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The Road to Super Bowl LI has begun!
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After 17 weeks and 256 games, the 2016 NFL regular season has come to a close. The final playoff standings have been revealed!

The defending Super Bowl L champion, Denver Broncos will not be returning to the post-season. The Broncos have been eliminated from playoff contention after finishing the regular season with a 9-7 (.563) record. The defending NFC champion, Carolina Hurricanes have also been eliminated from playoff contention as well as they finished the year with just 6 wins and 10 losses (.375).

There will now be a new Super Bowl champion once the playoffs are finished.

The New England Patriots are looking to win their fifth Super Bowl championship in franchise history after finishing the regular season with 14 wins and just two losses (.875).

The worst team in the NFL this year is the Cleveland Browns, who finished their 2016 regular season with just 1 win and 15 losses (.063). Their only win of the season came in Week 15, topping the San Diego Chargers to avoid joining the 2008 Detroit Lions as the only NFL team in franchise history to finish the season with no wins and 16 losses.

The day after the 2016 NFL regular season came to a close, five head coaches and one general manager were fired, one stepped down due to health reasons.

1. Rex Ryan, head coach of the Buffalo Bills was fired on Tuesday after almost two seasons with the team. He finished his overall record with 61 wins and 66 losses (.48).

His firing comes after the Bills lost 34 to 31 in overtime in Week 16 on Saturday to the Miami Dolphins. And in Week 17, the New York Jets dumped the Bills, 30 to 10. The Buffalo Bills have been eliminated from playoff contention for the 17th consecutive time as they finished the regular season with a 7-9 (.438) record.

2. Gary Kubiak has stepped away from coaching after 11 seasons due to health reasons.

This comes after his team, the Denver Broncos were eliminated from playoff contention following their loss in Week 16 of the NFL regular season. Last year, the Broncos finished at 12-4 (.75) and won Super Bowl L, this year they finished with a dismal 9-7 (.533) record. His record with the Broncos was 21-11 (.645) while his overall coaching record was 82-75 (.522).

3. Gus Bradley lost his job as head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars, ending his tenur with the second worst-winning percentage of any NFL head coach. Over the last three-plus seasons, he ended his record with just 14 wins and 48 losses (.226). The Jaguars finished the year with just 3 wins and 13 losses (.188).

4. Jeff Fisher fired from his job as head coach of the Los Angeles Rams (formerly the St. Louis Rams) after he finished 5 seasons with a dismal 31-45-1 (.403) record. The Rams lost the last 7 consecutive games to the very end of the regular season and finished with just 4 wins and 12 losses.

5. One of the worst teams in the AFC West and third worst in the AFC this year has had its head coach sacked. Mike McCoy fired from his head coaching job. His firing comes after four consecutive dismal seasons. His record was 28 wins and 38 losses (.438). The Chargers finished the regular season with 5 wins and 11 losses (.313).

6. The San Francisco 49ers did not do well at all this past season. The finished with the worst record on the NFC this year - just 2 wins and 14 losses (.125).

As a consequence, the 49ers fired head coach Chip Kelly and General Manager Trent Baalke. Chip Kelly's current overall record is 28-35 (.452).

With that said, here is the final NFL standings for 2016 and how the top six NFL teams in each league qualified for the playoffs:

* Final AFC Standings
1. New England Patriots+++: 14-2 (.875)
2. Kansas City Chiefs++: 12-4 (.75)
3. Oakland Raiders+: 12-4 (.75)
4. Pittsburgh Steelers++: 11-5 (.688)
5. Miami Dolphins+: 10-6 (.625)
6. Houston Texans++: 9-7 (.563)

The following teams in the AFC have been eliminated from playoff contention are: Cincinnati Bengals, Denver Broncos**, Buffalo Bills, Cleveland Browns, San Diego Chargers, Indianapolis Colts, Jacksonville Jaguars, New York Jets, Baltimore Ravens and Tennessee Titans


* Final NFC Standings
1. Dallas Cowboys+++: 13-3 (.813)
2. Atlanta Falcons++: 11-5 (.688)
3. New York Giants+: 11-5 (.688)
4. Seattle Seahawks++: 10-5-1 (.656)
5. Detroit Lions+: 9-7 (.563)
6. Green Bay Packers++: 10-6 (.625)

The following teams in the NFC have been eliminated from playoff contention are: San Francisco 49ers, Chicago Bears, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Arizona Cardinals, Philadelphia Eagles, Carolina Panthers*, Los Angeles Rams, Washington Redskins, New Orleans Saints and Minnesota Vikings

+++ Clinched home field Advantage
++ Clinched division title
+ Clinched wildcard spot
** Defending Super Bowl Champion
* Defending AFC/NFC Champion



ESPN and ABC will simultaneously broadcast the first game of the AFC Wildcard playoff while NBC will broadcast the NFC Wildcard playoff game on Saturday. On Sunday, CBS will broadcast the other AFC Wildcard playoff game while FOX will broadcast the other NFC Wildcard playoff game.

Next weekend, FOX will broadcast the NFC Divisional playoff games. CBS will broadcast the first AFC Divisional playoff game while NBC will broadcast the second AFC Divisional playoff game in the following day.

FOX will broadcast the NFC Championship Game and CBS will broadcast the AFC Championship Game on the 22th.

FOX has held the right to host Super Bowl LI on Sunday, 5 February 2017.

And now, here's how the first round of the NFL playoffs have been set up:

* AFC Wildcard Playoffs
(3) Oakland Raiders vs. (6) Houston Texans, Sat @ 4:35 PM EST on ABC/ESPN
(4) Pittsburgh Steelers vs. (5) Miami Dolphins, Sun @ 1:05 PM EST on CBS

The following teams in the AFC receive first-round byes and will face off against each other in the Divisional Playoffs:

(1) New England Patriots vs. (3) Oakland Raiders/(6) Houston Texans, Sat 1/14 @ 8:15 PM EST on CBS
(2) Kansas City Chiefs vs. (4) Pittsburgh Steelers/(5) Miami Dolphins, Sun 1/15 @ 1:05 PM EST on NBC


* NFC Wildcard Playoffs
(3) New York Giants vs. (6) Green Bay Packers, Sun @ 4:40 PM EST on FOX
(4) Detroit Lions vs. (5) Seattle Seahawks, Sat @ 8:15 PM EST on NBC

The following teams in the AFC receive first-round byes and will face off against each other in the Divisional Playoffs:

(1) Dallas Cowboys vs. (3) New York Giants/(6) Green Bay Packers, Sun 1/15 @ 4:40 PM EST on FOX
(2) Atlanta Falcons vs. (4) Detroit Lions/(5) Seattle Seahawks, Sat 1/14 @ 4:35 PM EST on FOX

The winner of the Wildcard Playoffs will advance to face off against the top two seeded teams in the conference in the Divisional Round and those who survive the Divisional Round will face off again in the Conference Championship games for the right to advance to Super Bowl LI on Sunday, 5 February 2017.

The losers will be eliminated and will go home for the new year.

Enjoy the NFL post-season!

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