Tennessee Titans take AFC No. 1 seed, while Las Vegas Raiders, Pittsburgh Steelers and San Francisco 49ers make their way to season’s final day – The Mercury News

The AFC playoffs will be running through Music City, and the Tennessee Titans should bring back Derrick Henry for his first game this post season.


The Tennessee Titans, who used an NFL-high 91 players — the most in a non-Strike season — took their first No. 1 seed since 2008 and third overall. They needed only one win on Sunday, though they made it interesting before beating the Houston Texans 28-25 to take the top spot of the AFC.

Titans coach Mike Wrabel notes that no one gives away a T-shirt and hat to get the top seed.


“We understand that we are in the Elite Eight,” Wrabel said. “We’ve gone to the second round of the playoffs without playing a playoff game.”

This post season there will be 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 a final berth on Sunday night with Daniel Carlson’s 47-yard field goal in a 35-32 win over the Los Angeles Chargers as overtime ended. If the teams were tied, both would have qualified and the Pittsburgh Steelers would have been eliminated.

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

The Kansas City Chiefs (12-5) beat the Denver Broncos on Saturday and the Titans needed to lose to take the AFC’s top seed. Tennessee (12-5) captured the tiebreaker with a 27-3 win over Kansas City on October 24 in Nashville to close the Titans’ victory as the No. 2 seed in the majors. The Chiefs will host the Steelers in the wild card round on Sunday night.


Only the Green Bay Packers (13–4) had their playoff seeding set to go into the final week of the regular season as the NFC’s No. 1 seed. 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 on a roll with seven Pro Bowl players and only needed to beat the Jacksonville Jaguars to reach the playoffs. Instead, the Colts snagged a wild-card berth, 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 prospect of a chaotic tie in Las Vegas. The Steelers (9-7-1) looked on the outside until the Colts lost, and they beat the Baltimore Ravens 16-13 in overtime. Then they had to wait and see if the Raiders and Chargers were tied before securing 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.”

Fifth-seeded Raiders (10-7) will take on fourth-seeded Bengals (10-7) on Saturday afternoon in the first game of the wild-card round. In November, the AFC North Champion Bengals defeated the Raiders 32-13 in Las Vegas.

The Buffalo Bills (11–6) defeated the New York Jets 27–10 to win their second straight AFC East title and No. 3 seed. They will host the sixth-seeded Patriots (10-7) on Saturday night in New England’s first wild-card game under coach Bill Belichick. The Pats’ 17 previous playoff berths all came as AFC East champs.

The Patriots lost three of their last four, including 33-24, to the Miami Dolphins on Sunday. With each team winning the other’s home turf, the Patriots threw only three passes to win 14–10 in Buffalo, while the Bills won 33–21 in Foxboro, Mass., on December 26.

In the NFC, the defending Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers (13–4) defeated the Carolina Panthers 41–17 to take the No. 2 seed. The Books will host the seventh-seeded Eagles (9-8) in the first wild-card game on Sunday.

The third-seeded Cowboys (12-5), who defeated the Eagles on Saturday night, will host the sixth-seeded 49ers (10-7) in the second wild-card game on Sunday afternoon. The 49ers beat the Los Angeles Rams 27–24 in overtime to earn their second playoff berth in three seasons.

The Rams (12–5) won their third NFC West title in five seasons with coach Sean McVay, when the Cardinals lost 38–30 for the fourth loss in five games to the Seattle Seahawks.

4 seed, and they will host the fifth-seeded Cardinals (11-6) in a wild-card round on Monday night, January 17. Each team won two matches this season as guest appearances. The Cardinals won 37-20 at Sophie Stadium in October and the Rams won 30-23 in Arizona last month.

“Playing on the road has been good for us, so it will be a plus if we can go out and handle business that way,” Cardinals defensive back Jalen Thompson said.

nfl playoff schedule

wild-card round

Saturday, January 15

  • Las Vegas Raiders at Cincinnati Bengals, 3:30 p.m., NBC-5
  • New England Patriots at Buffalo Bills, 7:15 p.m., CBS-2

Sunday, January 16

  • Philadelphia Eagles at Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Afternoon, FOX-32
  • San Francisco 49ers at Dallas Cowboys, 3:30 p.m., CBS-2
  • Pittsburgh Steelers at Kansas City Chiefs, 7:15 p.m., NBC-5

Monday, January 17

  • Arizona Cardinals at the Los Angeles Rams, 7:15 p.m., ESPN/ABC-7

divisional round

Saturday, January 22 and Sunday January 23

  • NFC Lowest Seed Leftovers in Green Bay Packers, TBD
  • AFC lowest seed remaining in Tennessee Titans, TBD
  • TBD, TBD
  • TBD, TBD

conference championship

Sunday, January 30

  • AFC Lowest Seeds Left Highest Seeds Left, 2:05 pm, CBS-2
  • NFC Lowest seed remaining Highest seed remaining, 5:40 pm, FOX-32

Super Bowl LVI

Sunday, February 13, Inglewood, Calif.

  • Conference Championship Winners, 5:30 p.m., NBC-5