Tag Archives: 2015 Playoff Picture

Patriots at Dolphins: In-Depth Team Stats, Odds, TV Info & Prediction

John Morgan
January 3, 2016 at 11:00 am ET

In the final week of the 2015 NFL regular season, the 12-3 New England Patriots travel to south Florida to take on the 5-10 Miami Dolphins. With a victory the Patriots will secure the number one seed in the AFC and home field throughout the playoffs; the Pats can also land in the top spot if Denver loses to San Diego. Even with a loss and a win by the Broncos, New England will still have a bye next week to give many of their injured players extra time to recoup – but would have to travel to Denver for the AFC Championship game should both teams make it that far. The Dolphins were eliminated three weeks ago in what was the first loss of their current three-game losing streak and have clinched last place in the AFC South. The Fins have scored more than twenty points just three times this season, while giving up 30+ points six times and 23 or more ten times.

NFL Week 17 Playoff Picture with Clinching and Elimination Scenarios

 

Who: 12-3 New England Patriots at 5-10 Miami Dolphins

When: Sunday, January 3 at 1:00 pm ET

Where: Sun Life Stadium, Miami Gardens FL

Television: CBS; announcers: Kevin Harlan, Rich Gannon

Broadcast on nine New England stations (Boston MA; Springfield MA; Providence RI; Hartford CT; Burlington VT; and Bangor, Portland and Presque Isle ME) and four Florida stations (Miami, West Palm Beach, Fort Myers and Tampa).

Week 17 NFL Maps

Weather: 79° (‘feels like’ 82°); brief afternoon showers expected with a 59% chance of rain; 90% cloud cover, 73% humidity and a breeze of 6 mph.

Odds: The Patriots opened as eight-point favorites Sunday, and after a couple hours the line moved up to nine as early action was heavily tilted in New England’s favor. That trend continued throughout the week; by Tuesday the line was up to ten points and peaked at 10½ Wednesday, before settling back at ten Thursday. Late action has leaned more towards Miami plus the points, resulting in some venues lowering the spread to 9½, but the majority of betting parlors remain at 10 points. The over/under has moved up from an open of 44½ to 46½, with some sites as high as 47. As is always the case the money line varies from one venue to another, but the typical ML is set with the Patriots -500 (risk $500 to win $100) and Miami +400 (risk $100 to win $400).

Head-to-Head Series Record: Miami holds a slight edge in the all-time series at 52-48, which includes two wins and one loss by the Patriots in the playoffs. Miami won 17 out of 22 from 1967 to 1977, but the Patriots came back to upset the Fins in the ‘Squish the Fish’ game in the ’85 playoffs, starting a string of seven consecutive wins for the Patriots in the late eighties. Miami dominated in the early nineties, winning nine straight and 12 out of 13, but the Pats came back to win four in a row, including a 17-3 victory in the 1997 playoffs. Bill Belichick lost his first three meetings with Miami as head coach of the Patriots, but since then it has been all Pats, with New England winning 20 of the last 28 games.

Besides the Squish the Fish game, there have been plenty of other memorable battles between these two teams: the Mark Henderson Snow Plow Game; the Doug Flutie Drop Kick Game; the Wildcat Game; Miami’s Enhanced Audio ‘TapeGate’ Game; and Matt Light’s fight with Channing Crowder.

 

Miami has the appearance of a team that has packed it in, playing uninspired ball since the Patriots crushed them 36-7 in Week 8. The Dolphins have lost three in a row and seven of their last nine, with their only victories coming by a margin of two points against an injury-riddled Baltimore squad and by one over a Philadelphia team that was in the midst of a swoon that resulted in the firing of their head coach. The Patriots have plenty to play for but have 14 players on Injured Reserve, plus six more that have been ruled out for this game. Miami would love to end the season on a positive note by denying their long time rivals the number one seed; with so many key Patriot players missing, that is entirely possible.

Here is a look at how the two teams compare statistically; the numbers reflect an average per game (or per play), rather than aggregate totals. Per-game and per-play stats are used rather than gross totals because that makes the rankings more meaningful, and because they provide a better context in regards to what to expect in any given game. Numbers in green indicate a top-ten ranking while underlined green is top-five; red indicates a bottom-ten ranking and underlined red is bottom-five.

 

New England Patriots Offense versus Miami Dolphins Defense

Scoring per Game: Patriots 30.3 (3rd); Dolphins 25.3 (23rd)

Yardage per Game: Patriots 386 (4th); Dolphins 388 (27th)

First Downs per Game: Patriots 22.4 (3rd); Dolphins 22.6 (30th)

Yards per Play: Patriots 5.8 (6th); Dolphins 5.7 (25th)

Yards per Drive: Patriots 33.9 (8th); Dolphins 33.7 (28th)

Points per Drive: Patriots 2.57 (2nd); Dolphins 2.11 (23rd)

Drive Success Rate: Patriots .733 (3rd); Dolphins .726 (29th)

Points per Play: Patriots .457 (3rd); Dolphins .371 (19th)

Touchdowns per Game: Patriots 3.4 (3rd); Dolphins 3.0 (25th)

Red Zone Touchdowns per Game: Patriots 2.6 (1st); Dolphins 1.9 (20th)

Red Zone TD Percentage: Patriots 66.1% (3rd); Dolphins 60.4% (21st)

Plays per Game: Patriots 66.4 (9th); Dolphins 68.1 (29th)

Third Down Conversions per Game: Patriots 5.6 (12th); Dolphins 6.1 (29th)

Third Down Percentage: Patriots 41.8% (9th); Dolphins 44.4% (28th)

Punts per Score: Patriots 0.8 (3rd); Dolphins 1.1 (16th)

Punts per Game: Patriots 4.40 (10th); Dolphins 4.60 (18th)

Rushing Yards: Patriots 88.9 (29th); Dolphins 129.9 (30th)

Yards per Carry: Patriots 3.75 (28th); Dolphins 4.10 (16th)

Passing Yards: Patriots 297 (2nd); Dolphins 258 (24th)

Yards per Pass Attempt: Patriots 7.7 (7th); Dolphins 7.9 (28th)

Completion Percentage: Patriots 64.7% (11th); Dolphins 65.2% (23rd)

Passer Rating: Patriots 103.3 (4th); Dolphins 98.8 (25th)

TD Passes/Picks: Patriots +29 (1st), 36/7; Dolphins -18 (22nd), 31/13

Complete Passes per Game: Patriots 26.1 (5th); Dolphins 22.5 (18th)

