Three playoff spots clinched, nine to go

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The Colts have clinched the AFC South, while the Broncos and Seahawks have each clinched playoff berths. With three teams in and nine playoff spots to go, here’s a look at the state of the playoff race:

AFC East: The Patriots clinch if they win one more game, or if the Dolphins lose one more game. Suffice to say, New England will win the division, and the Patriots will likely be the AFC No. 2 seed.

AFC North: The Bengals have a two-game lead over the Ravens and will likely be the AFC No. 3 seed.

AFC South: The Colts have clinched the division and will likely be the AFC No. 4 seed.

AFC West: The Broncos have a one-game lead over the Chiefs and own the tiebreaker advantage. Denver just needs to win two of its remaining three to clinch the division. If Denver wins all three, it clinches home-field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs.

AFC wild card: Kansas City will almost certainly be the AFC No. 5 seed and likely play at Indianapolis in the first round of the playoffs. The final wild card will likely go to 7-6 Baltimore or 7-6 Miami, with the 6-7 Chargers and Jets still clinging to playoff hopes.

NFC East: The Eagles lead the Cowboys by half a game, pending Monday night. Dallas and Philadelphia meet in a Week 17 game that will likely determine the division winner.

NFC North: The first-place Lions will win the division if they win their final three games. If they lose a game, either the Bears or Packers (who meet in Week 17) can win the division by winning out.

NFC South: The Saints have a one-game lead over the Panthers, and the winner of the NFC South will likely be the NFC No. 2 seed.

NFC West: The Seahawks need to win just two of their final three games to clinch the division and home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs.

NFC wild card: The 9-4 Panthers and the 9-4 49ers look like the NFC wild card teams, while the 8-5 Cardinals are still in the playoff hunt.

19 responses to “Three playoff spots clinched, nine to go

  1. You’re awfully generous with that likely word, you did hear Gronkowski is likely out for the year right?

  2. If The Pats lose to Miami next sunday. There’s a good chance that they will fall to the 3 seed(Cincy tie-breaker) and in a strange twist end up playing Miami in the wildcard round of the playoffs. Pats can actually help Miami get in by beating Baltimore in week 16.

    Book KC at Indy in the wildcard round.

    Dallas has 4 games left and even going 1 and 2 in the next 3 could set them up for a win and get in scenario in week 17 against Philly. They have to stay within one game going into that matchup.

    Before this week, It looked like the #5 seed would be headed to play NFC east winner in the wildcard round but now the #4 may end up being the NFC North winner. If Eagles beat Chicago, They will own tiebreakers over all NFC North winners.

    Detroit can’t be trusted and Green Bay is very much alive this monday morning. They have a legitimate shot of winning that division.

    Bruce Arians, coach of the year again?… Unlike Dallas, staying within one game of the 49ers going into their week 17 matchup may not not open a door way into the playoffs but there is more than one way for Zona to get in. Arizona could beat San Fran in the final week, finish with the same record and still not get in based on division tie breakers. There is another door for Arizona to get in. If The Cards and Panthers are tied at season’s end. Arizona gets into the playoffs based on their head to head victory over Carolina earlier this year.

  3. I really think the Seahawks could lose against the Giants in Jersey next week. The 49ers have a shot at winning the division if the Shehawks lose against the Giants and then the ‘Tards pull an upset.

    Long shot I know. But the 49ers still have a shot at the division crown

  4. The Detroit lions couldn’t have the dominos fall any better for them this year. The vikings proving their team is still a dumpster fire, Rodgers lengthy injury, Cutlers injury, and they could probably still lose the division. Race to 8, baby.

  5. supremekingz says:
    Dec 9, 2013 8:21 AM
    I really think the Seahawks could lose against the Giants in Jersey next week. The 49ers have a shot at winning the division if the Shehawks lose against the Giants and then the ‘Tards pull an upset.

    Long shot I know. But the 49ers still have a shot at the division crown

    Come on man. As much as I want that to happen there is absolutely no chance.

    NY looked awful, and I mean AWFUL yesterday. Their wins this year are against: The Josh Freeman led Vikings, the Eric Barkely led Eagles, the Scott Tolzien led Packers, the Matt MCGloin led/Darren McFadden-less Raiders, & the pitiful Redskins. And none of those games were won in convincing fashion, in fact, all but th GB game were tight battles.

    That’s as unimpressive of a list of 5 wins as you will find. Especially coming off a loss there is absolutely no chance that the Seahawks, playing for home field, comes to NJ and loses to the Giants. And that’s as if Arizona wasnt enough of a stretch.

  6. If I were the Eagles I would have started gameplanning weeks ago for the Cowboys.

    The chiefs should start doing the same thing for the colts.

  7. But I thought they Packers season was over and they better shut down Rodgers? I think you all forgot the Lions were leading the division, THE LIONS. Now the Pack are only .5 game out of the division title and should have Rodgers back next week.

    All I can say if somehow the Packers make the playoffs they aren’t a team I’d want to face.


  8. Patriots will easily get the division. Then Tom Brady will do what he does in the playoffs,(embarrass Peyton Manning), and lead his team to the SuperBowl..

    Seattle with dominate as they have been doing and then face some stiff competition in the playoffs..
    The only team that would be able to beat them at home in Seattle would be the Eagles. .that’s the only team that will be able to communicate in that atmosphere in the post season..
    (and NFL team can’t win if they can’t audible).

    Seattle -v- Patriots for the NFL crown.

  9. Like I posted last week re a J Clayton article “giving” the 2 seed to NE. Its a joke. With Gronks injury it def changes things. I like Cinti’s chances ALOT.

  10. I don’t think people realize how close the Bengals actually are to a number 2 seed. If the Patriots would not have made a miraculous comeback yesterday, the Bengals would be the number 2 seed. They would have been tied at 9-4, with the tie breaker going to Cincinnati.

    But hey, maybe I’m just greedy and a sour Bengals fans.

    I just want to see them get past the first round of the playoffs before I die.

    Last team they beat was the Huston Oilers…

  11. As a Chiefs fan, I hear you tsmercurio! The last team the Chiefs beat in the playoffs was also the Houston Oilers.

    I started cheering for the team in 1994 as a 9-year old, and have yet to see them win a playoff game. They have also been beaten by the Colts 3 of the last 4 times they have been to the playoffs, so the stars aren’t aligning nicely for them.

    I think the Bengals have a solid shot at finally ending their 20+ year drought this year. At least you know they won’t be losing to the Texans again!

  12. JUST AN FYI: I am a 53 year life-long giants fan.
    Unless through Archie, and some electro-magic process, Eli transforms into Peyton; Brees; or Brady, the Seahawks will put enough points up by half-time, to start resting there starters!
    The giants are a mess, old, look like a 1963 team, designed by one, Kevin Gilbride, and trust me, if Eli does not get a “real QB coach” not some “quality control person”, his career at 33 will be in doubt.
    Coughlin should have some serious concerns about coming back next year, he should really think about retiring, what’s left to prove?
    The team will be cutting ties with many, and re-building, though Reese won’t call it that.

  13. kd75 says:
    Dec 9, 2013 7:28 AM
    49ers clinched a playoff spot yesterday.

    No they didn’t. They are only one game ahead of the Eagles and the Cowboys with 3 games to play.

    Nice try, though.

  14. Wait, what!?!?! The 49ers didn’t clinch a spot? Must be just a formality, because apparently winning by 2 at home cemented them as favorites to win the Superbowl this year. Their fans can’t be wrong about this, there’s just no way, they know everything!

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