NFL Wild Card Playoff Scenarios Entering Week 17

John Morgan
January 1, 2017 at 9:00 am ET

There is relatively little intrigue in regards to which NFL playoff teams will make the playoffs. Entering the final day of the 2016 NFL regular season ten of the twelve playoff teams have been determined. Four NFC teams are battling for two post-season berths, but one (Tampa Bay) has virtually no chance of making it. One other team (Washington) has to win against a club with nothing to play for (Giants). Two others face each other tonight in a de facto playoff game. Unless Green Bay at Detroit ends in a tie the season continues for the winner, while the losing squad can clean out their lockers and schedule tee times.

 

AFC Wild Card Playoff Scenarios

Pittsburgh and Houston are locked in as the number three and four seeds respectively. That leaves three games to determine the conference playoff seeding. The three AFC games that actually matter today are Miami at New England, Kansas City at San Diego and Oakland at Denver. There are a total of eight possible combined outcomes to those games.

  1. Patriots win, Raiders win, Chiefs win
  2. Patriots win, Raiders win, Chiefs lose
  3. Patriots win, Raiders lose, Chiefs win
  4. Patriots win, Raiders lose, Chiefs lose
  5. Patriots lose, Raiders win, Chiefs win
  6. Patriots lose, Raiders win, Chiefs lose
  7. Patriots lose, Raiders lose, Chiefs win
  8. Patriots lose, Raiders lose, Chiefs lose

 

 

 

Before we get to the wild card round, let’s look at the team getting a bye. New England claims the number one spot and home field advantage throughout the playoffs with either a win or an Oakland loss. Kansas City needs a win plus an Oakland loss to gain a bye as the number two seed; the Chiefs cannot advance to the top slot.

If Miami loses then they will be at Pittsburgh regardless of what happens elsewhere. If Oakland loses and Kansas City wins then the Raiders are at Houston. And if Miami win and Kansas City loses then the Dolphins are at Houston and the Chiefs are at Pittsburgh.

  1. Patriots win, Raiders win, Chiefs win – Mia at Pit, KC at Hou, NE #1, Oak #2
  2. Patriots win, Raiders win, Chiefs lose – Mia at Pit, KC at Hou, NE #1, Oak #2
  3. Patriots win, Raiders lose, Chiefs win – Mia at Pit, Oak at Hou, NE #1, KC #2
  4. Patriots win, Raiders lose, Chiefs lose – Mia at Pit, KC at Hou, NE #1, KC #2
  5. Patriots lose, Raiders win, Chiefs win – Mia at Pit, KC at Hou, Oak #1, NE #2
  6. Patriots lose, Raiders win, Chiefs lose – KC at Pit, Mia at Hou, Oak #1, NE #2
  7. Patriots lose, Raiders lose, Chiefs win – Mia at Pit, Oak at Hou, NE #1, KC #2
  8. Patriots lose, Raiders lose, Chiefs lose – KC at Pit, Mia at Hou, NE#1, Oak #2

 

 

 

 

 

That last scenario is what Miami fans are hoping for. It would mean that the Dolphins would face Tom Savage at quarterback in the first round. Then if Kansas City wins the Fins would be up against Matt McGloin at QB in the division round.

 

 

NFC Wild Card Playoff Scenarios

Dallas is number one and New York number 5 in the NFC. Atlanta and Seattle are division champs that could get a bye at number two, or play next weekend at home as either a number three or four seed. Washington is in as the number six seed as long as the Lions and Packers don’t tie. Detroit could finish as high as number two seed, but for that to happen Seattle has to lose to the Niners. The Lions could also miss the playoffs entirely if they finish the season with a third straight loss and Washington wins. The best Green Bay can do is a number three seed, or they too could miss the playoffs. Tampa Bay needs a miracle.

 

Assuming Seattle defeats San Francisco:

  1. Falcons win, Packers win, Wash wins – Wash at Seattle, Giants at Packers; Falcons #2, Lions out
  2. Falcons win, Packers win, Wash loses – Lions at Seattle, Giants at Packers; Falcons #2, Wash out
  3. Falcons win, Lions win, Wash wins – Wash at Seattle, Giants at Lions; Falcons #2, Packers out
  4. Falcons win, Lions win, Wash loses – Packers at Seattle, Giants at Lions; Falcons #2, Wash out
  5. Falcons lose, Packers win, Wash wins – Wash at Falcons, Giants at Packers; Seattle #2, Lions out
  6. Falcons lose, Packers win, Wash loses – Lions at Falcons, Giants at Packers; Seattle #2, Wash out
  7. Falcons lose, Lions win, Wash wins – Wash at Lions, Giants at Falcons; Seattle #2, Packers out
  8. Falcons lose, Lions win, Wash loses – Packers at Lions, Giants at Falcons; Seattle #2, Wash out

 

 

 

 

 

And if the Niners somehow pull off the upset of the year and beat Seattle then the number five Giants will play at number four Seattle. Here is the rest of the field with that scenario.

  1. Falcons win, Packers win, Wash wins – Skins at Packers, Falcons #2, Lions out
  2. Falcons win, Packers win, Wash loses – Lions at Packers, Falcons #2, Skins out
  3. Falcons win, Lions win, Wash wins – Skins at Lions, Falcons #2, Packers out
  4. Falcons win, Lions win, Wash loses – Packers at Lions, Falcons #2, Skins out
  5. Falcons lose, Packers win, Wash wins – Skins at Packers, Falcons #2, Lions out
  6. Falcons lose, Packers win, Wash loses – Lions at Packers, Falcons #2, Skins out
  7. Falcons lose, Lions win, Wash wins – Skins at Falcons, Lions #2, Packers out
  8. Falcons lose, Lions win, Wash loses – Packers at Falcons, Lions #2, Skins out

 

 

 

 

 



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