/NFL playoff picture in Week 18: Colts loss to Jaguars creates postseason opportunity for Steelers

NFL playoff picture in Week 18: Colts loss to Jaguars creates postseason opportunity for Steelers


NFL power rankings 17.0: Bengals rise to new heights, Cowboys tumble

Mackenzie Salmon looks at the risers and fallers in the second to last power rankings of the NFL regular season.


Here’s how the NFL playoff picture looks with one game left in Week 18:


yz – 1. Tennessee Titans (12-5), AFC South champions: Back-to-back division titlists also secured AFC’s bye and home-field advantage with Sunday’s win over the Houston Texans. Week 7 defeat of Chiefs gives Titans the all-important tiebreaker. Remaining schedule: TBD

y – 2. Kansas City Chiefs (12-5), AFC West champions: Pulled out a win against Denver Broncos on Saturday afternoon but Texans didn’t help them with an upset Sunday. K.C. will play on wild-card weekend for first time since 2017. Remaining schedule: TBD

y – 3. Buffalo Bills (11-6), AFC East champions: They won division thanks to New England’s loss to Dolphins but also finally cleaned up after letting New York Jets hang around. Remaining schedule: TBD

y – 4. Cincinnati Bengals (10-7), AFC North champions: Division winners for first time since 2015, but Kansas City’s victory Saturday meant Cincy couldn’t snag first-round bye. Now focus turns to winning first playoff game in three decades. Remaining schedule: TBD

x – 5. New England Patriots (10-7), wild card No. 1: Restored to postseason after one-year, post-Tom Brady hiatus. Remaining schedule: TBD

6. Los Angeles Chargers (9-7), wild card No. 2: If they win or tie Sunday night, they clinch a wild card. Do Bolts and Raiders trade kneeldowns for 70 minutes? Remaining schedule: at Raiders

7. Las Vegas Raiders (9-7), wild card No. 3: If they win or tie Sunday night, they clinch a wild card. Do Bolts and Raiders trade kneeldowns for 70 minutes? (A win moves Silver and Black up to fifth seed.) Remaining schedule: vs. Chargers

8. Pittsburgh Steelers (9-7-1), out of playoff field: In a truly bizarre day, they likely benefit most from the Indianapolis Colts’ shocking loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars. Pittsburgh’s overtime win in Baltimore eliminated the Ravens and Colts and almost clinched a wild-card spot for the Steelers. As long as the Chargers-Raiders game doesn’t end in a tie, Pittsburgh is in. Why? If the Bolts, Raiders and Steelers are deadlocked at 9-7-1, the Chargers get a wild card by virtue of a 1-0-1 record against Las Vegas plus their Week 11 defeat of Pittsburgh. The Raiders’ Week 2 win in the Steel City would convey the postseason final berth to the Silver and Black. Remaining schedule: TBD


yz – 1. Green Bay Packers (13-4), NFC North champions: They’re tied for league’s best record, but 9-3 NFC mark bests Bucs by a win. That performance has brought Aaron Rodgers and Co. a first-round bye and home-field advantage for the second straight year. Remaining schedule: TBD

y – 2. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (13-4), NFC South champions: Despite the Antonio Brown drama over the past seven days, they’ve managed to climb back to the second seed – which potentially means at least two home playoff games. Bucs are 8-1 at Raymond James Stadium this season. Remaining schedule: vs. Eagles

y – 3. Dallas Cowboys (12-5), NFC East champions: Saturday’s blowout of the Eagles didn’t improve their seeding, but Rams’ loss did and allows Dallas to avoid rematch with Arizona. Remaining schedule: vs. 49ers

y – 4. Los Angeles Rams (12-5), NFC West champions: Arizona’s loss gave them division title, allowing LA to begin its quest to play Super Bowl 56 at SoFi Stadium … at SoFi Stadium. However Rams’ 8-4 NFC record dropped them below Cowboys on Sunday. Remaining schedule: vs. Cardinals

x – 5. Arizona Cardinals (11-6), wild card No. 1: Finished 4-6 after 7-0 start but would have won NFC West by beating Seattle Seahawks on Sunday. Nope. At least wild-card weekend will truly determine division supremacy. Remaining schedule: at Rams

x – 6. San Francisco 49ers (10-7), wild card No. 2: Outlasted Rams in overtime thriller to eliminate New Orleans Saints and snag NFC’s final wild-card berth. On to Dallas. Remaining schedule: at Cowboys

x – 7. Philadelphia Eagles (9-8), wild card No. 3: Week 11 victory over Saints (9-8) ultimately made the difference. Philly rested most of its key players in Saturday’s loss to Dallas. Eagles will need all the energy they can muster as they prepare to visit Brady and the reigning champs. Remaining schedule: at Buccaneers

x – clinched berth

y – clinched division

z – clinched first-round bye and home-field advantage


Follow USA TODAY Sports’ Nate Davis on Twitter @ByNateDavis.