NFL playoff field is set: Tennessee Titans secure the No. 1 seed in the AFC, while the Las Vegas Raiders, Pittsburgh Steelers and San Francisco 49ers play their way in on the season’s final day

The AFC playoffs will be running through Music City, and the Tennessee Titans should have Derrick Henry back for their first game this postseason.

The Tennessee Titans, who used an NFL-high 91 players — the most ever in a non-strike season — clinched their first No. 1 seed since 2008 and their third overall. They needed only a win Sunday, though they made it interesting before holding off the Houston Texans 28-25 to clinch the AFC’s top spot.

Titans coach Mike Vrabel noted nobody hands out T-shirts and hats for clinching the top seed.

“We understand we’re in the Elite Eight,” Vrabel said. “We’ve moved on to the second round of the playoffs without having to play a playoff game.”

This postseason will feature seven teams that missed the playoffs last season: the Arizona Cardinals, Cincinnati Bengals, Dallas Cowboys, Las Vegas Raiders, New England Patriots, Philadelphia Eagles and San Francisco 49ers.

The Raiders earned the final berth Sunday night with a 35-32 victory over the Los Angeles Chargers on Daniel Carlson’s 47-yard field goal as overtime expired. If the teams had tied, both would have qualified and the Pittsburgh Steelers would have been eliminated.

“We knew no matter what, we didn’t want a tie,” Raiders quarterback Derek Carr said. “We wanted to win the football game.”

The Kansas City Chiefs (12-5) beat the Denver Broncos on Saturday and needed the Titans to lose to clinch the AFC’s top seed. The Titans’ win locked in the Chiefs as the No. 2 seed thanks to Tennessee (12-5) holding the tiebreaker after beating Kansas City 27-3 on Oct. 24 in Nashville. The Chiefs will host the Steelers on Sunday night in the wild-card round.

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Only the Green Bay Packers (13-4) had their playoff seeding set as the NFC’s No. 1 seed going into the final week of the regular season. The AFC had teams fighting for the final two wild-card spots, and the 49ers were trying to hold on to the final NFC wild-card berth.

The Indianapolis Colts came in on a roll with seven Pro Bowl players and needing only to beat the Jacksonville Jaguars to reach the playoffs. Instead, the Colts blew a wild-card berth by losing their seventh straight road game to the Jaguars 26-11.

Ben Roethlisberger will play at least one more game after Carlson’s kick ended the possibility of a chaotic tie in Las Vegas. The Steelers (9-7-1) had been on the outside looking in until the Colts’ loss, and they beat the Baltimore Ravens 16-13 in overtime. Then they had to wait and watch in case the Raiders and Chargers tied before clinching the No. 7 seed.

“I’m just happy for Ben,” Steelers kicker Chris Boswell said. “We’re sending him to the playoffs. This team deserves it.”

The fifth-seeded Raiders (10-7) will visit the fourth-seeded Bengals (10-7) on Saturday afternoon in the first game of the wild-card round. The AFC North champion Bengals routed the Raiders 32-13 in Las Vegas in November.

The Buffalo Bills (11-6) clinched their second straight AFC East title and the No. 3 seed by …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Entertainment

      

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