Sunday has 11 games with playoff implications

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We basically know which teams are in the playoffs: Carolina, Arizona, Minnesota, Green Bay, Washington and Seattle have clinched the six NFC spots. New England, Denver, Cincinnati and Kansas City have clinched four spots in the AFC, with Houston almost certain to win the AFC South and the Jets having the inside track for the final wild card.

But with one exception — Washington is the NFC No. 4 seed — we don’t know what order those teams will be in for the playoffs. Here are the 11 Sunday games that will determine that:

Seahawks at Cardinals, 4:25 p.m.: The Cardinals clinch home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs if they win and the Panthers lose. The Seahawks will be the No. 6 seed if they lose or the Vikings beat the Packers. The Seahawks will be the No. 5 seed if they win and the Packers beat the Vikings.

Vikings at Packers, 8:30 p.m.: The winner is the NFC North champion and the NFC No. 3 seed. If the Packers lose, they’re the No. 5 seed. If the Vikings lose and the Seahawks win, the Vikings are the No. 6 seed. If the Vikings and Seahawks both lose, the Vikings are the No. 5 seed.

Jets at Bills, 1 p.m.: If the Jets win, they clinch a wild card.

Patriots at Dolphins, 1 p.m.: If the Patriots win, they clinch home-field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs.

Ravens at Bengals, 1 p.m.: If the Bengals win out and the Broncos lose, the Bengals earn a first-round bye.

Steelers at Browns, 1 p.m.: If the Steelers win and the Jets lose, the Steelers are a wild card.

Jaguars at Texans, 1 p.m.: The Texans clinch the AFC South with a win. The Texans will also clinch the AFC South if they win the strength of victory tiebreaker with the Colts, which will probably happen. So this game, though not meaningless, is not particularly important.

Titans at Colts, 1 p.m.: The Colts can still win the AFC South, but they need to beat the Titans, the Texans need to lose to the Jaguars, and a lot of other things have to happen. The Colts will probably miss the playoffs even if they win. So this game, though not meaningless, is not particularly important.

Panthers at Buccaneers, 4:25 p.m.: The Panthers clinch home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs with a win. The Panthers also clinch home-field advantage if the Cardinals lose.

Raiders at Chiefs, 4:25 p.m.: The Chiefs clinch the AFC West with a win and a Broncos loss.

Chargers at Broncos, 4:25 p.m.: The Broncos clinch home-field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs with a win and a Patriots loss. The Broncos clinch a first-round bye with a win.

14 responses to “Sunday has 11 games with playoff implications

  1. Jets will butt fumble in Wing city,,lose like 24-20..and disappear from view….watch. As for the bronco’s,,on a short week,,with a wounded QB,,,,Chargers upset the donkeys. Chiefs win the DIV,,,and steelers sneak in past the J-E-T-S..JETS JETS JETS…..

  2. I wonder if claymaker was called for that flagrant penalty in the photo.

    He’s a Packer – so probably not… 😉

  3. jetsfmleveryday says:
    Dec 29, 2015 6:49 AM
    Why is Rex Ryan so quiet? Its Tuesday morning. I figure he is having coffee with Jim Kelly and Thurman Thomas talking about the Super Bowl this weekend…

    Hey Jets fan. Your team wins some games it shouldnt and loses games it should win. Buffalo fan here who hates Wrecks. Wrecks beat your team once this year in your house. Do you actually think Fitz and co are going to come into snowy, windy Orchard Park this Sunday and leave town with a win?

  4. Funny how Jets fans are now waking up to what at least 30 other fan bases have always known. Rex Ryan is mediocre at best

    The Pats loss to the Jets meanwhile – with the inexplicable miscues by Belichick to pass on going for any points with 2 min left in the first half and to pass on receiving in overtime – could wind up keeping a peaking Steelers team out of the playoffs and a mediocre Jets team in – while still securing home field advantage with a healthier team win against the Fins next week

  5. I wish the Bills had both of there DB’s this weekend, hoping at least Darby plays. If not, could be a problem, however……….Fitz still blows, best year of his career and he still blows, he is going nowhere. Why he has been on 6 teams. Taylor is the better QB. Bills already beat the Jets in Jersey, they can do it again.

  6. Some hypotheticals for you:

    1. If the Redskins and the Texans win on Sunday, every team in the playoffs will have a winning record.

    2. If the Texans make the playoffs, PFT will have ranked two playoff teams at #29 in its weekly power rankings: Redskins (week 4) and Texans (week 8).

    3. As many as seven of the playoff teams will have hired their coaches since 2013 (Broncos, Texans, Chiefs, Jets, Cardinals, Vikings, Redskins).

    4. If the Vikings win on Sunday, at least one playoff game will be played in a venue built as a college stadium, which hasn’t happened since 1994 (1993 season) when the LA Raiders beat the Denver Broncos in the LA Coliseum.

  7. billswillnevermove says:
    Dec 29, 2015 7:57 AM
    I wish the Bills had both of there DB’s this weekend…

    Bills have been playing with only two DBs this season?

    No wonder their defense has been such a disappointment (to Bills fans).

  8. @unclebluck

    “Your team wins some games it shouldnt and loses games it should win”

    Well this is every team ever. Why is it so improbable that the Jets come away with a win? They’ve won 5 straight and the Bills have done nothing impressive in the past month except remind everyone that the 2014 defensive juggernaut has seemingly disappeared. Meanwhile, the Jets offense is firing on all cylinders and coming off a win against the Pats. Yes, the injury-depleted Pats are still a top 3 NFL team and saying otherwise is ridiculous. You speak as if the Bills easily defeated the Jets in the first meeting and that’s just not true.

  9. No matter what, mike Tomlin still cost his team a playoff spot by allowing a pass play to be called in the closing minutes of a game the steelers were controlling against the bengals.

    Hands down the worst head coach in the league

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