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Where the playoff races stand

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We’ve seen some confusion out there on the remaining playoff scenarios, so let’s quickly recap things after the end of the 1 p.m. ET games.


1. The Patriots have clinched the No. 1 seed with their win over the Bills.

2. The Ravens and Steelers are still battling to win the division. The Ravens clinch the division and the No. 2 seed with a win over the Bengals.

3. The Texans will host either the Bengals or Titans next week.

4. The Broncos and Raiders can both win the AFC West. Oakland needs to beat San Diego and get the Broncos to lose. The Broncos win any ties. Yep, they could get in at 8-8 on a three game losing streak.

5. Second place in the AFC North will travel to the winner of the AFC West.

6. The Raiders can’t win a wild card spot now. The Jets are out.

The Bengals win the No. 6 seed with a win over Baltimore. The Bengals also get in if the Broncos OR the Raiders lose.

In short, the Bengals are in good shape even if they lose. The Bengals beat Tennessee in Week 9, so they win the head-to-head tiebreak over the Titans.

If three teams tie at 9-7, the Titans would nab the final spot.


1. The Packers clinched the No. 1 seed last week, then beat the Lions with Matt Flynn at quarterback for good measure.

2. The 49ers clinched the No. 2 seed with their close win over the Rams.

3. The Saints will host the No. 6 seed next week. It’s likely to be the Lions.

4. The winner of Giants-Cowboys will host the No. 5 seed next week.

5. Atlanta is up huge against Tampa. If they hold on to the lead, they will travel to the winner of the NFC East.

6. Detroit’s loss in Lambeau will likely have them heading to the Superdome next week. Doh.

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11 Responses to “Where the playoff races stand”
  1. johnshawisgay says: Jan 1, 2012 5:41 PM

    One NY team out and hopefully the Cowboys can eliminate the other also…

  2. brenenostler says: Jan 1, 2012 5:45 PM

    I’m a little confused. The Titans are now 9-7 and the Bengals will be 9-7 if they lose. The Bengals apparently have the tie breaker, so how is it possible for the Titans to get in?

  3. morganwick says: Jan 1, 2012 6:01 PM

    The Bengals beating the Titans would be irrelevant in a three-team tiebreaker. Yes, it is confusing.

  4. natisportsnut says: Jan 1, 2012 6:02 PM

    What happens if the Dal-NYG game ends in a tie?

  5. djigel says: Jan 1, 2012 6:06 PM

    If the Titans and Bengals both finish 9-7, the Bengals go based on head to head. If a third team finishes 9-7 (i.e. Oakland and Denver win) and it is a three way tie, Titans would go on conference record since head to head is eliminated.

  6. commandercornpone says: Jan 1, 2012 6:06 PM

    if the raiders, bengals and titans are all 9-7… and the broncos too… broncos win the west.

    throw out head to head for the wild card cause oak/ten didnt play.

    the titans would 7-5 in afc games, the others would be 6-6.

    so the titans would be in. and back in houston again next week.

  7. berniemadoffsides says: Jan 1, 2012 6:16 PM

    natisportsnut says:
    Jan 1, 2012 6:02 PM
    What happens if the Dal-NYG game ends in a tie?


    The world ends.

  8. profootballwalk says: Jan 1, 2012 6:32 PM

    So who will the Jets new QB be next year?

  9. apm says: Jan 1, 2012 6:57 PM

    Giants are in if its a tie, probably because they beat the Cowboys in the first matchup.

  10. brenenostler says: Jan 1, 2012 7:01 PM

    Giants have the tie breaker. That’s why it didn’t matter if Dallas won or lost the Philly game last week.

  11. nflfollower says: Jan 1, 2012 7:04 PM

    With the way people are talking, it would be so awesome if Detroit upset the saints. Unlikely tho, seems to me the saints are the hottest team in the league right now.

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