Incomplete Passes per Game: Patriots 14.2 (24th); Dolphins 12.0 (23rd)

Quarterback Sacks per Game: Patriots 2.4 (17th); Dolphins 1.9 (27th)

Sack Yardage Lost per Game: Patriots 14.1 (11th); Dolphins 14.1 (22nd)

 

Miami Dolphins Offense versus New England Patriots Defense

Scoring: Dolphins 19.3 (27th); Patriots 19.7 (8th)

Yardage: Dolphins 325 (27th); Patriots 333 (7th)

First Downs: Dolphins 18.1 (30th); Patriots 18.5 (7th)

Yards per Play: Dolphins 5.4 (17th); Patriots 5.2 (6th)

Yards per Drive: Dolphins 27.8 (29th); Patriots 28.4 (6th)

Points per Drive: Dolphins 1.53 (28th); Patriots 1.58 (7th)

Drive Success Rate: Dolphins .659 (30th); Patriots .664 (8th)

Points per Play: Dolphins .321 (22nd); Patriots .304 (6th)

Touchdowns per Game: Dolphins 2.5 (18th); Patriots 2.3 (9th)

Red Zone Touchdowns per Game: Dolphins 1.4 (24th); Patriots 1.5 (8th)

Red Zone TD Percentage: Dolphins 53.9% (21st); Patriots 57.9% (17th)

Plays per Game: Dolphins 60.3 (28th); Patriots 64.6 (20th)

Third Down Conversions per Game: Dolphins 3.7 (31st); Patriots 5.1 (14th)

Third Down Conversion Percentage: Dolphins 29.3% (30th); Patriots 36.5% (9th)

Punts per Score: Dolphins 1.8 (30th); Patriots 1.5 (3rd)

Punts per Game: Dolphins 5.8 (30th); Patriots 5.4 (4th)

Rushing Yards: Dolphins 93.3 (27th); Patriots 98.9 (8th)

Yards per Carry: Dolphins 4.52 (9th); Patriots 4.09 (14th)

Passing Yards: Dolphins 231 (22nd); Patriots 234 (11th)

Yards per Pass Attempt: Dolphins 7.1 (19th); Patriots 6.9 (10th)

Completion Percentage: Dolphins 61.8% (20th); Patriots 60.2% (9th)

Passer Rating: Dolphins 87.2 (20th); Patriots 85.3 (10th)

TD Passes/Picks: Dolphins +10 (18th), 22/12; Patriots -10 (12th), 22/12

Complete Passes per Game: Dolphins 22.7 (15th); Patriots 22.4 (17th)

Incomplete Passes per Game: Dolphins 14.0 (20th); Patriots 14.8 (6th)

Quarterback Sacks per Game: Dolphins 2.9 (26th); Patriots 3.2 (2nd)

Sack Yardage Lost: Dolphins 27.5 (32nd); Patriots 23.3 (1st)

 

Turnovers

Patriot Giveaways: 0.9 (1st); Dolphin Takeaways: 1.1 (25th)

Dolphin Giveaways: 1.3 (11th); Patriot Takeaways: 1.4 (16th)

 

Penalties

Penalties per Game: Patriots 5.9 (4th); Dolphins 8.3 (28th)

Penalty Yards per Game: Patriots 54.6 (9th); Dolphins 66.5 (25th)

Opponent Penalties per Game: Patriots 6.8 (18th); Dolphins 7.6 (6th)

Opponent Penalty Yards per Game: Patriots 61.3 (13th); Dolphins 64.3 (8th)

 

Football Outsiders Statistics and Rankings

Team Efficiency: Weighted DVOA: Patriots 21.6% (7th); Dolphins -24.2% (31st)

Team Efficiency: Offense DVOA: Patriots 17.2% (5th); Dolphins -10.2% (26th)

Team Efficiency: Defense DVOA: Patriots -5.2% (11th); Dolphins 10.9% (30th)

Special Teams DVOA: Patriots 4.6% (3rd); Dolphins -2.6% (24th)

 

Expect the New England offense to perform much better than it did last week. Let’s give credit where it is due: the Jet defense is one of the best in the NFL. The Patriots should be able to run the ball more effectively and also have much better success on third down than they did last week, which will lead to more scoring opportunities – and at the same time keep the Patriot defense off the field, allowing them to be less gassed and more effective as they battle the Florida humidity.

Prediction: Patriots 27, Dolphins 20

NFL Week 17 Predictions and Picks Against the Spread

 

NFL Week 17 Predictions and Picks Against the Spread

John Morgan
January 2, 2016 at 9:00 pm ET

NFL Week 17 Predictions and Picks Against the Spread

While the New York Jets and Pittsburgh Steelers enter NFL Week 17 with the most at stake, there are also plenty of other games on Sunday with critical playoff implications. Here is a look at all sixteen matchups, with predictions and picks against the spread.

One nice thing about the final week of the season for football fans is that two networks televise both an early and late game, plus restrictions that prohibit another game being televised while the local team plays a home game are lifted. There was a time when this was actually standard operating procedure: the AFL would televise two games on NBC, and the NFL would televise two games on CBS. Once the two leagues merged that ended though, and now pro football fans are forced to either pay big bucks or watch crappy games between losing teams far too often.

Most of the nation will receive the Jets game at Buffalo early on CBS, followed by Denver-San Diego in the late slot. FOX will telecast two of their favorite big market teams, Dallas vs Washington in a meaningless early game to most of the country, and then Seattle at Arizona gets the bulk of distribution in the late slot. The Pats-Dolphins game will only be available in New England and south Florida up to Tampa; for a full look at what is being broadcast where you are check out JP Kirby’s NFL Maps.

 

Happy 61st Birthday to Raymond Clayborn. The three-time Pro Bowler played in 191 games for the New England Patriots from 1977 to 1989, and was a finalist for the team’s Hall of Fame in 2014 and 2015. Clayborn holds the franchise record for most career interceptions with 36 (tied with Ty Law); in his rookie season he led the NFL with three kickoffs returned for touchdowns and a 31.0 yard return average. In 1985 Clayborn was a major factor in New England winning the AFC and making it to the Super Bowl, picking off six passes for interceptions that season. Clayborn is a member of both the Patriots 1970s and 1980s all-decade teams, and set a franchise record by playing in 161 consecutive games.

