Week 16 playoff scenarios

AP

Four teams have already clinched playoff berths, and in Week 16 eight more teams have the ability to clinch. Here’s how the playoff scenarios look for Week 16:

AFC

CLINCHED: New England – AFC East, Denver – AFC West, Indianapolis – AFC South

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (at New York Jets)

New England clinches home-field advantage throughout AFC playoffs with a win and a Denver loss.

New England clinches a first-round bye with a win or losses by the Colts, Bengals, Steelers and Ravens.

DENVER BRONCOS (at Cincinnati)

Denver clinches a first-round bye with a win.

CINCINNATI BENGALS (vs. Denver)

Cincinnati clinches the AFC North with a win, a Pittsburgh loss and a Baltimore loss.

Cincinnati clinches a playoff spot with a win or losses by the Chiefs, Chargers and Bills.

PITTSBURGH STEELERS (vs. Kansas City)

Pittsburgh clinches a playoff spot with a win.

BALTIMORE RAVENS (at Houston)

Baltimore clinches a playoff spot with a win and losses by the Steelers and Bengals, or losses by the Chiefs and Chargers.

NFC

CLINCHED: Arizona – playoff spot

ARIZONA CARDINALS (vs. Seattle)

Arizona clinches NFC West and home-field advantage throughout NFC playoffs with a win.

DETROIT LIONS (at Chicago)

Detroit clinches NFC North with a win and a Packers loss.

Detroit clinches a first-round bye with a win, a Packers loss and a Cowboys loss.

Detroit clinches a playoff spot with a win or an Eagles loss.

DALLAS COWBOYS (vs. Indianapolis)

Dallas clinches NFC East with a win and an Eagles loss.

Dallas clinches a playoff spot with a win and losses by the Packers and Lions.

SEATTLE SEAHAWKS (at Arizona)

Seattle clinches a playoff spot with a win and a loss by either the Eagles, the Lions or the Packers. Seattle also clinches a playoff spot if the Eagles lose and the Cowboys win.

GREEN BAY PACKERS (at Tampa Bay)

Green Bay clinches a playoff spot with a win and either an Eagles loss or a Cowboys win. If the Eagles lose and the Cowboys win, Green Bay clinches a playoff spot even with a loss.

NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (vs. Atlanta)

New Orleans clinches the NFC South with a win and a Panthers loss.

71 responses to “Week 16 playoff scenarios

  1. That Steelers D is shaky to say the least, but when that offense is going they can hang with anyone. If they want to make the playoffs and make any noise, they’re gonna have to win shootouts. They’re capable, but inconsistent.

  2. If the Ravens get in they would have essentially played 3 practice games (Jags, Texans & Browns) leading into the post season with a front 7 that has been insane even without Haloti Ngata who would be eligible for their 1st playoff game.

    This is a team that isn’t affected by the cold weather who plays solid defense & runs the ball very well….very, very dangerous team if they get in.

  3. we laugh at those that counted us out. 11-5 and about to make a Super run.

    #herecometheravens #weownthisleague #andeverybodyknowsit

  4. michaelskakel says:
    Dec 16, 2014 10:25 AM
    That Steelers D is shaky to say the least, but when that offense is going they can hang with anyone. If they want to make the playoffs and make any noise, they’re gonna have to win shootouts. They’re capable, but inconsistent.

    I just don’t get it either. Why so inconsistent. What is it really? Lose to rotten teams and win against great teams. It makes no sense. Also, they have 11 men on both sides of the ball, each have 2 arms, 2 legs, and made it this far and qualify to be in the NFL….why can’t they be just as good as anyone else?

    Too logical I guess.

  5. That mad scrambling you hear in the background is 11 other teams trying to figure out how in the world they’re gonna stop the steelers.

  6. Anyone saying the Ravens would be dangerous in the playoffs isn’t paying attention. They’re one injury away from having an open tryout for defensive backs. They are not a threat.

  7. Answer to question about steelers

    #1 offense # 19 defense

    So if up against team with top offense or defense with bad record they have a chance to lose

  8. sdsmooth, I believe it’s when they win 10-11 games after Rodgers retires.

    I believe your mocking the Vikings and their fans, if not I am sorry for rubbing it in that they are out of contention for many years to come.

  9. Texans beat the Ravens and then the Browns beat the Ravens the following week then the Texans get in!

    Hey, anything’s possible…

  10. Detroit cant win the division with a win and GB loss. GB gets tie breaker advantage in common opponents. Last game will decide NFC north division regardless of this weekend

  11. Of all the “near miss” teams I watched, I think the Bills were the most impressive. They lost a bunch of close squeakers, including to the Broncos, that I think they would win if they get a decent QB. Pair that with a very solid defense and next year could be a lot of fun in the AFC East.

