Skip to content

Your Christmas Eve playoff race update

San Diego Chargers v Detroit Lions Getty Images

Well, that was some Christmas Eve of football.

The Lions are headed to the playoffs. Tebowmania imploded. The Giants beat the Jets, which made Rex Ryan very unhappy and set up a Giants-Cowboys rematch next Sunday night for the NFC East title.

So after all the fun, where do the playoff races stand? Let’s take a look.

Four spots remain.

The last wild card spot in both conferences remain up for grabs. So do the NFC East and AFC West division titles. One more spot could be decided Sunday night.

This Sunday night still matters.

With a late field goal, the 49ers narrowly won in Seattle 19-17 to keep their hopes alive for the No. 1 seed in the NFC. That means Green Bay still has to go all out to beat Chicago on Christmas in order to clinch the top spot in the NFC.

San Francisco can clinch a playoff bye if they beat the Rams next week. (They can also get the bye if New Orleans loses one of their remaining two games. The Saints host the Falcons Monday night.)

A Packers win Sunday night would also clinch the final NFC wild card spot for the Falcons.

Only one NFC East team will make it in.

The Eagles are out. The winner of Cowboys-Giants gets a division title and a home playoff game. The loser is out of the playoffs. Simple.

Patriots clinch bye, have inside track for No. 1 seed.

New England’s 17-point comeback win over Miami puts them in good shape to have homefield advantage. The Patriots clinched a bye on Saturday, and they will get the No. 1 seed in the AFC with a home win over Buffalo next week.

The Ravens and Steelers still have a shot at the No. 1 seed. The winner of the AFC North will earn a bye. Speaking of which . . .

Ravens and the Bengals play the biggest AFC game next week.

If Baltimore wins in Cincinnati, the Ravens get a bye. If the Bengals win, they clinch the No. 6 seed in the AFC playoffs.

The Steelers will be rooting for Cincinnati to sneak in. Pittsburgh can still win the division and get a bye if they beat the Browns and the Ravens lose. The Steelers still have an outside shot for the No. 1 seed if they won and both the Ravens and Patriots lose.

All the AFC North games will be at 4:15 p.m. ET. If the Bengals lose, things get complicated. The Titans, Jets, and Raiders are also alive for the last wild card spot if Cincinnati falls. Oakland could also win the AFC West.

The Bengals could even lose and make the playoffs if they end up in a two-way tie with the Titans at 9-7.

The Jets need a miracle.

Rex Ryan’s crew doesn’t look like a team good enough to win in Miami next week. Even if the Jets win, they need a ton of help to get into the playoffs.

Here’s what needs to happen for the Jets to make it: They need to win and they need a Bengals loss, a Titans loss, and a Raiders or Broncos loss.

The Titans also need a complicated combination of events to make it. Their scenarios are listed right here.

Texans are the No. 3 seed in the AFC.

This much we know for sure. They will avoid the Ravens or Steelers in the first round.

It’s down to the Raiders and Broncos in the AFC West.

The Chiefs and Chargers are out after Saturday’s results. The Raiders and Broncos are both 8-7. The Broncos still hold the tiebreaker advantage over Oakland, so the Broncos still control their fate. They are in with a win next week against Kyle Orton and the Chiefs. How great a matchup is that?

The Raiders can win the division if they beat San Diego in Oakland and Denver loses to the Chiefs.  Oakland also has a shot for the final wild card spot. It’s possible Oakland could win and still miss the playoffs.

To get the wild card, the Raiders would need a win, a Bengals loss, and a Titans loss. Or a win, a Bengals loss, and a Jets win.

Got all that?

Merry Christmas anyway.

Permalink 40 Comments Feed for comments Latest Stories in: Features, Rumor Mill, Top Stories
40 Responses to “Your Christmas Eve playoff race update”
  1. edreedisgod says: Dec 24, 2011 11:07 PM

    First swag

  2. justwinbaby29 says: Dec 24, 2011 11:12 PM

    The toughest part for the Raiders getting in will be beating San Diego. Rivers is a tough match-up and you know they’ll be ready to go. If the Raiders can win somehow I think they’ll get the help they need.

    Merry Christmas.. Go Raiders.. Just win, baby!

  3. blackqbwhiterb says: Dec 24, 2011 11:13 PM

    Who gets Andrew Luck?

  4. boltschick says: Dec 24, 2011 11:18 PM

    Thank you Gregg, this is very helpful. Merry Christmas.

