The NFL playoff schedule along with the updated Super Bowl odds for the 2017 postseason teams are set. It took every game of the regular season, literally, to know which teams were officially in the NFL playoffs and what seed they would fall into.
According to a NFL.com report, while we knew every team who would be in the postseason from the AFC conference before Week 17 began, we didn’t know the seeds – and now we do.
The New England Patriots sewed up the No. 1 spot in the AFC conference after thrashing the Miami Dolphins 35-14. Tom Brady and the Patriots were not about to repeat history, and that was evident from the very beginning.
Last season the Patriots dropped a Week 17 contest to the Dolphins 20-10. That loss kept New England from getting home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. The Patriots had to travel to Denver for that AFC title game and they fell short by the final score of 20-18.
The Oakland Raiders entered play on Sunday as the No. 2 seed in the AFC, however, after losing to the Denver Broncos they have fallen to the No. 5 seed. Oakland lost starting quarterback Derek Carr last weekend with a leg injury and now they may be with backup Matt McGloin. McGloin suffered a shoulder injury during the Raiders vs. Broncos game and was replaced by former Michigan State QB Connor Cook.
The Raiders’ loss along with the Kansas City Chiefs’ win over the San Diego Chargers now puts the Chiefs in the No. 2 seed, giving them a first round bye.
While home-field advantage doesn’t guarantee a team a clear path to the Super Bowl, it sure does help.
History shows that having a home game in the postseason helps tremendously and having home field throughout the playoffs is even better. Sixty-nine percent of the time since 1982, the No. 1 seed in the conference has reached the title game and/or the Super Bowl.
Yes, home field matters.
In the NFC, the Washington Redskins just had to pull off a win and they were in the 2017 playoffs.
They blew that opportunity in front of their hometown fans as they fell to the New York Giants 19-10.
Surprisingly, the Giants played all of their starters the entire game. Many NFL insiders believed that Eli Manning along with several other starters would play just a quarter or two, however, they played the complete game and in actuality they looked like the team fighting for a playoff spot more than the Redskins did.
The loss by Washington put both the Detroit Lions and Green Bay Packers in the postseason before they even teed it up for Sunday night football. It is a good thing for Detroit Lions fans that New York defeated the Redskins because the Lions fell to the Packers at home on Sunday night 31-24. The Green Bay win gives the Packers the NFC North title and means they will host the New York Giants next Sunday.
The Lions will now have to travel to Seattle to face the Seahawks in their Wild Card matchup.
The Atlanta Falcons grabbed the No. 2 seed after defeating the New Orleans Saints, thus making the Cowboys and Falcons the top two teams in the NFC.
It is going to be a wild ride from here on out, but as NFL fans always say, now the real season begins!
Below is a look at the first round matchups for the 2017 NFL playoffs along with the current odds to win Super Bowl 51. You can click here for a NFL playoff printable bracket to keep up with all the possible playoff scenarios.
- Patriots +200
- Cowboys +350
- Steelers +800
- Packers +900
- Seahawks +1200
- Chiefs +1200
- Falcons +1200
- Giants +1400
- Raiders +4000
- Lions +5000
- Texans +5000
- Dolphins +6600
WILD CARD WEEKEND: SATURDAY, JAN. 7
AFC Wild Card Playoffs: No. 5 Oakland at No. 4 Houston (-1) — 4:35 p.m. — ESPN/ABC
NFC Wild Card Playoffs: No. 6 Detroit at No. 3 Seattle (-7.5) — 8:15 p.m. — NBC
WILD CARD WEEKEND: SUNDAY, JAN. 8
AFC Wild Card Playoffs: No. 6 Miami at No. 3 Pittsburgh (-7) — 1:05 p.m. — CBS
NFC Wild Card Playoffs: No. 5 New York Giants at No. 4 Green Bay (-6) — 4:40 p.m. — FOX
[Featured Image by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images]