 

NFL Week 17 Playoff Picture, with Clinching and Elimination Scenarios

 

★★★★★ 12-3 New England Patriots at 5-10 Miami Dolphins
Sunday, January 3 at 1:00 pm ET on CBS; Kevin Harlan, Rich Gannon
Patriots -10 (opened at -8) . . . . over/under 47 . . . . NEP -500, Mia +400

Missing their top two tackles, running backs and receivers has caused the New England offense to sputter of late, while the defense has been tested due to injuries to five key players. That should be enough for Miami to keep it close, but if the Dolphins could not beat a team with Charlie Whitehurst at quarterback, it is highly doubtful that they can defeat a club quarterbacked by Tom Brady.

Prediction: Patriots 27, Dolphins 20
Dolphins +10 . . . . . over 47 . . . . . Dolphins +400

 

★★★★★ 10-5 New York Jets at 7-8 Buffalo Bills
Sunday, January 3 at 1:00 pm ET on CBS; Ian Eagle, Dan Fouts
Jets -3 (opened at -1½) . . . . over/under 41½ . . . . NYJ -160, Buf +140

As difficult as it is to root for the Jets – or any team from New York – there would certainly be a bit of ironic humor with Gang Green clinching a playoff spot with a victory over Rex Ryan. Todd Bowles has completely out-coached the toe lover this season, while Ryan’s defense in Buffalo has under achieved and can now be considered no better than average at best. Undisciplined play and no LeSean McCoy leads to yet another ‘Super Bowl’ loss for Rex.

Prediction: Jets 24, Bills 20
Jets -3 . . . . . over 41½ . . . . . Bills +140

 

★★★★ 5-10 Baltimore Ravens at 11-4 Cincinnati Bengals
Sunday, January 3 at 1:00 pm ET on FOX; Thom Brennaman, Charles Davis, Tony Siragusa
Bengals -9½ (opened at -7) . . . . over/under 41½ . . . . Cin -450, Bal +350

I believe that last week was the biggest game of the season for Baltimore, as they upended arch rival Pittsburgh to put a huge dent in the Steelers’ playoff aspirations. This could be an emotional letdown for the Ravens, while Cincinnati is playing for a first round bye.

Prediction: Bengals 24, Ravens 13
Bengals -9½ . . . . . under 41½ . . . . . Bengals -450

 

★★★★ 9-6 Pittsburgh Steelers at 3-12 Cleveland Browns
Sunday, January 3 at 1:00 pm ET on CBS; Greg Gumbel, Trent Green, Jamie Erdahl
Steelers -11 (opened at -8½) . . . . over/under 47 . . . . Pit -600, Cle +450

The season is on the line for Pittsburgh, thanks to last week’s shocking debacle at Baltimore. The Steelers are allowing 278 yards passing per game, third worst in the NFL.  The Browns are down to Austin Davis at quarterback, but he’s an improvement over Johnny Manziel – and is capable of keeping it interesting with WR Travis Benjamin (913 yards, 5 TD) and TE Gary Barnidge (977 yards, 9 TD) against a very shaky Pittsburgh pass defense.

Prediction: Steelers 31, Browns 21
Browns +11 . . . . . over 47 . . . . . Steelers -600

 

★★★ 6-9 New Orleans Saints at 8-7 Atlanta Falcons
Sunday, January 3 at 1:00 pm ET on FOX; Sam Rosen, Matt Millen, Peter Schrager
Falcons -5½ (opened at -2½) . . . . over/under 52½ . . . . Atl -250, NO +210

Is this the last game for either Drew Brees or Sean Payton with New Orleans? Perhaps, but it is undoubtedly the final game for many Saints defensive players. The New Orleans D ranks 32nd in points allowed, 31st in yards allowed, 31st in passing yards, 32nd in yards per pass attempt, 32nd in touchdown passes, 32nd in opponent passer rating, 31st in rushing yards, and 32nd in yards per carry.

Prediction: Falcons 34, Saints 31
Saints +5½ . . . . . over 52½ . . . . . Saints +210

 

★★★ 5-10 Jacksonville Jaguars at 8-7 Houston Texans
Sunday, January 3 at 1:00 pm ET on CBS; Spero Dedes, Solomon Wilcots
Texans -6½ (opened at -5½) . . . . over/under 45½ . . . . Hou -270, Jax +230

Houston’s defense has been schizophrenic this year. In the Texans’ eight wins they have allowed just 10.0 points per game, but in their seven losses that figure is more than doubled, at 22.7 points per game. Jacksonville rookie RB TJ Yeldon is out for this game, which means old friend Jonas Gray should get some extended playing time; Gray averaged 6.2 yards per carry last week and is at 4.3 yards per carry for the season.

Prediction: Jaguars 27, Texans 24
Jaguars +6½ . . . . . over 45½ . . . . . Jaguars +230

 

★★ 8-7 Washington Redskins at 4-11 Dallas Cowboys
Sunday, January 3 at 1:00 pm ET on FOX; Chris Myers, Ronde Barber, Jennifer Hale
Cowboys -4 (opened at -4) . . . . over/under 39½ . . . . Dal -200, Was +170

Washington is locked in to the number four seed, so I would think that many starters will see little or no action in this game. The Skins were perceived by many to be one of the worst teams in the league entering the season; with that in mind Jay Gruden is deserving of some consideration for Coach of the Year.

Prediction: Redskins 20, Cowboys 17
Skins +4 . . . . . under 39½ . . . . . Skins +170

 

★★ 6-9 Detroit Lions at 6-9 Chicago Bears
Sunday, January 3 at 1:00 pm ET on FOX; Joe Davis, Brady Quinn, Molly McGrath
Pick’em (opened w/Bears -1½) . . . . over/under 45½ . . . . Det -110, Chi -110

And the battle for last place in the NFC North goes to…. da Bears, who delivered just one home win to Chicago land faithful this season. However, a victory should mean nothing to Detroit head coach Jim Caldwell; how he has managed to stay employed in the NFL for 15 years is baffling.

Prediction: Lions 27, Bears 20
Lions pk . . . . . over 45½ . . . . . Lions -110

 

★★ 6-9 Philadelphia Eagles at 6-9 New York Giants
Sunday, January 3 at 1:00 pm ET on FOX; Kenny Albert, Daryl Johnston, Laura Okmin
Giants -4½ (opened at -3½) . . . . over/under 51 . . . . NYG -240, Phil +200

On one hand you have Eagle players who would probably love to show that they can win without Chip Kelly. On the other sideline you have Giant players who would probably love to give Tom Coughlin a victory if this is indeed his final NFL game. If you hear anguished moans when New York does well on offense it is probably from a despondent fantasy football player who had to sit Odell Beckham last week due to his suspension, while fantasy football championship games were being played.