  5. richm2256 says: Dec 24, 2011 11:21 PM

    Here’s what needs to happen for the Jets to make it: They need to win and they need a Bengals loss, a Titans loss, and a Raiders or Broncos loss.
    ———————————————————
    So, for the THIRD CONSECUTIVE YEAR, the two time defending Super Bowl Champion Yets can’t get into the playoffs on their own, and need to “back in” to the playoffs at the mercy of another team…

    is that about it?

    Ain’t made it to the playoffs on their own, YET!

    Y-E-T-S ….YETS, YETS, YETS !!!!!!!

  6. philyeagles5 says: Dec 24, 2011 11:23 PM

    Christmas has been cancelled.

  7. tiffpats4eva says: Dec 24, 2011 11:29 PM

    Merry Christmas, everyone. If you are a right winger, Happy Holidays!

  8. jdandcoke says: Dec 24, 2011 11:30 PM

    if the giants beat the boys and the jets miss the playoffs…..nothing else matters.

    i wonder if rex got a woodrow today when the giants stuck their foot up his ***.

  9. gmacc85 says: Dec 24, 2011 11:32 PM

    They should ban the NFC east from playoffs this year. No team really hasn’t been looking that good. Opinion brought to you by a cowboy fan.

  10. gallaghedj311 says: Dec 24, 2011 11:33 PM

    I want the raiders to win the west. Baltimore 1 seed. NE 2, wild card pitt and bengals. If I see anything other than packers saints for NFC championship, I’ll be mad…..

  11. rogerbrad says: Dec 24, 2011 11:35 PM

    This season has been one hell of a ride across the country. I’ve enjoyed it as I’m sure all the fans that check PFT agree.

    Merry Christmas to everyone. Now we can all yell and scream during the playoffs. Later …

  12. buffalomafia says: Dec 24, 2011 11:41 PM

    What game will be flexed?

  13. whitecastleisafoodgroup says: Dec 24, 2011 11:57 PM

    I’m not a fan of either team but I’d love to be in Denver to see Orton knock the Broncos out of the playoffs. No, I’m not a hater. It just makes for a good sports story.

    Merry Christmas ;)

  14. Andre's Johnson says: Dec 25, 2011 12:02 AM

    So the Texans will face either the Titans, Raiders, or Bengals in the first round (most likely). Not sure they’d beat any of those teams playing like they have the last two weeks. But with Wade Phillips back on the sideline and a bit of re-focusing, I like Houston’s chances. I honestly just don’t want to see the Steelers or Ravens in the first round.

  15. jdandcoke says: Dec 25, 2011 12:02 AM

    buffalomafia says:Dec 24, 2011 11:41 PM

    What game will be flexed?

    the yankees vs redsox

  16. kriswd40 says: Dec 25, 2011 12:07 AM

    how do both conferences have wild card spots? didn’t the falcon and lions clinch?

  17. kevpft says: Dec 25, 2011 12:13 AM

    What a great last week of the season. So many things yet to be decided.

    The flip side of that is so many teams that seem to be doing their best to not win anything outright. On one hand, you’ve got some killer, classic teams marching into the playoffs. On the other, almost all of them have played some real turkeys of games, lost when they should have won, and dropped the ball on opportunities to really seize the day. Some will be almost stumbling backwards into the playoffs, hobbled by injuries.

    Let’s hope that everyone is pretty healthy going into the playoffs, because there could yet be some great games. I hope to see the likes of Steelers-Ravens, Pats-Steelers, Packers-Saints, 49ers-Cowboys, Packers-Lions, etc.

    …all on the way to the Cowboys beating the Steelers in the SB. (Hey, a Cowboys fan can dream, right?)

  18. jbaxt says: Dec 25, 2011 12:35 AM

    Oh Gag! So the Chiefs are the deciders in either letting Tebow mania continue or letting Hue Jackson think he accomplished something by trading away the Raiders future for Palmer…

  19. donnydonowitz says: Dec 25, 2011 1:34 AM

    not so sure SD is officially eliminated.

    currently

    Denver 8-7 Div 3-2 Conf 6-5
    Oakland 8-7 Div 3-2 Conf 6-5
    San Diego 7-8 Div 2-3 Conf 6-5

    If San Diego beats Oakland and Denver loses to KC – They all end up at 8-8 and 3-3 in the division, but SD would have the better conference record at 7-5 and thus win the division.

  20. buzzbissinger says: Dec 25, 2011 1:58 AM

    @Andre’s Johnson:

    Only problem is, if you play the Raiders, they beat you with 10 men on the field!

