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NFL Week 16 Playoff Picture and Scenarios

John Morgan
5 years ago at 8:00 am ET
Posted Under: Patriots News

NFL Week 16 Playoff Picture and Scenarios

While NFL Week 15 did not do much to the playoff picture other than end the misery for a handful of teams by officially eliminating them from post-season play, it did bring genuine contenders one step closer to clinching scenarios in Week 16. Eighteen teams still have at least a mathematical chance at a playoff spot with two weeks to go; that is surely something that Roger Goodell’s parity-driven Park Avenue league office that strives for participation banners is surely proud of.

 

For all intents and purposes there are four remaining playoff races: (a) between Cincinnati and Denver for a bye; (b) between Kansas City an Pittsburgh for the number five seed (and the right to play the sorry-ass AFC South champion); (c) between Green Bay and Minnesota for the NFC North and number three seed; and (d) between Washington and Philadelphia for the NFC East title and the right to lose at home to Seattle.

 

Here is a look at all of the remaining playoff clinching and elimination scenarios, no matter how minute. For the sake of clarity and the attempt to avoid mind-numbing confusion, I have not forgotten but rather have avoided scenarios involving ties.

 

AFC – 3 Teams Seeking A First Round Bye

1. New England Patriots
12-2 [9-1 conference]
Clinched AFC East and a first-round bye
at Jets, at Dolphins
94% chance for #1 seed
– Can clinch #1 seed with a win

2. Cincinnati Bengals
11-3 [8-2 conference, 4-1 division]
Clinched a playoff spot
at Broncos, vs Ravens
3% chance for #1 seed; 49% for a bye; 97% for #3 or better
– Can clinch AFC North and #2 seed with a win over Broncos
– Can clinch AFC North and #3 seed with a Steelers loss
– Can clinch playoff spot and #5 seed with a Chiefs loss
– Eliminated from #1 seed with loss to Broncos
– Eliminated from #1 seed with win by Patriots

3. Denver Broncos
10-4 [6-4 conference, 3-2 division]
Could be as high as #1 seed or could miss playoffs entirely
vs Bengals, at Chargers
4% chance for #1 seed; 51% for a bye; 28% for a wild card; 7% to miss playoffs
– Can clinch AFC West and #3 seed with win over Bengals, plus Chiefs lose to Browns
– Can clinch at least #5 seed with win over Bengals, plus both Steelers and Jets lose
– Can clinch at least #6 seed with win over Bengals, plus either Steelers or Jets lose
– Can be #1 seed by winning both remaining games, and Patriots lose both games
– Can be #2 seed by winning both remaining games
– Eliminated from AFC West title if KC wins twice and Bronocos lose at least once
– Eliminated from playoffs by losing at least once, and Steelers, Chiefs and Jets all win both games

 

AFC South – #4 Seed

4. Houston Texans
7-7 [3-1 division, 5-5 conference]
at Titans, vs Jaguars
93% chance of winning AFCS and #4 seed; 7% chance to miss playoffs
– Can clinch AFC South and #4 seed with win, plus Colts loss

10. Indianapolis Colts
6-8 [3-2 division, 4-6 conference]
vs Texans, at Dolphins, vs Titans
7% chance of winning AFCS and #4 seed; 93% chance to miss playoffs
– Eliminated from playoffs with loss to Dolphins, plus Texans win

11. Jacksonville Jaguars
5-9 [2-3 division, 5-6 conference]
Jaguars are still in contention for both a playoff spot, or #1 draft pick
at Saints, at Texans
1% chance of winning AFCS and #4 seed; 99% chance to miss playoffs
– Eliminated from playoffs with either a loss, or a Texans win

 

AFC – Wild Cards

5. Kansas City Chiefs
9-5 [8-2 conference, 4-1 division]
Currently hold tiebreaker over Steelers and Jets based on conference record
vs Browns, vs Raiders
Minute chance for #2 seed; 36% chance to win AFCW & #3 seed; 42% for #5, 17% for #6, 5% for no playoffs
– Clinch #5 seed with win, plus Steelers and Jets lose
– Clinch playoff spot with win, plus either Steelers or Jets lose
– Eliminated from #2 seed with loss, or Bengals beat Broncos, or Steelers lose
– Eliminated from #3 seed with loss, plus Bengals beat Broncos

6. Pittsburgh Steelers
9-5 [6-4 conference, 2-2 division]
Hold tiebreaker over Jets based on common games
at Ravens, at Browns
Minute chance for #2 seed; 3% chance to win AFCN & #3 seed; 41% for #5, 46% for #6, 10% for no playoffs
– Chance of missing playoffs dropped from 67% two weeks ago to 30% last week to 10% this week
– Clinch playoff spot with win, plus Jets loss to Patriots
– Eliminated from AFCN title and #3 seed with either a loss, or a Bengals win
– Eliminated from #5 seed with a loss, plus Chiefs win, plus Broncos win