    Sincerely,
    a Pats fan

  12. That mad scrambling you hear in the background is 11 other teams trying to figure out how in the world they’re gonna stop the steelers.

    I guess they’ll just have to ask the Buccaneers or Jets.

  13. Eagles still have a shot, yet you exclude them from this list. It’s not even that much of a long shot. The Colts beat the Cowboys, Eagles beat the Redskins and Giants.

  14. More like how will the pathetic Packers get in the playoff bc they’re chasing with Lazzzy from the behind the Lions with slow turtle Lazzzy. Packers are dreaming of getting in. No chance bc they will lose out some how and Eagles get in, eliminating Packers from playoff. Oh well, maybe Packers get in but one and done bc of their pathetic D and Rodgers choke!!!!!

  15. If the football gods are listening….please make the Eagles-Giants a Philly elimination game in week 17. There’s a good portion of the country that would LOVE to see Odell Beckham torch the crap out of that overrated team and its windbag coach.

  16. armylz says:
    Dec 16, 2014 11:00 AM

    Detroit cant win the division with a win and GB loss. GB gets tie breaker advantage in common opponents. Last game will decide NFC north division regardless of this weekend
    ———
    yes they can, if Det wins and GB loses they would have the same record against common opponents. Then it would go to conf record, which Det would win with a better record.

  17. Army LZ you sir are incorrect. If Detroit wins and GB loses then the packers will have a worse NFC record than Detroit, and that is before common opponents in the tiebreaker. So if indeed GB can somehow lose to TB ( who knows they are sub .500 on the road) then Detroit clinches the north with a win at Chicago, regardless of week 17 outcome. Also, Detroit will have beaten both New Orleans and Tampa, so even on common opponents detroit would have the tiebreaker clinched

    Better to remain silent……

  18. steelerswillbefine says:
    Dec 16, 2014 10:55 AM
    cruzan80, a very dangerous team? Try 1-5 against teams with a winning record. This is the AFC, no non winning teams will be in the playoffs.
    ————————–
    That must be a relief for you guys since you can’t seem to beat a non winning team. Saints, Jets, Bucs…

  19. bestbadteamaround says:
    Dec 16, 2014 11:20 AM
    Eagles still have a shot, yet you exclude them from this list. It’s not even that much of a long shot. The Colts beat the Cowboys, Eagles beat the Redskins and Giants.

    _____

    No playoff scenario for them this weekend which is why they are not listed.

  20. The 49ers are in a very interesting position at the moment. Arizona plays Seattle this week then the 49ers the final week.

    If the 49ers really wanted to spoil the Seahawks fun, they could “take a dive” against Arizona week 17 to give them home field advantage throughout the playoffs.

  21. That Steelers D is shaky to say the least, but when that offense is going they can hang with anyone. If they want to make the playoffs and make any noise, they’re gonna have to win shootouts. They’re capable, but inconsistent.

    ————————————

    all… repeat… it all depends on Ben and if he has his contact lens hit and can ‘hit’ the receiver.

    Go back and look at the opening plays… instead of running … PASS… and if Ben hits… he’s on.. if he misses.. it will be a lonnnngggggg day

  22. Packers will miss the playoffs at 11-5. Colts beat the Cowboys. Eagles win out. Lions win out and Seahawks win out. Gotta love the espn playoff machine. If not for the mvp performance by Rodgers against the bills, they could control their own destiny. Oh the drops not Rodgers…..lol. 4 drops, 3 pbu!

  23. Seahawks just need to beat the Cards and the Rams. Then what happens between the Cards and 49ers is irrelevant.

  24. Isn’t it time for the annual Bengals meltdown?
    As for the Ravens, as long as Dean Pees remembers he can’t just leave his corners to cover and only do 3 man rushes, we should be OK. The front 7 should be able to cause problems with just about any team to cover for the lack of long term coverage in the backfield. The games the Ravens have been really shaky are the ones where Pees was keeping everyone back rather than trying to overpower the opposing OLs.

  25. If I had to pick now I would say Steelers win the AFC N, Ravens take the 5th seed, and either Chiefs, Chargers or Bills take the 6th seed (probably Bills) and Bengals won’t even make the playoffs.

    ~a Chargers fan.

  26. Jayniner
    That’s only if Seattle didn’t win the last game against the rams at home because if the hawks win out they will have the number 1 seed so the niners losing to the cards in week 17 doesn’t mean anything if the hawks win out. Not really sure the 49ers would have to take a dive because I’m not sure they could beat them right now anyways.

