NFL Playoff Picture: Road to MetLife begins for some, ends for others today

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

NFL playoff berths will be decided today.

After Sunday's games we will know which teamswill be traveling the Road to MetLife Stadium for Super Bowl 48 at MetLife Stadium and which teams will see their journey end. With one week to go, there are still 18 teams in contention for a trip to Super Bowl XLVIII, the most since 2008 (18). Entering Week 17, 13 of the 16 games on tap today may have playoff implications.

In the AFC, all four division winners have been determined: Denver (AFC West, first-round bye), New England (AFC East), Cincinnati (AFC North) and Indianapolis (AFC South). Kansas City (11-4) has locked up one of the two Wild Card berths leaving four teams left to battle for the final remaining playoff spot: Miami (8-7), Baltimore (8-7), San Diego (8-7) and Pittsburgh (7-8).

Denver (12-3) can secure home-field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs with a win or a New England loss. The Patriots (11-4), who can earn the No. 1 seed with a win and a Denver loss, can clinch a first-round bye with a win or losses by both Cincinnati and Indianapolis. The Bengals (10-5) can secure a bye with a win and a New England loss while the Colts (10-5) will need a win combined with losses by both New England and Cincinnati to earn the bye.

For the final Wild Card berth, none of the four remaining teams have a simple win-and-in scenario to get into the playoffs. Each of the four teams will need help to qualify for the postseason.

In the NFC, none of the four division winners have been determined. Three teams have clinched at least a playoff spot: Seattle, Carolina and San Francisco. Two divisions - NFC East (Philadelphia at Dallas) and NFC North (Green Bay at Chicago) - will be determined by "win-and-you're-in" games. New Orleans is still in play for both the division title and a Wild Card spot while Arizona remains in the hunt for a playoff berth.

Seattle (12-3) can clinch the NFC West, a first-round bye and home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs with a win or a San Francisco loss. The 49ers (11-4) can claim the division title and a first-round bye with a win and a Seattle loss. If Carolina also loses in that scenario, San Francisco will earn the No. 1 seed. The Panthers (11-4) can secure the NFC South and a first-round bye with a win or a New Orleans loss. A Carolina win paired with a Seattle loss and a San Francisco win will give the Panthers the No. 1 seed in the NFC. New Orleans (10-5) can win the NFC South and earn a first-round bye with a win and a Carolina loss. The Saints can also secure a playoff berth with a win or an Arizona loss. The Cardinals (10-5) will enter the postseason if they win and New Orleans loses.

The NFC North division title will be on the line in Week 17 when the Bears (8-7) host the Packers (7-7-1) on Sunday afternoon (FOX, 4:25 PM ET). The winner clinches the division and the loser is eliminated. On Sunday night (NBC, 8:30 PM ET), the Eagles (9-6) will visit the Cowboys (8-7) with the NFC East division crown at stake. The winner claims the division while the loser is eliminated

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