January 31, 2023

Raven Tribune

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2023 NFL Playoff Picture: The Seahawks or Packers will take the NFC’s final spot; Dolphins get the seventh seed in the AFC Championship

The final week of the NFL regular season always gives us a lot of drama, and this year was no different.

The Seahawks kept their playoff hopes alive with one of the fiercest wins of the day. With just three minutes left in the fourth quarter, the Seahawks were trailing 16-13 and on the brink of being eliminated from the playoffs, but they managed to force overtime as Jason Myers kicked the game-winning field goal from 32 yards to give Seattle a 3-0 win. win 19-16.

The Seahawks victory means that the Lions are now eliminated from the playoff game prior to Sunday night’s game against Green Bay. If the Packers beat the Lions, Green Bay will advance to the postseason, but if the Packers lose, Seattle will head to the playoffs.

On the early game slate, the Dolphins were the big winners after they managed to sneak into the playoffs by stealing the seventh seed in the AFC away from the Patriots.

To enter the postseason, the Dolphins needed a win over the Jets and a loss against New England, who were playing the Bills. The Dolphins were brimming with the Jets, but they pulled off an 11-6 win after Jason Sanders kicked a 50-yard field goal with only 18 seconds left to play (Miami also got a safety on the final play putting them up to 11 points). The victory over the Jets marked the first time since 2003 that Miami was able to win a game without scoring a touchdown.

The Dolphins officially punched their ticket to the postseason after the Bills beat the Patriots 35-23, a victory that came thanks in large part to two touchdown returns from Nyheim Hines. Buffalo’s victory means the AFC Championship at a neutral site still stands, and that will happen if the Bills and Chiefs end up meeting in the AFC title game.

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The only thing that won’t happen is a coin flip to determine where the Bengals and Ravens play in the wild card round. Even though those two teams play next week, the game will officially be in Cincinnati, thanks to the Bengals’ 27-16 win over Baltimore.

With that in mind, here’s a look at the current playoff standings heading into Sunday night’s game.

AFC Supplement Ranking

exclusion

Steelers (9-8): The Steelers had a win in week 18, but to make the playoffs they needed the Dolphins to lose to the Jets and that didn’t happen. The only upside here for Mike Tomlin is that the streak of consecutive seasons ending above .500 will rise to 16 in a row.
Patriots (8-9): All the Patriots had to do to get into the playoffs Buffalo won on Sunday, but they couldn’t do it, meaning they’d be sitting at home for the postseason.
Titans (7-10): The Giants could have entered the playoffs with a win over Jacksonville, but they were officially eliminated on Saturday night after losing to the Jaguars.

NFC Match Ranking

still alive

Packs (8-8): Although the Packers are currently below the Seahawks in the standings, they are in control of their own destiny on Sunday night. For Green Bay, it’s pretty simple: If the Packers beat the Lions, they’ll head to the playoffs.

exclusion

Black (8-8): To stay in the playoffs, the Lions needed the Rams to beat the Seahawks, but that didn’t happen, meaning the Lions had no path to the postseason. The Lions will play for pride Sunday night knowing that if they beat the Packers, Green Bay will also be eliminated from the playoffs.

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Wild card round matches (based on current standings)

AFC (all official AFC matches)

  • (7) Dolphin for the price of (2) bills
  • (6) Crows in (3) Bengals
  • (5) Chargers in (4) Jaguar

Farewell: (1) Presidents

NFC

  • (7) Seahawks at (2) 49ers
  • (6) Giants in (3) Vikings
  • (5) a cowboy (4) a pirate

Farewell(1) Eagles