Charlie Riedel
December 27, 2015

Slowly, the field is taking shape for the NFL playoffs.

On a day when both the Carolina Panthers and New England Patriots blew chances to clinch home-field advantage throughout the postseason, here's a look at the playoff picture with nine of 12 spots decided:

AFC

With their ninth straight win on Sunday, the Kansas City Chiefs are in. That leaves five teams - the New York Jets, Pittsburgh, Denver, Houston and Indianapolis - still in contention for three remaining spots.

Already in are New England, Cincinnati and Kansas City.

The Jets and Steelers are trying for a wild card. Either the Texans or Colts will wind up as the AFC South winner. The Broncos have three possibilities - division champs, wild card or out completely.

The Bengals are at the Broncos on Monday night to help sort out some postseason seeding. If Cincinnati wins, Houston wins its division; the Texans also can take the AFC South with a victory against Jacksonville next Sunday.

Also next weekend, the Jets are at Buffalo, the Steelers are at Cleveland, Denver is home to San Diego and the Colts play Tennessee. The Jets are in with a win.

NFC

The NFC field is set: Carolina, Arizona, Minnesota, Washington, Green Bay and Washington are in.

The Vikings clinched a playoff berth with a 49-17 victory over the New York Giants on Sunday night. They visit Green Bay next weekend with the division title on the line, with the loser receiving a wild card.

Despite their first loss of the season - to the Falcons- the Panthers are NFC South champs with a first-round bye. They close the season at home against Tampa Bay.

The Cardinals, NFC West winners, clinched a first-round bye with their win over Green Bay and close the regular season at home against Seattle.

The Redskins won the NFC East with their win at the Eagles on Saturday night, and play their regular-season finale at Dallas next week.

Seattle is in as a wild card despite its loss to St. Louis on Sunday.

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AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP-NFL

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