Prediction: Giants 31, Eagles 24
Giants -4½ . . . . . over 51 . . . . . Eagles +200

 

3-12 Tennessee Titans at 7-8 Indianapolis Colts
Sunday, January 3 at 1:00 pm ET on CBS; Andrew Catalon, Steve Beuerlein, Steve Tasker
Colts -6 (opened at -6) . . . . over/under 41½ . . . . Ind -320, Ten +260

The Colts need an eight-team parlay that would pay out over $150k on a $100 bet to go their way in order to make the playoffs. The most difficult leg of that scenario may be winning their own game, since they may have to rely on either Josh Freeman or Ryan Lindley to be their starting quarterback. Freeman wasn’t even good enough to start full time for something called the Fall Experimental Football League a few weeks ago, so watching him play Sunday may be deviously entertaining if you enjoy a bit of Indy schadenfreude.

Prediction: Titans 20, Colts 17
Titans +6 . . . . . under 41½ . . . . . Titans +260

 

★★★★★ 9-6 Seattle Seahawks at 13-2 Arizona Cardinals
Sunday, January 3 at 4:25 pm ET on FOX; Joe Buck, Troy Aikman
Cardinals -6½ (opened at -3½) . . . . over/under 47 . . . . Ariz -260, Sea +220

Seattle is locked into a wild card spot, and will be without both left tackle Russell Okung and right guard J.R. Sweezy for this game. However, Pete Carrol and his troops don’t want to enter the post-season on a two-game losing streak, and would love to wash away the stench from last week’s loss to the Rams.

Prediction: Cardinals 30, Seahawks 24
Seahawks +6½ . . . . . over 47 . . . . . Seahawks +220

 

★★★★ 7-8 Oakland Raiders at 10-5 Kansas City Chiefs
Sunday, January 3 at 4:25 pm ET on FOX; Kevin Burkhardt, John Lynch, Pam Oliver
Chiefs -7 (opened at -6½) . . . . over/under 43½ . . . . KC -320, Oak +260

Kansas City has clinched a playoff spot but could win the division and take the number three seed with a win plus a Denver loss. The Raiders would love to spoil plans for their division rival. The Chiefs have not had that much of a home field advantage recently. Last week the 3-win Browns rushed for 232 yards in a 17-13 game at KC, and two weeks prior the Chiefs were only able to score ten points at Arrowhead against the 4-win Chargers.

Prediction: Chiefs 24, Raiders 20
Raiders +7 . . . . . over 43½ . . . . . Raiders +260

 

★★★ 4-11 San Diego Chargers at 11-4 Denver Broncos
Sunday, January 3 at 4:25 pm ET on CBS; Jim Nantz, Phil Simms, Tracy Wolfson
Broncos -9 (opened at -7½) . . . . over/under 41 . . . . Den -450, SD +350

Denver’s vaunted pass defense has shown some vulnerabilities recently, so Philip Rivers and company do have a puncher’s chance here. The problem for San Diego is that their offensive line is a mess, and that is something Denver’s front seven will feast on.

Prediction: Broncos 24, Chargers 13
Broncos -9 . . . . . under 41 . . . . . Broncos -450

 

★★★ 6-9 Tampa Bay Bucs at 14-1 Carolina Panthers
Sunday, January 3 at 4:25 pm ET on FOX; Dick Stockton, David Diehl, Kristina Pink
Panthers -11½ (opened at -9½) . . . . over/under 46 . . . . Car -650, TB +475

How valuable was LB Kwon Alexander to Tampa Bay’s defense? The Bucs were 6-6 and just a game out of the playoff picture three weeks ago, but have lost three in a row since the rookie was suspended by the NFL for HgH.

Prediction: Panthers 31, Bucs 24
Bucs +11½ . . . . . over 46 . . . . . Bucs +475

 

7-8 St. Louis Rams at 4-11 San Francisco 49ers
Sunday, January 3 at 4:25 pm ET on CBS; Tom McCarthy, Adam Archuleta
Rams -3½ (opened at -3½) . . . . over/under 37½ . . . . StL -185, SF +165

The two worst offenses in the league. Nobody should have to watch this game.

Prediction: Rams 17, Niners 13
Rams -3½ . . . . . under 37½ . . . . . Rams -185

 

★★★★★ 10-5 Minnesota Vikings at 10-5 Green Bay Packers
Sunday, January 3 at 8:30 pm ET on NBC; Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth
Packers -3 (opened at -3) . . . . over/under 45½ . . . . GB -170, Min +150

Green Bay’s offensive line is in shambles, which is resulting in Aaron Rodgers getting hit far too often and having no time to wait for his receivers to finish their routes. The Packers would be wise to bring safety Morgan Burnett up near the line of scrimmage to limit Adrian Peterson, and dare the Vikings to win with Teddy Bridgewater. It is quite possible that the Packers could be swept at home within their division for the first time in franchise history.

Prediction: Vikings 24, Packers 20
Packers -3 . . . . . under 45½ . . . . . Vikings +150

 

NFL Week 17 Playoff Picture and Scenarios

John Morgan
December 29, 2015 at 7:00 am ET

NFL Week 17 Playoff Picture

with Clinching and Elimination Scenarios

 

While many of the top NFL teams such as New England, Seattle, Carolina and Green Bay lost in Week 16, nobody was more negatively affected than Pittsburgh. A shockingly flat performance against an injury-riddled Baltimore team that was forced to turn to a recently out-of-work Ryan Mallett as their fourth starting quarterback this season, will most likely keep the Steelers out of post-season play. Losses by the Patriots and Panthers prevented those teams from securing home field advantage throughout the playoffs, but did not drop them in the playoff standings. Seattle’s loss at worse means only the difference between a fifth and sixth seed, and despite the Packers looking abysmal on Sunday night, they are still in the driver’s seat to win the division and claim the number three seed in the NFC.

 

We know which teams will represent the NFC in the playoffs, but only one of the six slots (Washington, #4) is determined yet. In the AFC there are still eight clubs alive, though one of them – the Indianapolis Colts – needs so very many things to happen they are nothing more than a humorous anecdote. Who knows, maybe Jim Irsay will hang a banner congratulating the team for remaining alive until the final week of the season.

