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NFL playoff picture: What does Falcons-Bills mean for NFC, AFC standings

The Falcons face the Bills in Buffalo on Sunday. We break down what the game means for the NFL playoff picture.

Quarterback Josh Allen #17 of the Buffalo Bills walks to the huddle during the fourth quarter of the game against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium on December 26, 2021 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. Photo by Omar Rawlings/Getty Images

Results: Bills 29, Falcons 14 — With their 15-point win over the Falcons, the Bills have clinched a playoff spot and are still in the running for the AFC East crown.

The Atlanta Falcons fly north for the winter to take on the Buffalo Bills in Week 17. Kickoff from Highmark Stadium in Orchard Park, New York is scheduled for 1:00 p.m. ET with the game airing on FOX. Both teams are in the playoff hunt and need a win to either stay atop their division or stay in the playoff chase.

Falcons playoff picture

Current NFC standing

Heading into Week 17, the Falcons are one game back of the San Francisco 49ers and the Philadelphia Eagles. The NFC only has two playoff spots left for grabs and with two regular-season games left there are six teams still with a shot at those spots. For the Falcons, they face an uphill battle against the Bills this week, but they could also benefit from the 49ers, Eagles or Minnesota Vikings taking a loss.

Relevant Week 17 matchups

Eagles (8-7) @ Washington (6-9)
Texans (4-11) @ 49ers (8-7)
Panthers (5-10) @ Saints (7-8)
Vikings (7-8) @ Packers (12-3)

Bills playoff picture

Current AFC standing

Almost opposite of the situation in the NFC, there is only one playoff spot secured in the AFC by the Kansas City Chiefs. The Bills currently sit atop the AFC East due to a better division record than the New England Patriots. The race is tight in the AFC as there are currently six spots up for grabs and 12 teams that are still in contention for them. If the Bills can win, they can clinch a playoff spot and if they win AND the Pats lose, they clinch the AFC East.

Relevant Week 17 matchups

Chiefs (11-4) @ Bengals (9-6)
Dolphins (8-7) @ Titans (10-5)
Raiders (8-7) @ Colts (9-6)
Jaguars (2-13) @ Patriots (9-6)
Rams (11-4) @ Ravens (8-7)
Broncos (7-8) @ Chargers (8-7)
Browns (7-8) @ Steelers (7-7-1)