After an action-packed Week 17 filled with many unforeseen outcomes, the 2020 NFL playoff picture was finalized. The Oakland Raiders had a chance to make it as the AFC’s sixth seed if some times went their way, although the team fell to the Denver Bronce to finish the year at 7-9 and miss the postseason.
The New England Patriots most notably dropped to the No. 3 seed in the AFC playoff picture as a result of their stunning 27-24 loss to the Miami Dolphins on Sunday.
It marks the first time in 10 years that the Patriots failed to clinch one of the top-two seeds in the AFC playoff picture. Rather than earn a first-round bye, they will now play host to the Tennessee Titans this weekend as the No. 3 seed.
The Kansas City Chiefs took advantage of the Patriots’ shortcomings, leapfrogging them in the standings and clinching the No. 2 spot. They join the Baltimore Ravens as AFC teams with first-round byes and will return to action next week.
The final Wild Card spot was also determined with the Tennessee Titans’ 35-14 win over the shorthanded Houston Texans. The Texans had previously clinched the AFC South and rested most of their starters.
In the NFC, the No. 1 seed was up for grabs during the Sunday Night Football showdown between the San Francisco 49ers and Seattle Seahawks. The latter had a golden opportunity late in the fourth quarter to steal a win, but a costly delay of game penalty stunted any momentum on their side.
Seattle will now hit the road for a matchup against the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday while the 49ers get to rest up before resuming their quest for a Lombardi Trophy next week.
The Green Bay Packers also clinched a first-round bye with their comeback win over the Detroit Lions, holding off the New Orleans Saints from potentially leapfrogging them in the standings.
The Saints, who earned the No. 3 seed, will now host the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. They look to redeem themselves after last year’s heartbreaking loss to the Los Angeles Rams in the NFC Championship Game.
Complete 2020 NFL Wild Card round schedule with available start times and TV information:
Saturday, Jan. 4
Buffalo Bills vs. Houston Texans, NRG Stadium, 1:35 p.m. PT (ESPN/ABC)
Tennessee Titans vs. New England Patriots, Gillette Stadium, 5:15 p.m. PT (CBS)
Sunday, Jan. 5
Minnesota Vikings vs. New Orleans Saints, Mercedes-Benz Superdome, 10:05 a.m. PT (FOX)
Seattle Seahawks vs. Philadelphia Eagles, Lincoln Financial Field, 1:40 p.m. PT (NBC)