Skip to content

11 of 12 playoff teams could be set this week

New Orleans Saints v Atlanta Falcons Getty Images

Seven NFL teams have already clinched playoff berths, and four more teams can clinch this week.

The NFL has released the Week 16 playoff scenarios, which show that the Cowboys can clinch the NFC East and the Falcons and Lions can clinch the two NFC wild-card berths, while the Broncos can clinch the AFC West.

In the NFC, the Packers and 49ers have clinched their division while the Saints have clinched at least a wild card. The Panthers, Vikings, Rams, Buccaneers and Redskins are all mathematically eliminated. That’s what we know. What we don’t know is which of the other scenarios will play out.

The Packers will clinch home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs if the 49ers lose to the Seahawks on Saturday, or if the Packers beat the Bears on Sunday night. The 49ers clinch a first-round bye if they win and if the Saints lose to the Falcons on Monday night.

The Saints clinch the NFC South if they beat the Falcons. The Falcons clinch a wild card and remain alive in the NFC South if they beat the Saints. Even if they lose to the Saints, the Falcons can clinch a wild card if the Bears and Cardinals both lose, and either the Cowboys or the Giants lose.

The Lions can clinch a wild card if they beat the Chargers, and they can even clinch a wild card if they lose to the Chargers, although they’ll need a lot of help in the form of the Bears, Cardinals and Seahawks all losing, plus one of the Cowboys, Giants or Saints losing.

The Cowboys clinch the NFC East if they beat the Eagles and the Giants lose to the Jets.

In the AFC, the Texans and Patriots have clinched their divisions, while the Ravens and Steelers have clinched a trip to the playoffs. The Bills, Browns, Colts, Dolphins and Jaguars are mathematically eliminated.

New England can clinch a first-round bye with a win and a loss by the Texans, or a win and losses by both the Steelers and the Ravens. The Patriots clinch home-field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs if they win and all three of those teams lose.

The Ravens clinch the AFC North if they beat the Browns and the Steelers lose at home to the Rams, and they clinch a first-round bye if that happens plus the Texans lose to the Colts on Thursday night.

The Broncos clinch the AFC West if they win and the Raiders lose, and they clinch a playoff berth if they win and the Jets, Bengals and Titans all lose.

If you’re a fan of one of the teams that can clinch, your rooting interests are clear. But if you’re just a fan of football, you’re probably rooting against all the teams that can clinch in Week 16 — because the more playoff spots that are still in play after Week 16, the more fun Week 17 will be.

Permalink 30 Comments Feed for comments Latest Stories in: Rumor Mill, Top Stories
30 Responses to “11 of 12 playoff teams could be set this week”
  1. trbowman says: Dec 20, 2011 1:04 PM

    I’m split. I kind of want Cowboys to win and the Giants to lose, otherwise you know Cowboys/Giants is going to be the Week 17 primetime game. On the other hand, I hate the Jets and thus want them to lose.

    Seahawks/Cardinals could potentially be another NFC West play-in game.

  2. bmckay3 says: Dec 20, 2011 1:16 PM

    So you’re saying, the Dream Team’s dreams are still alive?

  3. trbowman says: Dec 20, 2011 1:17 PM

    Looking at the scenario the Cardinals need to make the playoffs. It’s not quite as far fetched as you might think.

    Need either Atlanta or Detroit to lose their last two. Not crazy. Detroit has a red hot Charger team coming in, and then go to Green Bay. Now, gotta pray GB doesn’t rest their starters. They shouldn’t. If you’re GB you want to make sure your division rival doesn’t get in. How’d it work out for Chicago last year?

    Atlanta has NO, which is tough, and then the miserable Bucs. Still, anything can happen, especially in division games.

    Also, Cards need the Jets and Bears to at least split their last two. OK bet. The Bears should lose to GB, but they’ll probably beat the Vikes. Jets could split easily, too.

    Course, Cards got to take care of their business and win out, starting with fellow desperate Bengals. Pray Kolb comes back.

  4. ticalcaldwell says: Dec 20, 2011 1:17 PM

    go bengals…..who dey

  5. trbowman says: Dec 20, 2011 1:22 PM

    Ugh…makes me think back to the Giants/Cardinals game, which the refs literally stole from the Cardinals. Should be 8-6.

  6. theprogram61 says: Dec 20, 2011 1:23 PM

    How can raiders take division title if broncos raiders are tied after week 17?

  7. trbowman says: Dec 20, 2011 1:24 PM

    If you told me Week 6 I’d be talking about the Cardinals in the playoffs instead of the Bills, I’d of scoffed at ya.

  8. enkinan says: Dec 20, 2011 1:24 PM

    I hope the Falcons can make a statement Monday. Hoping even more that they can win a playoff game to shut up the Ryan haters.

  9. indianajet says: Dec 20, 2011 1:24 PM

    @trbowman

    Who cares what you want?

  10. jamaltimore says: Dec 20, 2011 1:28 PM

    I wanna know if the ravens, texans and pats are tied at 12-4 who has the top two seeds….

  11. deviantfate says: Dec 20, 2011 1:30 PM

    Broncos cant clinch AFC West if the Raiders lose, they’d still have to beat KC in the final week…

  12. trbowman says: Dec 20, 2011 1:30 PM

    “@trbowman

    Who cares what you want?”

    lol, me.

  13. trbowman says: Dec 20, 2011 1:33 PM

    “How can raiders take division title if broncos raiders are tied after week 17?”

    A couple different ways Raiders can make it. For one, do their business and win out.

    They want KC to beat Denver Week 17

    Another scenario is Raiders win out and Bengals, Jets, Titans lose at least once. Then they get a wildcard spot.

