Mariota leads Titans to AFC wild-card, playoff picture is framed in the NFL

Tennessee Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota (8) is brought down by Jacksonville Jaguars outside linebacker Myles Jack (44) in the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Dec. 31, 2017, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/James Kenney) Photo Credit: AP

Whew! The NFL’s playoff seeds and first-round matchups were set in dramatic fashion.

Buffalo got the final postseason berth when Cincinnati stunned Baltimore. The Bengals scored on a fourth-and-12 when Andy Dalton hooked up with Tyler Boyd for a 49-yard score with 53 seconds remaining. The unlikely outcome scrambled the postseason picture for five AFC teams: Baltimore, Buffalo, Jacksonville, Kansas City and Tennessee.

The Bills will be in the playoffs for the first time since 1999. They had the longest postseason drought of any pro team in North America.

The Titans earned the other AFC wild-card spot by beating the Jaguars.

New Orleans won the NFC South despite losing at Tampa Bay in the final minute. It was the only division race unsettled going into Sunday. Fellow NFL South teams Carolina and Atlanta earned NFC wild cards.

Baltimore (9-7) and the Los Angeles Chargers (9-7) were eliminated in the AFC. Seattle (9-7) missed out in the NFC.

So the postseason seeds look like this:

AFC

  1. New England (13-3)
  2. Pittsburgh (13-3)
  3. Jacksonville (10-6)
  4. Kansas City (10-6)
  5. Tennessee (9-7)
  6. Buffalo (9-7)

NFC

  1. Philadelphia (13-3)
  2. Minnesota (13-3)
  3. Los Angeles Rams (11-5)
  4. New Orleans (11-5)
  5. Carolina (11-5)
  6. Atlanta (10-6)

The top two seeds in each conference get byes, leaving other eight teams to play next weekend.

Jacksonville will host Buffalo. Kansas City will host Tennessee.

Los Angeles will host Atlanta. New Orleans will host Carolina, their third meeting this the season.

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