 

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 instead have avoided scenarios involving ties.

 

NFL Week 17 Playoff Picture

1. New England Patriots
12-3 [9-2 conference]
Clinched AFC East and a first-round bye
at Dolphins
85% chance for #1 seed
– Clinch #1 seed with either a win, or a Broncos loss
– Drop to #2 seed with a loss, plus Broncos win

2. Denver Broncos
11-4 [7-4 conference, 3-2 division]
Clinched playoff spot with Monday night win over Bengals
at Chargers
15% chance for #1 seed; 78% chance for #2; 1% for #3; 6% for wild card
– Clinch #1 seed with a win, plus Patriots loss
– Clinch #2 seed with a win
– Clinch #2 seed with losses by both Bengals and Chiefs
– Clinch #3 seed with loss by Chiefs
– Clinch #5 seed with loss by Jets
– Eliminated from #1 seed with either a loss, or a win by Patriots
– Eliminated from #2 seed with loss, plus Bengals win
– Eliminated from #3 seed with loss, plus Chiefs win
– Become #6 seed with loss, plus Chiefs win, plus Jets win

3. Cincinnati Bengals
11-4 [8-3 conference]
Clinched AFC North and at least #3 seed
at Broncos, vs Ravens
7% chance for #2 seed; 93% chance for #3 seed
– Clinch #2 seed with win, plus Broncos loss
– Clinch #2 seed with Chiefs win, plus Broncos loss
– Become #3 seed with Broncos win
– Become #3 seed with Chiefs loss

4. Houston Texans
8-7 [4-1 division, 6-5 conference]
vs Jaguars
99.9% chance of winning AFC South and #4 seed
– Clinch #4 seed with any one of the following: Texans win; Colts lose; Bengals win; Patriots win; Jets win; Chargers win; Saints win; or Steelers lose plus Chiefs win
– Eliminated if every single one of the above does not happen

5. Kansas City Chiefs
10-5 [9-2 conference, 4-1 division]
Clinched playoff spot; win tiebreaker for #5 seed based on conference record
vs Raiders
5% chance to win division and #3 seed; 82% chance for #5, 13% chance for #6
– Clinch #3 seed with win, plus Broncos loss
– Clinch #5 seed with either a win, or a Jets loss
– Eliminated from #3 seed with either a loss, or a Broncos win
– Eliminated from #5 seed with both a loss, plus Jets win

6. New York Jets
10-5 [7-4 conference]
Need to finish with better record than Steelers to make playoffs
at Bills
15% chance for #5 seed, 49% chance for #6 seed, 36% chance for no playoffs
– Clinch #5 seed with win, plus Broncos loss
– Clinch #5 seed with win, plus Chiefs loss
– Clinch #6 seed with win, or Steelers loss
– Eliminated from playoffs with loss, plus Steelers win
– All other scenarios Jets become #6 seed

7. Pittsburgh Steelers
9-6 [6-5 conference]
Hold tiebreaker over Jets based on common games
at Browns
36% chance for #6 seed; 64% chance for no playoffs
– Clinch #6 seed with both a win, plus Jets loss
– Eliminated from playoffs with either a loss, or Jets win

10. Indianapolis Colts
7-8 [3-2 division, 5-6 conference]
vs Titans
99.9% chance to miss playoffs
– Need ALL of the following to happen:
Colts beats the Titans, plus
Texans lose to Jaguars, plus
Patriots lose to Dolphins, plus
Jets lose to Bills, plus
Chiefs lose to Raiders, plus
Steelers beat Browns, plus
Bengals lose to Ravens, plus
Broncos beat Chargers, plus
Falcons beats the Saints

 

NFL Week 17 Playoff Picture

1. Carolina Panthers
14-1 [10-1 conference]
Clinched NFC South division title and first round bye
vs Bucs
95% chance for becoming the #1 seed, 5% chance for #2 seed
– Clinch #1 seed with either a win, or a loss by Cardinals
– Drop to #2 seed with loss to Bucs, plus Cardinals win

2. Arizona Cardinals
13-2 [10-1 conference]
Clinched NFC West and a first round bye
vs Seahawks
94% chance for a first round bye
– Clinch #1 seed with a win over Seahawks, plus loss by Panthers
– Become #2 seed with either a loss, or a win by Panthers

3. Green Bay Packers
10-5 [3-2 division, 7-4 conference]
Clinched a playoff spot
vs Vikings
61% chance for #3 seed; 39% chance for #5 seed
– Clinch NFC North and #3 seed with win over Vikings
– Become #5 seed with loss

4. Washington Redskins
8-7 [7-4 conference]
Clinched NFC East and are locked into #4 seed
at Cowboys

5. Minnesota Vikings
10-5 [7-4 conference, 4-1 division]
Clinched a playoff spot
at Packers
Leapfrogged Seahawks last week with win over Giants and Seattle’s loss to Rams
39% chance to win division and #3 seed; 48% chance for #5 seed; 13% for #6 seed
– Clinch division and #3 seed with win over Packers
– Become #5 seed with loss, plus Seahawks loss
– Become #6 seed with loss, plus Seahawks win

6. Seattle Seahawks
9-6 [6-5 conference]
Clinched playoff spot; can only be a wild card
at Cardinals
13% chance of being the #5 seed, 87% chance of being the #6 seed
– Become #5 seed with win over Cardinals, plus Vikings loss
– Become #6 seed with either a loss, or a Vikings win

 

Patriots at Jets: In-Depth Team Stats, Odds, TV Info & Prediction

John Morgan
December 27, 2015 at 11:00 am ET

In one of only three NFL Week 16 games between two teams with winning records, the 12-2 New England Patriots take on the 9-5 New York Jets in a game with playoff implications for both teams. The Patriots have already won the AFC East title (for the seventh consecutive season) and earned a first round bye. The Pats can clinch the number one seed and home field throughout the conference playoffs with a win over their arch rivals (or with a loss by Cincinnati). The Jets have the same record as Pittsburgh and Kansas City but need help because they would lose tiebreakers to the Steelers or Chiefs. Gang Green will be eliminated from the playoffs with a loss combined with wins by the Broncos, Steelers and Chiefs. The Jets would also be eliminated from the number five seed with either a loss plus a Pittsburgh win, or a loss plus victories by the Broncos and Chiefs.