7. New York Jets
9-5 [6-4 conference, 2-2 division]
Need to finish with better record than either the Chiefs or Steelers
vs Patriots, at Bills
5% chance for #5 seed, 17% for #6 seed, 78% for no playoffs
– Cannot clinch a playoff spot this week
– Eliminated from #5 seed with a loss, plus a win by the Steelers
– Eliminated from #5 seed with a loss, plus wins by both the Broncos and Chiefs
– Eliminated from playoffs with a loss, plus wins by the Broncos and the Chiefs and the Steelers

 

AFC Teams Looking Ahead To The Draft

8. 6-8 Oakland Raidersvs Chargers, at Chiefs
9. 6-8 Buffalo Billsvs Cowboys, vs Jets
12. 5-9 Miami Dolphinsvs Colts, vs Patriots
13. 4-10 Baltimore Ravensvs Steelers, at Bengals
14. 4-10 San Diego Chargersat Raiders, at Broncos
15. 3-11 Cleveland Brownsat Chiefs, vs Steelers
16. 3-11 Tennessee Titansvs Texans, at Colts

 

NFC Contenders

1. Carolina Panthers
14-0 [10-0 conference]
Clinched NFC South division title and first round bye
at Falcons, vs Bucs
99% chance for #1 becoming the #1 seed
– Clinch #1 seed with either a win, or a loss by Cardinals

2. Arizona Cardinals
12-2 [9-1 conference, 4-1 division]
Clinched NFC West and at least a #3 seed
vs Packers, vs Seahawks
94% chance for a first round bye
– Clinch #2 seed with a win over Packers
– Eliminated from #1 seed with either a loss, or a win by Seahawks

3. Green Bay Packers
10-4 [7-3 conference, 3-2 division]
Clinched a playoff spot
at Cardinals, vs Vikings
6% chance for #2 seed; 66% chance to win division; 29% to be #5 seed and 5% to be #6
– Clinch NFC North and #3 seed with a win plus a Vikings loss to Giants
– Clinch at least #5 seed with either a win, or a Seahawks loss
– Eliminated from first round bye with a loss to Cardinals

5. Seattle Seahawks
9-5 [6-4 conference, 2-2 division]
Clinched playoff spot; can only be a wild card
vs Rams, at Cardinals
62% chance of being the #5 seed, 38% chance of being the #6 seed
– Clinch #5 seed with a win, plus Vikings lose to Giants, plus Packers beat Cardinals

6. Minnesota Vikings
9-5 [6-4 conference, 4-1 division]
vs Giants, at Packers
Cannot get a bye; 34% chance for #3 seed; 10% for #5; 56% for #6; minute chance to miss playoffs
– Clinch playoff spot with either a win, or a Falcons loss, or a Seahawks win
– Eliminated from division title and #3 seed with both a loss, and a Packers win
– Eliminated from #5 seed with a loss, plus a Packers win, plus a Seahawks win

 

NFC Pretenders (NFC East)

4. Washington Redskins
7-7 [2-2 division, 6-4 conference]
Head-to-head: 1-0 vs Eagles, 1-1 vs Giants
at Eagles, at Cowboys
60% chance of winning NFC East and #4 seed; 40% chance to miss playoffs
– Clinch division and #4 seed with a win over the Eagles

10. Philadelphia Eagles
6-8 [2-2 division, 3-7 conference]
Head-to-head: 0-1 vs Skins, 1-0 vs Giants
vs Redskins, at Giants
37% chance of winning NFC East and #4 seed; 63% chance to miss playoffs
– Eliminated from playoffs with a loss to Washington
– To win division and make playoffs Eagles must win both remaining games, plus Washington must lose to Dallas

11. New York Giants
6-8 [2-3 division, 4-6 conference]
Head-to-head: 1-1 vs Skins, 0-1 vs Eagles
at Vikings, vs Eagles
4% chance of winning NFC East and #4 seed; 96% chance to miss playoffs
– Eliminated from playoffs with either a loss, or if Washington beats Philly
– To win division and make playoffs Giants must win both remaining games, plus Washington must lose twice

 

NFC Teams Looking Ahead To The Draft

7. Atlanta Falcons
7-7 [4-6 conference, 0-4 division]
Only team from this group technically alive, but it is time to pull the plug
vs Panthers, vs Saints
99.9% chance of missing the playoffs
– Eliminated with either a loss, or a Seahawks win, or a Vikings win

8. 6-8 St. Louis Ramsat Seahawks, at Niners
9. 6-8 Tampa Bay Bucsvs Bears, at Panthers
12. 5-9 Detroit Lionsvs Niners, at Bears
13. 5-9 New Orleans Saintsvs Jaguars, at Falcons
14. 5-9 Chicago Bearsat Bucs, vs Lions
15. 4-10 San Francisco 49ersat Lions, vs Rams
16. 4-10 Dallas Cowboysat Bills, vs Redskins

 


Posted Under: Patriots News
Tags: 2015 NFL Season AFC AFC East AFC North AFC South AFC West Arizona Cardinals Carolina Panthers Cincinnati Bengals Denver Broncos Green Bay Packers Houston Texans Indianapolis Colts Kansas City Chiefs Minnesota Vikings New England Patriots New York Giants New York Jets NFC NFC East NFC North NFC South NFC West Philadelphia Eagles Pittsburgh Steelers Roger Goodell Seattle Seahawks Washington Redskins

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