    BWA-Ha!

  21. burm61 says: Dec 25, 2011 2:05 AM

    Rex Ryan at his Monday presser ” If we get in the playoffs, we are the favorites”. Sound familiar?

  22. sea3030 says: Dec 25, 2011 2:07 AM

    The good run is over now, but great things to come for the Seahawks over the next couple years. Seahawks-49ers rivalry has just begun!

  23. Soulman45 says: Dec 25, 2011 2:13 AM

    THE GREAT DETROIT LIONS
    Is still playing for something as most of you know these is new we are talking about the draft this time of the year.
    This year we are talking about the Lions wining the Super Bowl.

  24. korikill says: Dec 25, 2011 3:12 AM

    Let me see if I understand;
    The pellet with the poison’s in the vessel with the pestle; the chalice from the palace has the brew that is true.
    OK, think I’ve got it.

  25. acieu says: Dec 25, 2011 6:08 AM

    Who would have thought that the Cowboys would have
    missed Wade Phillips. Sometimes good guys do Ok. Go Texans.

  26. randomguy9999 says: Dec 25, 2011 6:21 AM

    Orton coming home is gonna be classic…. all he’s gotta do is put up normal QB numbers like 250yrds and 2TDs and he’ll blow away Teebs … Mile high will get real quiet soon…..

  27. cornernum23 says: Dec 25, 2011 6:44 AM

    The Lions couldn’t have picked a better time to play their best game of the season.

  28. joetoronto says: Dec 25, 2011 7:10 AM

    jbaxt says:
    Dec 25, 2011 12:35 AM
    Oh Gag! So the Chiefs are the deciders in either letting Tebow mania continue or letting Hue Jackson think he accomplished something by trading away the Raiders future for Palmer…
    ***************************************************
    Still crying, lol.

    Yes, the Chiefs are losers and you’re a Chiefs fan.

    What does that make you?

    It’s Ok though, the Chiefs are 30 million under the cap.

  29. steelersownyou says: Dec 25, 2011 7:38 AM

    GO BENGALS!

  30. sixburghrules says: Dec 25, 2011 8:00 AM

    kevpft says: Dec 25, 2011 12:13 AM

    …all on the way to the Cowboys beating the Steelers in the SB. (Hey, a Cowboys fan can dream, right?)
    _______________________________

    Yes You are definitely dreaming!

  31. nesuperfan says: Dec 25, 2011 8:31 AM

    donnydonowitz says:Dec 25, 2011 1:34 AM

    not so sure SD is officially eliminated.

    currently

    Denver 8-7 Div 3-2 Conf 6-5
    Oakland 8-7 Div 3-2 Conf 6-5
    San Diego 7-8 Div 2-3 Conf 6-5

    If San Diego beats Oakland and Denver loses to KC – They all end up at 8-8 and 3-3 in the division, but SD would have the better conference record at 7-5 and thus win the division.
    __________________________________

    They are eliminated. The problem is that for three teams tied in a division, you left out the first tiebreaker, which is (from the NFL site) “1. Head-to-head (best won-lost-tied percentage in games among the clubs)”, and “3. Best won-lost-tied percentage in common games.”

    You can see from these results, they all tie at 2 each for head-to-head, the first tiebreaker.

    9/12 oak 1-0 den 0-1
    10/9 sd 1-0 den 0-1
    10/10 oak 1-0 sd 0-1
    11/6 den 1-0 oak 0-1
    11/27 den 1-0 sd 0-1
    1/1 oak 0-1 sd 1-0 (conditional)

    SD loses it on games in common, the third tiebreaker. I will drop the divisional games since, as you pointed out, they all tied. That just leave the games in common versus the AFC East and NFC North. They come in at 3-4 and Denver at 4-4, thus winning the tiebreaker.

    Denver

    GB 0-1
    Det 0-1
    Min 1-0
    Chi 1-0

    Mia 1-0
    NYJ 1-0
    NE 0-1
    Buf 0-1

    4-4

    Oakland

    Min 1-0
    Chi 1-0
    GB 0-1
    Det 0-1

    Buf 0-1
    NYJ 1-0
    NE 0-1
    Mia 0-1

    3-4

    SD

    Min 1-0
    GB 0-1
    Chi 0-1
    Det 0-1

    NE 0-1
    Mia 1-0
    NYJ 0-1
    Buf 1-0

    3-4

  32. richm2256 says: Dec 25, 2011 8:40 AM

    sixburghrules says:
    Yes You are definitely dreaming!
    ———————————————————
    You could tell, because he has the Steelers in the Super Bowl.