NFL Week 16 Playoff Picture with Clinching and Elimination Scenarios

 

Who: 12-2 New England Patriots vs 9-5 New York Jets

When: Sunday, December 27 at 1:00 pm ET

Where: MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford NJ

Television: CBS; announcers: Ian Eagle, Dan Fouts

NFL Week 16 TV Info: Patriots-Jets, Panthers-Falcons Receive Primary Early Game Broadcast Distribution

Week 16 NFL Maps

Weather: 62° (‘feels like’ 60°); cloudy skies and 73% humidity, with 15% chance of rain and a breeze of 9-13 mph.

Odds: The Patriots opened up as 3-point favorites in early ‘look ahead” odds published ten days ago. New England was installed as a 3½-point favorite when all the venues listed their initial lines at the conclusion of last Sunday afternoon’s games. The spread soon moved up to 3½ but within 24 hours slipped back to three, where it steadily remained throughout the week. Suddenly on Sunday morning a large amount of money was placed on New York plus the points, causing betting parlors to drop the line to two points in most places – with some as low as 1½. The point total has dropped slightly from 46½ to 45½, with a few betting parlors listing the over/under at 46. As always the Money Line varies a bit from venue to venue; a typical ML lists New England at -150 and the Jets at +130.

Head-to-Head Series Record: The two clubs have met 113 times since the two franchises began play in 1960. The Patriots lead the series 59-53-1, including two out of three wins in the post-season. New England has won the last three contests and eight of the last nine; since a 10-3 loss when Mo Lewis knocked Drew Bledsoe out of the game on September 23, 2001, the Patriots are 23-7 versus the Jets.

 

This game is a compelling matchup between an excellent offense versus a great defense. The Jets lead the league in Red Zone defense, first downs allowed and opponent completion percentage, and rank among the best in the league in nearly every defensive statistical category. Despite all the injuries to the Patriots, this should be a very entertaining game for football fans everywhere, regardless of any rooting interest.

Here is a look at how the two teams compare statistically; the numbers reflect an average per game (or per play), rather than aggregate totals. Per-game and per-play stats are used rather than gross totals because that makes the rankings more meaningful, and because they provide a better context in regards to what to expect in any given game. Numbers in green indicate a top-ten ranking while underlined green is top-five; red indicates a bottom-ten ranking and underlined red is bottom-five.

 

New England Patriots Offense versus New York Jets Defense

Scoring per Game: Patriots 31.1 (3rd); Jets 19.4 (8th)

Yardage per Game: Patriots 394 (4th); Jets 323 (5th)

First Downs per Game: Patriots 22.9 (3rd); Jets 16.9 (1st)

Yards per Play: Patriots 5.9 (6th); Jets 5.1 (5th)

Yards per Drive: Patriots 33.9 (8th); Jets 26.5 (3rd)

Points per Drive: Patriots 2.63 (2nd); Jets 1.47 (4th)

Drive Success Rate: Patriots .737 (3rd); Jets .627 (1st)

Points per Play: Patriots .462 (3rd); Jets .307 (8th)

Touchdowns per Game: Patriots 3.5 (3rd); Jets 2.1 (5th)

Red Zone Touchdowns per Game: Patriots 2.7 (1st); Jets 0.8 (1st)

Red Zone TD Percentage: Patriots 66.7% (2nd); Jets 32.4% (1st)

Plays per Game: Patriots 67.2 (8th); Jets 63.2 (12th)

Third Down Conversions per Game: Patriots 5.9 (6th); Jets 4.8 (9th)

Third Down Percentage: Patriots 43.5% (5th); Jets 33.0% (3rd)

Punts per Score: Patriots 0.8 (4th); Jets 1.5 (4th)

Punts per Game: Patriots 4.43 (10th); Jets 5.50 (4th)

Rushing Yards: Patriots 90.8 (28th); Jets 82.8 (2nd)

Yards per Carry: Patriots 3.81 (25th); Jets 3.76 (5th)

Passing Yards: Patriots 303 (2nd); Jets 240 (13th)

Yards per Pass Attempt: Patriots 7.8 (5th); Jets 6.7 (4th)

Completion Percentage: Patriots 64.4% (11th); Jets 55.9% (1st)

Passer Rating: Patriots 104.0 (4th); Jets 78.3 (4th)

TD Passes/Picks: Patriots +29 (1st), 35/6; Jets -7 (8th), 24/17

Complete Passes per Game: Patriots 26.4 (3rd); Jets 21.6 (11th)

Incomplete Passes per Game: Patriots 14.6 (25th); Jets 17.1 (1st)

Quarterback Sacks per Game: Patriots 2.4 (16th); Jets 2.5 (11th)

Sack Yardage Lost per Game: Patriots 14.4 (12th); Jets 19.1 (4th)

 

New York Jets Offense versus New England Patriots Defense

Scoring: Jets 24.6 (11th); Patriots 19.2 (6th)

Yardage: Jets 371 (10th); Patriots 326 (6th)

First Downs: Jets 20.7 (12th); Patriots 18.5 (7th)

Yards per Play: Jets 5.5 (14th); Patriots 5.1 (4th)

Yards per Drive: Jets 29.9 (24th); Patriots 27.7 (5th)

Points per Drive: Jets 2.03 (12th); Patriots 1.52 (5th)

Drive Success Rate: Jets .689 (17th); Patriots .657 (6th)

Points per Play: Jets .362 (14th); Patriots .299 (6th)

Touchdowns per Game: Jets 2.8 (13th); Patriots 2.2 (9th)

Red Zone Touchdowns per Game: Jets 2.3 (5th); Patriots 1.4 (6th)

Red Zone TD Percentage: Jets 66.7% (2nd); Patriots 57.1% (17th)

Plays per Game: Jets 67.9 (5th); Patriots 64.3 (18th)

Third Down Conversions per Game: Jets 6.1 (3rd); Patriots 5.1 (14th)

Third Down Conversion Percentage: Jets 41.5% (11th); Patriots 36.4% (10th)

Punts per Score: Jets 1.1 (13th); Patriots 1.5 (3rd)

Punts per Game: Jets 5.1 (20th); Patriots 5.4 (5th)

Rushing Yards: Jets 114.5 (11th); Patriots 95.8 (10th)

Yards per Carry: Jets 3.97 (15th); Patriots 3.99 (12th)

