Patriots, Cowboys, Texans and Seahawks make playoffs but Steeler slip up

The New England Patriots, Dallas Cowboys, Houston Texans and Seattle Seahawks all punched tickets to the National Football League (NFL) playoffs after a wild Sunday that further shaped the post-season.

The Seahawks (9-6) delivered an impressive 38-31 home victory over the Kansas City Chiefs (11-4) in the final game of the evening to ensure they are returning to the playoffs.

The Chiefs could have clinched the NFC West division with a triumph but could not overcome the hostile Seattle environment.

The Houston Texans (10-5) needed some assistance after suffering a final-second 32-30 defeat to the Philadelphia Eagles.

By virtue of Pittsburgh’s loss to New Orleans, Houston is assured the post-season and can wrap up the AFC South with a win in next week’s regular season finale.

NFL teams officially eliminated from the playoffs
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NFL teams officially eliminated from the playoffs

AFC: Oakland Raiders

(Photo by John Grieshop/Getty Images)

AFC: New York Jets

(Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images)

AFC: Buffalo Bills

(Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images)

AFC: Jacksonville Jaguars

(Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)

AFC: Cincinnati Bengals

(Photo by Ian Johnson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

AFC: Denver Broncos

(Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)

NFC: Arizona Cardinals

(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

NFC: San Francisco 49ers

(Photo by Cody Glenn/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

NFC: Atlanta Falcons

(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

NFC: Tampa Bay Buccaneers

(Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

NFC: New York Giants

(Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images)

NFC: Detroit Lions

(Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)

NFC: Green Bay Packers

(Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)


The five-time Super Bowl champion Patriots (10-5) wrapped up their 10th consecutive American Football Conference (AFC) East title with a 24-12 win over the Buffalo Bills.

"We just have grinded it out," New England's Tom Brady told reporters of his team's latest division crown.

"I think part of playing in the NFL is over the course of 16 weeks, you see how things shake out – not after September, October, November. It’s really after the end of December. We’ve still got one hugely important game left and we need to finish strong."

The Cowboys (9-6) claimed the National Football Conference (NFC) East crown by turning back the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 27-20.

The reigning Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles (8-7) kept their slim playoff hopes alive by upsetting Houston Texans 32-30 on a 35-yard field goal as time expired.

Three teams had clinched divisional titles before Sunday's games - Chicago Bears (NFC North), New Orleans Saints (NFC South) and Los Angeles Rams (NFC West) - with two more assured of playoff spots - the Kansas City Chiefs and Los Angeles Chargers.

The Chiefs can still clinch the AFC West with a win next week against the Oakland Raiders.

The Steelers and Baltimore Ravens will each be fighting for the AFC North crown and the final spot in the AFC playoffs next week.

The playoffs begin on Jan. 5 with the Super Bowl set for Feb. 3 in Atlanta. (Reporting by Jahmal Corner; editing by Amlan Chakraborty)

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