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NFL Playoff Picture: Ravens Head To Kansas City

With the rest of week 17's games now in the books, the AFC playoff picture has come into focus for the Baltimore Ravens. The Pittsburgh Steelers won today, making them the #2 seed with a bye next week, along with the #1 seeded New England Patriots. The Ravens then became the #5 seed and knew they were headed to play at the #4 seed, but who would that end up being. After the Kansas City Chiefs lost earlier today, it all came down to whether or not the Indianapolis Colts could win, which they did.

By virtue of their win over the Chiefs, the Colts became the #3 seed and will host the #6 seed the New York Jets in the Wild Card round next Saturday night, January 8th at 8pm. The Ravens therefore will travel to Kansas City to play the Chiefs on Sunday, January 9th at 1pm. Based on the outcomes of those two games, the lowest seeded remaining team will then go to New England to play the Patriots in the divisonal round, while the next lowest seed will go to Pittsburgh to face the Steelers on the weekend of January 15-16.

We can debate the merits of facing the Chiefs rather than the Colts in the first round, and break down Kansas City throughout the week. Post your thoughts playing the Chiefs in the comments section below.

(For the full playoff schedule just released by the NFL, click on the 'Jump')

Commissioner ROGER GOODELL announced today the schedule of sites, dates and times for the National Football League Wild Card Playoffs of January 8-9 and Divisional Playoffs of January 15-16 (all times Eastern):


Saturday, January 8

NFC: 4:30 PM (ET)New Orleans at St. Louis/Seattle (NBC-TV)

AFC: 8:00 PM (ET)New York Jets at Indianapolis (NBC-TV)

Sunday, January 9

AFC: 1:00 PM (ET)Baltimore at Kansas City (CBS-TV)

NFC: 4:30 PM (ET)Green Bay at Philadelphia (FOX-TV)


Saturday, January 15

AFC: 4:30 PM (ET)Indianapolis or Kansas City or Baltimore at Pittsburgh (CBS-TV)

NFC: 8:00 PM (ET)St. Louis/Seattle or New Orleans or Green Bay at Atlanta (FOX-TV)

Sunday, January 16

NFC: 1:00 PM (ET)Philadelphia or St. Louis/Seattle or New Orleans at Chicago (FOX-TV)

AFC: 4:30 PM (ET)Kansas City or Baltimore or New York Jets at New England (CBS-TV)

In the Divisional Playoffs, the division champion with the best record in each conference will host the lowest seeded Wild Card survivor. Once teams are seeded for the playoffs, positions do not change:
American Football Conference National Football Conference
1. New England (14-2, AFC East champion) 1. Atlanta (13-3, NFC South champion)
2. Pittsburgh (12-4, AFC North champion) 2. Chicago (11-5, NFC North champion)
3. Indianapolis (10-6, AFC South champion) 3. Philadelphia (10-6, NFC East champion)
4. Kansas City (10-6, AFC West champion) 4. St. Louis (7-8)/Seattle (6-9) (NFC West champion)
5. Baltimore (12-4) 5. New Orleans (11-5)
6. New York Jets (11-5) 6. Green Bay (10-6)

The AFC (CBS, 6:30 PM ET) and NFC (FOX, 3:00 PM ET) Championship Games will be played on Sunday, January 23.

The 2011 Pro Bowl (FOX, 7:00 PM ET) will be played on Sunday, January 30 at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu, Hawaii, one week before Super Bowl XLV takes place at Cowboys Stadium in North Texas on Sunday, February 6 (FOX, 6:30 PM ET).