Passing Yards: Jets 257 (10th); Patriots 230 (8th)

Yards per Pass Attempt: Jets 7.0 (20th); Patriots 6.9 (9th)

Completion Percentage: Jets 60.8% (23rd); Patriots 60.0% (8th)

Passer Rating: Jets 89.5 (18th); Patriots 83.3 (9th)

TD Passes/Picks: Jets +15 (12th), 28/13; Patriots -7 (9th), 19/12

Complete Passes per Game: Jets 22.9 (14th); Patriots 22.1 (13th)

Incomplete Passes per Game: Jets 14.7 (26th); Patriots 14.8 (7th)

Quarterback Sacks per Game: Jets 1.4 (2nd); Patriots 3.4 (1st)

Sack Yardage Lost: Jets 7.1 (1st); Patriots 24.2 (1st)

 

Turnovers

Patriot Giveaways: 0.9 (2nd); Jet Takeaways: 2.0 (3rd)

Jet Giveaways: 1.4 (14th); Patriot Takeaways: 1.4 (16th)

 

Penalties

Penalties per Game: Patriots 6.3 (6th); Jets 6.0 (5th)

Penalty Yards per Game: Patriots 58.0 (16th); Jets 50.5 (4th)

Opponent Penalties per Game: Patriots 6.9 (17th); Jets 6.1 (30th)

Opponent Penalty Yards per Game: Patriots 62.9 (12th); Jets 51.1 (27th)

 

Football Outsiders Statistics and Rankings

Team Efficiency: Weighted DVOA: Patriots 23.6% (6th); Jets 8.1% (10th)

Team Efficiency: Offense DVOA: Patriots 18.0% (4th); Jets 1.1% (14th)

Team Efficiency: Defense DVOA: Patriots -6.2% (10th); Jets -12.0% (6th)

Special Teams DVOA: Patriots 4.0% (3rd); Jets -3.3% (27th)

 

Considering the weapons (or lack thereof) on offense for the Patriots at this juncture and the defensive prowess of the Jets, it would not surprise me in the least if New York wins this game. However, I have a gut feeling that the New England defense will come up with some critical plays to eek out a close, hard fought victory for the Patriots.

NFL Week 16 Predictions and Picks Against the Spread: Patriots 20, Jets 16

 

NFL Week 16 Early Advanced Lines: Patriots open as 3-point favorites at Jets

John Morgan
December 21, 2015 at 11:48 am ET

On Thursday, prior to the start of any Week 15 games, the Westgate Las Vegas Superbook published early ‘look ahead’ odds for the following week’s NFL action. The line originator installed the New England Patriots as three-point road favorites over the New York Jets in what will be  the 114th meeting of these two bitter rivals from the AFL. Since the finish of Sunday’s NFL games 14 other venues have followed suit and list the Pats as three-point favorites, while four are placing New England at minus 3½ points.

The Patriots lead the all-time series 59-53-1 and have won eight of the last nine contests, including a tough 30-23 Week 7 victory. The game kicks off at 1:00 pm eastern time and will be televised on CBS. The Patriots clinched a much needed first round bye Sunday, and can wrap up the number one seed and home field throughout the playoffs with either a victory over the Jets or a Bengals loss to Denver next week. The Jets saw their playoff chances dim when Pittsburgh rallied to beat Denver; if Gang Green loses and the Chiefs, Steelers and Broncos all win then the Jets will be eliminated from the post-season.

Elsewhere, if there was any doubt that the NFC East is a dumpster fire burning out of control, consider this. Last week all four NFCE teams were underdogs – at home! This week the woeful division does have one team listed as a favorite – but that’s only because Washington is playing at Philadelphia.

NFL Week 16 Odds

4-10 San Diego Chargers at 6-8 Oakland Raiders
Thursday Dec 24 at 8:25 pm ET on NFLN
Raiders opened as 6½ point favorites on 12/17
On Sunday Oakland was favored by 6; as of Monday down to 5½
Point total has increased from 45 to 47

7-7 Washington Redskins at 6-8 Philadelphia Eagles
Saturday Dec 26 at 8:25 pm ET on NFLN
Eagles opened as a 4-point favorite on 12/17
On Monday the line dropped to Eagles -3½
Over/under has dropped from 47½ to 47

5-9 Chicago Bears at 6-8 Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Sunday Dec 27 at 1:00 pm ET on FOX
Bucs opened as 3-point favorites on 12/17
On Sunday it was down to 2½, but back up to 3 on Monday
Over/under has moved up from 44½ to 46

14-0 Carolina Panthers at 7-7 Atlanta Falcons
Sunday Dec 27 at 1:00 pm ET on FOX
Panthers listed as 6½-point favorites on 12/17
Still at 6½ on Sunday, but up to 7-points on Monday
Point total has shifted from 46 to 47½

4-10 Dallas Cowboys at 6-8 Buffalo Bills
Sunday Dec 27 at 1:00 pm ET on FOX
Bills opened as 5½-point favorites on 12/17
Still at 5½ on Sunday; inched up to 6-points on Monday
Over/under was 43 and now at 43½

4-10 San Francisco 49ers at 4-9 Detroit Lions
Sunday Dec 27 at 1:00 pm ET on FOX
Lions opened as 7-point favorites on 12/17
Odds increased to 8½-point Sunday, where it still remains
Over/under steady at 40½

3-11 Cleveland Browns at 9-5 Kansas City Chiefs
Sunday Dec 27 at 1:00 pm ET on CBS
On 12/17 KC opened with the second largest spread of the week, 11½ points
Line moved up another point to 12½ on Sunday, where it still stands

6-8 Indianapolis Colts at 5-9 Miami Dolphins
Sunday Dec 27 at 1:00 pm ET
Game cross-flexed from CBS to FOX
Still no betting line due to uncertainty of Andrew Luck possibly playing

12-2 New England Patriots at 9-5 New York Jets
Sunday Dec 27 at 1:00 pm ET on CBS
Patriots opened as 3-point favorites on 12/17
15 out of 19 venues surveyed still list the Pats as 3-point favorites
Four sites have the Jets as 3½-point home dogs
Over/under has inched up from 45½ to 46

7-7 Houston Texans at 3-11 Tennessee Titans
Sunday Dec 27 at 1:00 pm ET on CBS
Still no line based on uncertainty of both team’s starting quarterbacks

