NFL Regular Season Is Over And Here’s How The Playoffs Shape Up

Last weekend saw the final games of the Regular Season contested in the National Football League, and with them we saw the 14 teams that made it through to the playoffs confirmed in full for the first time.

Of course, many teams had already earned their playoff berth ahead of this set of games, but for some, it was a make-or-break weekend.

In this article, we are going to give you a look at how the final set of games in the NFL turned out, how the regular season divisional tables finished and then we will look forward to the six Super Wildcard Weekend games we have coming up this weekend.

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So let’s begin with a recap of how the final games of the season finished and how that affected the final divisional standings of the year.

NFL Matchday 18 – Results

  • Kansas City Chiefs 31-13 Las Vegas Raiders

A solid win for the Chiefs ensured that they will start the Post-Season as the provisional Number 1 ranked team in the AFC and that they will have a Bye on Week 1.

  • Tennessee Titans 16-20 Jacksonville Jaguars

A late Josh Allen strip sack and fumble return for a touchdown was enough to hand the Jaguars an AFC South winning victory over the Titans, who lost seven in a row to finish the season, while the Jags finished with five wins in succession.

  • Cleveland Browns 14-28 Pittsburgh Steelers

Despite a solid showing, the Steelers victory against the Browns proved fruitless after Miami’s win over the Jets ensured they’d replace the Patriots in the playoffs.

  • Baltimore Ravens 16-27 Cincinnati Bengals

The Bengals avoid a coin toss against the Ravens to decide who wins the division and they confirm themselves as the third seed in the AFC.

  • Minnesota Vikings 29-13 Chicago Bears

A solid win for the Vikings means they are the third seed in the NFC.

  • New England Patriots 23-35 Buffalo Bills

Victory for the Bills ensures they qualify as provisional #2 seed in the AFC, but if they face the Chiefs in the Conference Championship, this match will be played at a neutral venue. The loss for the Patriots means that they miss out on the playoffs due to Miami’s win.

  • New York Jets 6-11 Miami Dolphins

A hard fought win for the Dolphins in a game with zero touchdowns was enough to earn them the seventh and final playoff spot in the AFC.

  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers 17-30 Atlanta Falcons

Disappointing end to the season for the Bucs who lose to the Falcons.

  • Carolina Panthers 10-7 New Orleans Saints

Nothing riding on this game but the win for the Panthers means that the Bucs finish 8-9 and the three other teams finish 7-10 in the NFC South.

  • Houston Texans 32-31 Indianapolis Colts

A crazy game which saw the Texans claim a win with a successful two point conversion, but the win sees the Texans drop from being top pick of the 2023 draft, to second pick.

  • Arizona Cardinals 13-38 San Francisco 49ers

JJ Watt landed two sacks in his final game, but the 49ers confirmed second seed status in the NFC with another easy victory.

  • Dallas Cowboys 6-26 Washington Commanders

A hugely disappointing display by the Cowboys means they finish 12-5 and are the fifth seed in the NFC.

  • Los Angeles Rams 16-19 Seattle Seahawks (OT)

A tight game saw the Seahawks move to 9-8 and on the brink of the playoffs thanks to an overtime field goal. However, the Seahawks still needed the Packers to lose to the Lions to confirm their place.

  • New York. Giants 16-22 Philadelphia Eagles

Jalen Hurts return saw him lead the Eagles to a narrow win over the Giants a win which confirmed them as both the #1 seed in the NFC and the NFC East Champions.

  • Los Angeles Chargers 28-31 Denver Broncos

The Chargers had little to play for as they were already locked in to the playoffs as the AFC 5th seed as Russell Wilson had his best game as a Bronco.

  • Detroit Lions 20-16 Green Bay Packers

The Detroit Lions finish with a winning record and deny the Packers a playoff spot with a win in Lambeau Field, ensuring that they finish 2nd in the AFC North but just miss out on the playoffs.

NFL Standings After Matchday 18

NFC North NFC West NFC East NFC South 
AFC North AFC West AFC East AFC South 
  • Teams qualified for the playoffs are shown in Italics.
  • Teams confirmed as Divisional Winners are shown in Bold.
  • *Bengals and Bills played just 16 games after their Week 17 game was postponed.

NFL Playoffs – Seedings

NFC Seedings

  1. Philadelphia Eagles – 14-3 – Bye for Week 1 of the Playoffs
  2. San Francisco 49ers – 13-4
  3. Minnesota Vikings – 13-4
  4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – 8=9
  5. Dallas Cowboys – 12-5
  6. New York Giants – 9-7-1
  7. Seattle Seahawks – 9-8

AFC Seedings

  1. Kansas City Chiefs* – 14-3 – Bye for Week 1 of the Playoffs
  2. Buffalo Bills* – 13-3
  3. Cincinnati Bengals* – 12-4
  4. Jacksonville Jaguars – 9-8
  5. Los Angeles Chargers – 10-7
  6. Baltimore Ravens – 10-7
  7. Miami Dolphins – 9-8

*If the Chiefs and Bills make it to the Conference Championship game, then this game will be played at a neutral venue decided by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.

