NFL Projected Playoff Bracket Before Week 17

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The Panthers are no longer unbeaten, but can lock down home-field advantage by beating the Buccaneers today. (Getty)

The regular season is almost over, and the playoffs are almost set to begin. Positions can still change, but it’s not too early to take a look at this year’s bracket as it stands.

In the NFC, teams chased the undefeated Panthers all season long. Now that they’ve been beaten, is it too late to look elsewhere for the NFC’s top dog? Several teams, including Arizona and Green Bay, will threaten the Panthers in the conference. But the real darkhorse is Seattle, who have changed their style this season and have had great success through the air.

The AFC bracket isn’t exactly locked, as the Steelers and Jets can still trade places in the standings. Because of record against common opponents, Pittsburgh can still steal the sixth seed today by defeating Cleveland and the Jets losing in Buffalo.

Here’s the bracket as it stands:

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How it can change:

– If Carolina loses and Arizona wins, the Cardinals and Panthers would swap places

– The winner of Packers-Vikings will take the 3 seed in the NFC

– If Denver wins and the Patriots lose, Denver will take the top AFC seed

– If Denver loses and the Chiefs win, the Bengals move to 2, the Chiefs move to 3, and the Broncos drop to 5

– If the Jets lose and the Steelers win, the Steelers become the sixth seed

Here’s a full schedule for the 2016 playoffs:

Wild Card — Saturday January 9 and Sunday January 10
Divisional — Saturday January 16 and Sunday 17
Conference Championship — Sunday January 24
Super Bowl 50 — Sunday February 7


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