  27. “Baltimore clinches a playoff spot with a win and losses by the Steelers and Bengals….”

    ——————————————————————–

    Which is entirely possible this weekend. Pitt is home against KC, and the Bengals are in prime time against Denver (and we all know how the Bengals perform when they’re in the spotlight on national TV).

  28. coltsreign says:
    Dec 16, 2014 10:18 AM
    If the colts win out and Denver drops the next two, we have first round bye
    ========================
    And then the Colts lose their first game but at least they’ll already be at home.

  29. This is the Redskins chance for something to come from this awful season. RG showed life and this is their super bowl this year……knock the Eagles out of the post season. Good old Chip can sit home during the playoffs playing with his remote controlled cars and drinking smoothies…
    HTTR

  30. Dallas will lose this week, Eagles will win out. Then the Eagles will get Foles back for the last game and playoffs. Then they’ll win the Superbowl.

    Write it down.

  31. It will be a huge disappointment if Buffalo beats the Raiders in Oakland, goes to New England and wins there, but still misses the playoffs with a 10-6 record… IMO, the NFL needs to fix the playoff formula… It is pretty sad when a team makes the playoffs with a 7-9 or 8-8 record, while other teams are sitting at home after a 10-6 season… SMH. The best way to solve this would be to eliminate the division winner formula and go with conference leaders… the best record makes it. Best 6 in the AFC, best 6 in the NFC… or just run the best 12 in the entire league. Get at it NFL!

  32. Yes, it’s unlikely that Green Bay loses in Tampa Bay this upcoming week. But I’ve never cheered for the Bucs as bad as I am right now!!!!

    Just imagine… According to the polls, Green Bay is amazing and Detroit is “so-so” even after beating them. It’s all simply chalked up to how they weren’t “playing well yet”. Funny, but the way they looked against Buffalo is exactly how they looked against Detroit and Seattle…So maybe, aside from the Pats game, they just aren’t that good after all. We’ll soon find out..

    Go Bucs, Lions, Eagles and Cowboys…. Then, it can actually be Detroit themselves that finally wins in Lambeau and knocks the Pageant Princess out of the playoffs altogether.

    I know, far fetched maybe. But it could happen!!!

  33. Teams get into the playoffs by:

    1. Winning games in the division.
    or
    2. Winning games in the conference.

    Divisional game are most exciting for fans, so they won’t change the playoff scenario, nor should they.

  34. “How do the Packers not get rocked in the first round?”

    I don’t know, maybe by playing the kind of game that dominated the best team in the entire AFC.

  35. I agree with EJ to a point but win your division and your in, everybody knows the format at the start. But it is ridiculous a team with losing record makes the playoffs, it doesn’t seem right. The Nfl and College have got an outdated formula to decide the best teams, glad to see the latter has tried get it right. But I guess when you only have a limited number of games and a lot of teams that don’t play each other it must be hard. Strength of schedule I believe is a bit of a lottery based on current records as teams can change so much over the offseason. I am sure the powers that be are working on it especially if it will make them more money.

  36. So Dallas just needs to win, no help just win, been a while since that’s happened. Not looking forward to a home game tho, we are terrible at home. I feel Dallas just plays better to booing crowds, they have a bit of a chip this year, I mean we were considered a bust after draft day, kinda nice to be in control of the outcome for a change.

  37. The Packers have won their division three times in a row and qualified for the postseason five years in a row. They know it is very difficult and they know what it takes. They were eliminated (one-and-done) just twice in that period of time, and have a SuperBowl victory during the same period of time.

    The three remaining teams in the North Division would give anything for a record like that.

    Having said that, they will need some luck to continue that impressive streak.

  38. Remember back in the beginning of the year when all of the 49er fans were shocked and outraged that most of the experts were picking them to miss the playoffs this year? Then they tried to spin it by saying that’s how they liked it and that the team would use the disrespect the fans felt they were receiving as extra motivation to teach everyone a lesson that they better not be overlooking them?

    It’s nice to know that those few “fans” that remained after the loss to Oakland will now be jumping off the bandwagon and we won’t have to deal with them for the rest of the year.

    Wh0000000000000sssssssssgotitbett… I can’t even bring myself to finish that.

  39. Please note (or at least let Andy Dalton know this) that if Cincinnati wins, they don’t actually earn a spot in the playoffs. It’s an extra regular season game… Preferably at 1pm.

  40. The cards will find out if they have the championship drive to beat the high caliber 49er – #3 defense.

    The Seahawk vs 9ers last Sunday was a hard hitting game!!! The Card’s O-line will crumble, and their QB is going down!!!

