennessee victory in Week 18 will give the Titans the AFC's bye and home-field advantage. They can also be No. 1 despite a loss if the Chiefs and Bengals both lose along with either a Patriots defeat or Bills victory. Remaining schedule: at Texans

y – 2. Kansas City Chiefs (11-5), AFC West champions: They lost their eight-game winning streak in Cincinnati and control of first place in the AFC. K.C. needs win plus a Tennessee loss to earn No. 1 seed for the third time in four seasons. Remaining schedule: at Broncos

Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Tyler Boyd (83) celebrates a go-ahead touchdown catch in the fourth quarter during a Week 17 NFL game against the Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, Jan. 2, 2022, at Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati. The Cincinnati Bengals defeated the Kansas City Chiefs, 34-31. With the win the, the Cincinnati Bengals won the AFC North division and advance to the NFL playoffs.

y – 3. Cincinnati Bengals (10-6), AFC North champions: Division winners for the first time since 2015, they've still got a shot at the conference's top seed but need a lot of help – including losses by K.C. and Tennessee. Then Cincy's focus turns to winning its first playoff game in three decades. Remaining schedule: at Browns

x – 4. Buffalo Bills (10-6), AFC East leaders: By eliminating the Atlanta Falcons and benefiting from Baltimore's loss to the Rams, Buffalo is headed to the playoffs for the third consecutive season. The Bills trail Cincinnati due to an inferior record in AFC games (6-5) but will win the division with a victory next week because their AFC East record (4-1) trumps New England's. However there's no scenario that gets Buffalo the No. 1 seed. Remaining schedule: vs. Jets

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