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'Are you ready?': NFL playoff lineup all set after dramatic finale in Week 17

'Are you ready?': NFL playoff lineup all set after dramatic finale in Week 17
The final weekend of the NFL regular season produced drama aplenty as the lineup for the 2018 playoffs was set - with some teams having to wait until the last second to secure their place in the knockout stages of the campaign.



The main drama took place in the AFC North, as the Baltimore Ravens secured a last-gasp playoff berth with victory over the surging Cleveland Browns.

The game was a tale of two rookie quarterbacks as the Ravens, led by the dynamic Lamar Jackson, held on despite a dramatic comeback from the Browns, led by the number-one draft pick, Baker Mayfield.

Jackson ran in two touchdowns as the Ravens took control of the game, but Mayfield set a new NFL rookie season record for touchdown passes as he drove the Browns back into the game.

But a late interception halted a potential game-winning drive from Cleveland that would have sent the Ravens crashing out of the playoffs.

Cleveland's rivals the Pittsburgh Steelers needed the Browns to defeat the Ravens for them to make it into the playoffs. And, in a bizarre twist, the Steelers players and fans were left watching the big screen in their Heinz Field stadium, desperately hoping their hated rivals would secure a come-from-behind victory.

But it was not to be, as CJ Mosley's late interception secured a 26-24 win, locked up the divisional title for Baltimore and knocked the Steelers out of contention in the process.



Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck continued his undefeated record against the Tennessee Titans as he led his team to victory in the final game of Week 17 and propel his side into the playoffs.

The game was effectively a knockout match, with victory sending the winner through and eliminating the loser.

And Luck threw three touchdown passes as he led the Colts to the playoffs for the first time since 2014 with a 33-17 win.



The reigning Super Bowl champions, the Philadelphia Eagles, had to rely on the Chicago Bears doing them a favor, despite their 24-0 shutout win against the Washington Redskins.

The Eagles have had a stuttering season and lost their star quarterback Carson Wentz earlier in the campaign as they once again called upon Super Bowl-winning backup Nick Foles.

And despite Foles being knocked out of the game with a chest injury, the Eagles cruised to victory, but their place in the playoffs was assured after the Bears beat the Eagles' rivals for the playoff spot - the Minnesota Vikings - 24-10.

Foles is in red-hot form since stepping back into the starting lineup, just as he was last season. He took them all the way to the Super Bowl title on that occasion. Can he repeat the feat this year?



A few weeks ago, the Dallas Cowboys' participation in the playoffs was looking uncertain, at best.

But a resurgence in the team's form has seen them charge into the playoffs with seven wins from their last eight games.

The Cowboys completed their regular-season campaign with a late 36-35 win over the New York Giants that showed that winning has become a habit once again for 'America's Team'.

The fact that the Cowboys did not need to win the game, but played it like it was the Super Bowl, shows they're in the right mood to make a real run in the playoffs this season.

They're not Super Bowl favorites by any means, but they are dangerous outsiders heading into the Wild Card round next weekend.


The business end of the NFL season is here, but which team will shine in the playoffs and go on to win the Vince Lombardi Trophy? It all kicks off this coming weekend with the four Wild Card round games.

Indianapolis Colts @ Houston Texans
Seattle Seahawks @ Dallas Cowboys
Los Angeles Chargers @ Baltimore Ravens
Philadelphia Eagles @ Chicago Bears