    Time to separate the boys from the men

  41. Cfeely52, Steelers are 4-2 against winning teams…do the math, that would make them 5-3 against the rest.

    Ravens are 1-5 against winning teams, not something you want to see in a potential playoff team.

    Oh did I forget to mention the Ravens are 3rd in the North? Finishing 2-0 isn’t a given for a team with a poor secondary, especially if Gordon gets on track.

  42. ariani1985 says:
    Dec 16, 2014 3:14 PM
    Well, at least green bay can’t get throttled by the 49ers for one straight year!
    ////////////////////////////////////////

    ….and Viking fans can save money by wearing their “Maybe Next Year” T-shirts again….and again….and again….and….(fade to black.)

  43. sdsmooth says:

    How do the Vikings get into the playoffs?

    The Hawaiian lava flow has to freeze over in the next week.
    As for winning it all – a much hotter place has to freeze over.

  44. Well it looks like our little sisters to the east will be a new punching bag for a new team in the playoffs! Sea hacks? Possibly the cardinals?

  45. The Packers have won their division three times in a row, qualified for the postseason five years in a row, and have a SuperBowl victory during the same period of time.

    If the Packers are a punching bag, the Vikings are a wet paper bag. The Packers OWN the Vikings.

  46. “If the 49ers really wanted to spoil the Seahawks fun, they could “take a dive” against Arizona week 17 to give them home field advantage throughout the playoffs.”

    $$$$$

    Not true, since having already beaten the Cardinals the Seahawks future only rests with the Seahawks.

    But the 9’er’s having lost twice to the Seahawks in a matter of weeks it’s interesting to observe a 9’er fan hoping that the Seahawks don’t make the playoff’s like their own team.

    Perhaps that’s why your team imploded….too much hate…that Karma stuff is a *****!

  47. Skawh, your statement is also wrong. The Cards are in the driver seat, they win this week(I doubt it will happen)the division is theirs. Next week, assuming the Seahawks win, they will be the ones in control.

  48. An 11-5 team could miss the playoffs in a couple scenarios. Either Green Bay or Philly could finish 11-5 and miss the post season. I have watched football for decades and don’t remember that ever happening before. I have seen 10-6 teams miss a few times.

  49. sdsmooth says:
    Dec 16, 2014 2:56 PM
    bordner:

    Gotta be honest with ya. I don’t remember any of that.

    Nice try though.
    ———————————————–
    Thanks for being honest with me. Not my fault you have a poor memory.

    Here’s just a few of the comments from the PFT’s 2014 season predictions article from September 3, 2014, 2:16 PM EST. I would have included more, but there were so many, I got tired of copying and pasting:

    “The Niners will not miss the playoffs”
    “As a Niners fan, I love it. Please let the 49ers fly under the radar.”
    “I love it only one of these “experts” pick the Niners to even make the playoffs beautiful…great news.
    Niners are in great shape now! The quest for 6 baby ”
    “49ers WILL get to the playoffs as a wild card.”
    “Niners finish the Packers’ season three years in a row. I know, not a bold prediction…”
    “Jim Harbaugh can legitimately play the “Nobody believes in us.” card this year.”
    “You people are NUTS if you don’t think the 49ers will be in it.
    Your predictions are a farce and you’ll be proven wrong.”
    “Lol at only one person picking the 49ers to make the playoffs.. Priceless! Look forward to seeing you all eat crow on that one.”

  50. bordner says:
    Dec 16, 2014 7:21 PM

    Here’s just a few of the comments from the PFT’s 2014 season predictions article from September 3, 2014, 2:16 PM EST. I would have included more, but there were so many, I got tired of copying and pasting:

    “The Niners will not miss the playoffs”
    “As a Niners fan, I love it. Please let the 49ers fly under the radar.”
    “I love it only one of these “experts” pick the Niners to even make the playoffs beautiful…great news.
    Niners are in great shape now! The quest for 6 baby ”
    “49ers WILL get to the playoffs as a wild card.”
    “Niners finish the Packers’ season three years in a row. I know, not a bold prediction…”
    “Jim Harbaugh can legitimately play the “Nobody believes in us.” card this year.”
    “You people are NUTS if you don’t think the 49ers will be in it.
    Your predictions are a farce and you’ll be proven wrong.”
    “Lol at only one person picking the 49ers to make the playoffs.. Priceless! Look forward to seeing you all eat crow on that one.”

    – – –

    This should be a separate article for PFT on its own.

    You could even do a ‘Where are they now?’ segment, to bring it to a close.

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