  33. packfaninchitown says: Dec 25, 2011 8:58 AM

    donnydonowitz says: Dec 25, 2011 1:34 AM

    not so sure SD is officially eliminated.

    currently

    Denver 8-7 Div 3-2 Conf 6-5
    Oakland 8-7 Div 3-2 Conf 6-5
    San Diego 7-8 Div 2-3 Conf 6-5

    If San Diego beats Oakland and Denver loses to KC – They all end up at 8-8 and 3-3 in the division, but SD would have the better conference record at 7-5 and thus win the division.
    ____________________________
    Here’s the tie-breaker rules for three or more clubs within the same division, looks like common games outweighs conference games (though I didn’t look the games up).

    TO BREAK A TIE WITHIN A DIVISION

    If, at the end of the regular season, two or more clubs in the same division finish with identical won-lost-tied percentages, the following steps will be taken until a champion is determined.
    Two Clubs

    Head-to-head (best won-lost-tied percentage in games between the clubs).
    Best won-lost-tied percentage in games played within the division.
    Best won-lost-tied percentage in common games.
    Best won-lost-tied percentage in games played within the conference.
    Strength of victory.
    Strength of schedule.
    Best combined ranking among conference teams in points scored and points allowed.
    Best combined ranking among all teams in points scored and points allowed.
    Best net points in common games.
    Best net points in all games.
    Best net touchdowns in all games.
    Coin toss

  34. hatersweargreen says: Dec 25, 2011 9:11 AM

    richm2256 says: Dec 25, 2011 8:40 AM

    sixburghrules says:
    Yes You are definitely dreaming!
    ———————————————————
    You could tell, because he has the Steelers in the Super Bowl.

    ———————————————————-

    hey, i think the AFC is pretty wide open. baltimore, NE, Pitt i think any of those 3 could make the SB…. i’m only leaving HOU out because of their QB situation.

  35. waltdawg says: Dec 25, 2011 9:50 AM

    Yes….Thank you Greg….My Family hopes that you have the most merry christmas ever. All of your sensorship and removal of my comments is not taken personally as you me and our families celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ on this glorious day.

  36. huejackson says: Dec 25, 2011 11:31 AM

    This is wrong, The Raiders can get a wild card just with a Bengals loss which they will lose..
    Raiders don’t even need titans to lose…
    Raiders are getting in no matter what cause Orton is going to light up the Broncos but I actually would perfer the Raiders to get a Wild card that way they could face a Tj Yates Texans team… If that happens Im telling you all right now Raiders are going to the Superbowl…
    NFL is all about match ups and the Raider match up great against the texans which they already beat and Texans had Schuab at that point, Raiders match up great with the Pats, I know what your thinking “pats already beat Raiders” Well that was Campbel”s Raiders and Pats D will not be able to stop Palmer, Moore, and by then DMC and Bush.. Pats struggles against Moore qb of the Dolphins and I think Palmer is better than Moore, Dolphins have a better D than the Raiders but every team has a better D than the Raiders…So here is your Superbowl
    Giants VS Raiders
    And your 2011 Superbowl champ?
    The Oakland Raiders! Yes they SHOCK THE WORLD! Put your kids college fund, your house Mortgage everything you have in the bank on the Raiders to win it all! MERRY XMAS RAIDER NATION

  37. bloggingpoodlewalker says: Dec 25, 2011 11:36 AM

    I see the Nation in,..as a wild card. Titans lose, Bengals for sure lose…The Nation plays better on the road anyway, will travel to Houston instead of Baltimore or Pittsburg coming to Oakland,…The Nation better served as a wild card. I just set you all strait.

  38. rando74 says: Dec 25, 2011 12:07 PM

    Umm….so the Broncos get in with a win OR an Oakland loss? Ugh talk about backing in…..

  39. cupete says: Dec 25, 2011 12:45 PM

    nesuperfan:

    Thanks for the explanation. The Chargers and Raiders would be 3-5 against common opponents while the Broncos would be 4-4, so Denver would get the tiebreaker. Hope they knock off the Chiefs at home next week! I am interested in the reception Ortin will get at Mile High.

  40. tominma says: Dec 25, 2011 3:25 PM

    Wouldnt it be FUN if the Packers, with one of the leagues best offenses and worst defenses meet in the SB with the Patriots, with one of the leagues best offenses and worst defenses?? It has the makings of one of the best SBs ever doesnt it??

Leave a Reply

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