Bills & Bengals game from Week 17 was postponed and will not be played. Hence both these teams played just 16 games in the season.

NFL Playoffs – Schedule of Games – Super Wildcard Weekend

Saturday 14th January

  • Seattle Seahawks (9-8) @ San Francisco 49ers (13-4)

The two NFC West rivals will meet for the third time this season with the 49ers very much the favourites to win the game. They beat the Seahawks 27-7 in September and then followed that up with a 21-13 win just a few weeks back as their winning record now stretches to ten games.

The Seahawks are +10 underdogs with bet365 Sport and that is with Mr Irrelevant from the 2022 Draft, Brock Purdy, in at QB for the 49ers. Geno Smith though can cause this 49ers defense problems, the question is whether the Seahawks can score enough points to trouble the 49ers.

I don’t think they can and my prediction here is a comfortable 49ers victory.

Prediction – Seahawks 17-31 49ers

  • Los Angeles Chargers (10-7) @ Jacksonville Jaguars (9-8)

Strange as it may seem, but the Jacksonville Jaguars are one of the form teams in the AFC at present winning all their last five games and seven of their last nine to claim the AFC South and they should be confident as they face a Chargers team they played on Week 3 of the season. Landing a 38-10 win in Duval County, Florida.

The Chargers have blown hot and cold this season, they have struggled against higher quality teams (losing to the Chiefs (twice), 49ers and Seahawks but they have earned most of their wins against teams without winning records.

That makes this a tough game to call, but I feel momentum is with the Jaguars at the moment and they should be confident after that season 3 win, so I am backing the Jags to land a narrow win here.

Prediction – Los Angeles Chargers 24-28 Jacksonville Jaguars

Sunday 15th January

  • Miami Dolphins (9-8) @ Buffalo Bills (13-3)

Will Tua Tagovailoa be back for the game? That is the question Miami Dolphins fans want the answer to, but they may have to wait until later this week for the answer as they face their AFC East opponents Buffalo Bills on Wildcard Weekend.

The Bills are the provisional second seed in the AFC, having played a game less than other teams, but they will start the hot favourites here, despite the fact the teams split the two games that they played during the regular season.

For me, the Dolphins only stand a chance of Tagovailoa and Tyreek Hill are fully fit for the game and with those two players, plus running back Raheem Mostert a doubt, I think this means that the Bills should be in for a relatively comfortable game here.

Prediction – Miami Dolphins 17-41 Buffalo Bills

  • New York Giants (9-7-1) @ Minnesota Vikings (13-4)

The Vikings put in a solid performance to claim the win over the Bears on the final week of the season, while the Giants rested their starters as they succumbed to a narrow defeat to the Philadelphia Eagles.

Whether Brian Daboll made the right call there we will find out in this game which is one that I think could produce something of an upset. The Giants will have to find a way to stop Justin Jefferson though and that may be the key aspect of this game.

If Jefferson has a big game then I think the Vikings win but I am backing the Giants to keep this one close and perhaps take the win late on.

Prediction – New York Giants – 24-21 Minnesota Vikings

  • Baltimore Ravens (10-7) @ Cincinnati Bengals (12-4)

These AFC North opponents will meet for the third time this season and the second time in a week after the Bengals avenged a 19-17 loss to the Ravens back in October with a 27-16 win last week in Ohio.

In truth, the injury hit Ravens offense just doesn’t look likely to be able to make much of an impact on the Bengals, who have won all their last eight games, the best run currently in the AFC, while the Ravens have lost both their last two.

With no sign of Lamar Jackson returning at quarterback, I think this will be another relatively comfortable win for the Bengals who are the team I think most teams want to avoid in the AFC at present.

Prediction – Baltimore Ravens 13-31 Cincinnati Bengals

Monday 16th January

  • Dallas Cowboys (12-5) @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers (8-9)

Both these teams come into this game having lost their last match up and while the Cowboys have the better record on the season, it is the Bucs who are at home vuby virtue of winning the somewhat weak NFC South.

You’d tend to think that Dallas are the team to back here given their defense and the potential their offense has to score points, but it is worth noting that when these teams met on the opening week of the season, the Buccaneers ran out 19-3 winners.

On their day that Cowboys offense can put up plenty of points, scoring 49 against the Bears, 40 against the Vikings and Eagles, as well as 54 against the Colts. If their defence can get to Brady, then I feel the Cowboys will be the team to move on.

Prediction – Dallas Cowboys 28-17 Tampa Bay Buccaneers