  14. ballinmore says: Dec 20, 2011 1:37 PM

    Well I feel like I’m watching the playoff scenarios from Baseketball

  15. icyhuckh20 says: Dec 20, 2011 1:38 PM

    the niners did us (ravens)a favor lastnite so 1st round bye will do us just fine .let’s go flacco

  16. theprogram61 says: Dec 20, 2011 1:40 PM

    Anyone know who holds tie breakers if broncos and raiders tie I know head to head is split

  17. gcsuk says: Dec 20, 2011 1:52 PM

    trbowman says:
    Dec 20, 2011 1:22 PM
    Ugh…makes me think back to the Giants/Cardinals game, which the refs literally stole from the Cardinals. Should be 8-6.
    ———————————————————–
    Refs stole that win back from the Giants, and gave the win to the Packers in Week 13.

  18. rmc1995 says: Dec 20, 2011 1:54 PM

    The NFL is hoping for week 17 to decide all of the playoff spots, so look for some questionable calls against those teams who can clinch wild cards or divisions or byes this week. Week 17 could have 14 games with playoff implications if the NFL plays its ref cards right this weekend.

  19. hashsview says: Dec 20, 2011 1:57 PM

    I don’t see the Cowboys winning any more games. If they some how do make it their play off run would be over by half time. They have 1 victory agaisnt a team with a winning reacord, and that was back in week 2. Crazier things have happend, but Romo is only good agaisnt crap teams. He’s going to be spending the playoffs this year at home again, just he will be puting baby furniture together this time.

  20. seangifford says: Dec 20, 2011 2:01 PM

    @theprogram61

    If the Raiders win out and the Broncos beat BUF but lose to KC, then the Raiders win that tiebreaker by virtue of a better division record.

  21. briang123 says: Dec 20, 2011 2:08 PM

    Of course, my “dream” scenario is the Giants-Cowboys being the Week 17 game and sitting there rooting for the Giants to win to put the Eagles in the playoffs.

  22. rks2009 says: Dec 20, 2011 2:09 PM

    @deviantfate

    Broncos lead KC by two games. If Broncos win and raiders lose. They will lead raiders and chiefs by two games with one to play. Broncos also have the tie breaker over the chargers.

  23. orthodoxdj says: Dec 20, 2011 2:22 PM

    So you’re telling me there’s a chance…

  24. 8man says: Dec 20, 2011 2:26 PM

    I know what I need to happen. Patriots need to win last two to clinch a bye and home playoff games without any help.

    Ravens need to win the last two to keep Pissburgh at the five seed, on the road and no bye.

  25. thelongestgoodbye says: Dec 20, 2011 2:27 PM

    jamaltimore says: Dec 20, 2011 1:28 PM

    I wanna know if the ravens, texans and pats are tied at 12-4 who has the top two seeds….

    Dont slay me if Im wrong but I believe it would be patriots one and Ravens 2. I know Ravens are over steelers and Texans because of the head to head win.

  26. chrisbntx says: Dec 20, 2011 3:25 PM

    thelongestgoodbye says:
    Dec 20, 2011 2:27 PM
    jamaltimore says: Dec 20, 2011 1:28 PM

    I wanna know if the ravens, texans and pats are tied at 12-4 who has the top two seeds….

    Dont slay me if Im wrong but I believe it would be patriots one and Ravens 2. I know Ravens are over steelers and Texans because of the head to head win.

    ———

    Actually the Texans are the number one seed in this scenario. In a three-way tie, Houston would own tiebreaker, with the best record in the AFC.

  27. wthigooh says: Dec 20, 2011 3:41 PM

    Can’t wait to see the Packers beat the Bears for the 4th time in 2011.

  28. thelongestgoodbye says: Dec 20, 2011 4:02 PM

    chrisbntx says:

    “Actually the Texans are the number one seed in this scenario. In a three-way tie, Houston would own tiebreaker, with the best record in the AFC.”

    If the Pats win out they would have best record in AFC @ 13-3. The Ravens and Texans should they both win out would be 12-4. The Ravens beat the Texans so they have the head to head tie breaker leaving the Texans 3rd, unless I’m missing something.

  29. kpf1981 says: Dec 20, 2011 4:03 PM

    jamaltimore says: Dec 20, 2011 1:28 PM

    I wanna know if the ravens, texans and pats are tied at 12-4 who has the top two seeds….

    Dont slay me if Im wrong but I believe it would be patriots one and Ravens 2. I know Ravens are over steelers and Texans because of the head to head win.

    ——————————————-

    Actually if they all end up 12-4 I believe it would go like this because of the order of tie breakers for 3 way tie: head to head sweep (all these teams would have had to play each other and that didn’t happen), best W-L-T % of games played within the conference.

    1. Houston: best conference record. only 2 losses in AFC to New England’s and Baltimore’s 3 AFC losses.

    Now that Houston is 1, revert to 2 way tie breaker: head to head (that didn’t happen), W-L-T % games played within the conference (already figured out they each lost 3), W-L-T % in common opponents minimum of 4 (they don’t have 4 common opponents so skip this), strength of victory

    2. Baltimore: I think Baltimore takes it on this according to my calculations. If you look at all the teams Baltimore beat and add up their records there will be more wins than all the teams New England beat.

    3. New England

    3. New England

  30. cowboycjn says: Dec 21, 2011 9:26 AM

    Pulling for the Saints to win over the Falcons – but then again anything is possible. While the Saints has excellent offense and with Brees hitting on all cylinders, the defense lets the 3rd down conversions get away from them too many times. Saints defense have to start making more interceptions and recovering fumbles like they did in past seasons.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!