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2023 NFL playoff picture: Week 18 AFC, NFC seed projections

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Bart Scott: Window is closing for Josh Allen and Bills (1:49)

Bart Scott is worried that Josh Allen's playing style won't allow him to have a long career. (1:49)

There is just one week left in the 2023 NFL regular season, and we're inching closer to the postseason with a snapshot of how the 14-team playoff picture could look on the road to Super Bowl LVIII.

The 1-seeds in both the NFC and AFC were clinched in Week 17, as the San Francisco 49ers and Baltimore Ravens will have nothing to play for in Week 18. In total, nine of the 14 spots have been clinched, but the AFC South, AFC East, NFC South and NFC East are still up for grabs.

Which teams could sneak into the wild-card round? And which teams' hopes are all but over? We used ESPN's Football Power Index to project the rest of the season, looking at the playoff picture for both conferences, along with odds for the favorites to make the postseason, clinch the division and even make the Super Bowl. We also have seeding projections for the AFC and NFC, so you can see the most likely matchups in each conference.

Here's everything you need as we get closer to the NFL playoffs (updated Monday):

Jump to a section:
AFC: Full projections | Seeding
NFC: Full projections | Seeding
Matchup of the week
Race for the 2024 No. 1 pick

Projecting the AFC playoff field

The Miami Dolphins' Week 17 loss means their Week 18 matchup at home against the Buffalo Bills will decide the AFC East. Both teams could still lose and pick up a wild-card spot, however. The Pittsburgh Steelers need to win and get some help from other teams next week.

The Baltimore Ravens are locked into the 1-seed and the first-round bye in the AFC, while the Kansas City Chiefs will be the 3-seed and the Cleveland Browns will be the 5-seed. The rest of the conference is up for grabs.

In the wild-card round, the 2-seed hosts the 7-seed, the 3-seed hosts the 6-seed and the 4-seed hosts the 5-seed.


Projecting the NFC playoff field

Thanks to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' Week 17 loss, the NFC South could still be won by either the New Orleans Saints or Atlanta Falcons in Week 18. The Green Bay Packers' win on "Sunday Night Football" puts them in the driver's seat for the final wild-card spot.

If both the Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles win in Week 18, it's the Cowboys who will take the NFC East and 2-seed, thanks to the Eagles' crushing loss to the Arizona Cardinals in Week 17. In the wild-card round, the 2-seed hosts the 7-seed, the 3-seed hosts the 6-seed and the 4-seed hosts the 5-seed.


The one game you absolutely should watch

The Houston Texans and Indianapolis Colts square off in Week 18 in a win-and-in matchup ... but both teams could still take the AFC South, too. If the Jacksonville Jaguars lose -- they play the Tennessee Titans on Sunday -- the winner of Texans-Colts would be the South champion.


The race for the No. 1 pick in 2024

The 2024 NFL draft likely will feature two quarterbacks fighting for the No. 1 spot, as Caleb Williams (USC) and Drake Maye (North Carolina) are ESPN's top-ranked prospects.

The Chicago Bears, who own the Carolina Panthers' first-round pick (via last year's pre-draft trade), clinched the No. 1 pick in Week 17.


NFL playoff schedule

Week 18 games are Sunday, then it's on to the postseason. Here's when each round of games will be played:

Jan. 13-15: Wild-card round
Jan. 20-21: Divisional round
Jan. 28: AFC and NFC championship games
Feb. 11: Super Bowl LVIII (in Las Vegas)