9-5 Pittsburgh Steelers at 4-10 Baltimore Ravens
Game booted out from prime time to early kickoff due to the hot mess that
John Harbaugh has with his team in Baltimore
Sunday Dec 27 at 1:00 pm ET on CBS
No look-ahead line published on 12/17
Opened on Sunday with Steelers favored by 9½-points
As of Monday most venues were at Pittsburgh minus-10, with some as high as 11 points
Over/under has dropped from 48½ to 47½

5-9 Jacksonville Jaguars at 5-8 New Orleans Saints
Game time moved back from early kickoff to late start
Sunday Dec 27 at 4:05 pm ET on CBS
Saints opened as 3½-point favorites 12/17
Line has remained steady since then
Point total has also been constant at 51½

10-4 Green Bay Packers at 12-2 Arizona Cardinals
Sunday Dec 27 at 4:25 pm ET on FOX
Cardinals opened as 4½-point favorites on 12/17
On Sunday the Pack was listed as 4-point favorites, where most places still have them
Most have the over/under at 49, with some as high as 50

6-8 St. Louis Rams at 9-5 Seattle Seahawks
Sunday Dec 27 at 4:25 pm ET on FOX
On 12/17 the Seahawks opened with largest spread of the week, at 14 points
Line was still 14 on Sunday but has dipped to 13½ as of Monday
Over/under has inched up from 40½ to 41, with some venues as high as 41½

6-8 New York Giants at 9-5 Minnesota Vikings
Game flexed from 1:00 kickoff to Sunday Night Football
Sunday Dec 27 at 8:30 pm ET on NBC
Vikings opened as 3-point favorites on 12/17
On Sunday the line moved up to 4, where it remains as of Monday
Over/under has dropped from 45 to 44½

11-3 Cincinnati Bengals at 10-4 Denver Broncos
Monday Dec 28 at 8:30 pm ET on ESPN
Broncos opened as 4-point favorites on 12/17
Line dropped to 3½ on Sunday, where it still remains

 

NFL Week 15 Playoff Picture and Scenarios

John Morgan
December 18, 2015 at 8:00 am ET

NFL Week 15 Playoff Picture and Scenarios

Last week the New England Patriots vaulted in to the number one seed in the AFC by virtue of the defensive mastery over the Houston Texans, coupled with losses by the Cincinnati Bengals and Denver Broncos. When the Miami Dolphins lost to the New York Giants Monday night the Pats also clinched their seventh straight AFC East title. Elsewhere the Arizona Cardinals also clinched a playoff spot and the Carolina Panthers clinched a first-round bye; on the other end of the spectrum six teams joined the Cleveland Browns as being officially eliminated from the playoffs.

 

In the AFC there are essentially three playoff races: the Patriots, Bengals and Broncos vying for home field advantage throughout the conference playoffs, or at least a first-round bye; the Colts and Texans (and to a lesser extent, the Jaguars as well) playing for the AFC South title and the number four seed; and the Steelers, Chiefs and Texans battling for the wild card spots.

 

Over in the NFC there are realistically only two playoff races remaining. For all intents and purposes the Panthers will be the number one seed, Arizona number two, and Seattle will claim the number five seed as the top wild card. One of Green Bay and Minnesota will win the NFC North and become the number three seed; they will play at home to the other club, who will become the number six seed. The other playoff race is of course that of the NFC East; one of the Redskins, Giants or Eagles will have to represent that division, even though nobody seems to want it or deserve it.

 

In both conferences the race for the number five seed is nearly as meaningful as getting a first round bye. Both of the number five seeds will most likely be playing against a team with a .500 (or losing record). On the other hand the number six seed will have to go on the road against a ten or eleven-win club.

Note: for the sake of clarity and to reduce the risk of headaches I have not included any scenarios involving ties.

 

AFC – #1 Seed and First Round Bye

1. New England Patriots
11-2 [4-0 division, 8-1 conference]
Clinched AFC East and at least #3 seed
vs Titans, at Jets, at Dolphins
79% chance for #1 seed; 98% chance for a bye
– Can clinch at least #2 seed and a first-round bye with a win over Titans, plus Broncos lose to Steelers

2. Cincinnati Bengals
10-3 [4-1 division, 8-2 conference]
2-game division lead over Pittsburgh with 3 to play
at 49ers, at Broncos, vs Ravens
3% chance for #1 seed; 40% for a bye; 98% for #3 or better
– Can clinch AFC North and at least #3 seed if Steelers lose to Broncos
– Can clinch at least #5 seed with win over 49ers, plus Chiefs lose to Ravens
– Can clinch playoff spot with win over 49ers, or Chiefs lose to Ravens, or Jets lose to Cowboys

3. Denver Broncos
10-3 [3-2 division, 6-3 conference]
2-game division lead over Kansas City with 3 to play
at Steelers, vs Bengals, at Chargers
18% chance for #1 seed; 61% for a bye; 88% for #3 or better
– Can clinch AFC West and at least #3 seed with win over Steelers, plus Chiefs lose to Ravens
– Can clinch at playoff spot and at least #5 seed with win over Steelers, plus Jets lose to Cowboys
– Can clinch playoff spot and at least #6 seed with with win over Steelers

 

AFC South – #4 Seed

4. Indianapolis Colts
6-7 [3-1 division, 4-5 conference]
Currently tied with Houston; wins tiebreaker based on head-to-head victory
vs Texans, at Dolphins, vs Titans
60% chance of winning AFCS and #4 seed; 40% chance of missing playoffs
– With a win over Texans, the only way Indy would miss the playoffs would be to lose their final two games while Houston wins their last two games

10. Houston Texans
6-7 [2-1 division, 4-5 conference]
Needs to win Sunday to avoid losing head-to-head tiebreaker with Colts
at Colts, at Titans, vs Jaguars
39% chance of winning AFCS and #4 seed; >1% chance of being wild card; 61% chance for no playoffs

11. Jacksonville Jaguars
5-8 [2-3 division, 5-6 conference]
Virtually no chance despite only being one game behind
vs Falcons, at Saints, at Texans
1% chance of winning AFCS and #4 seed; >99% chance for no playoffs
– Eliminated from playoffs with loss to Falcons, plus Colts beat Texans

 

AFC – Wild Cards

5. Kansas City Chiefs
8-5 [4-1 division, 7-2 conference]
Currently hold tiebreaker over Steelers and Jets based on conference record
at Ravens, vs Browns, vs Raiders
11% chance of winning AFCW and #3 seed; 63% chance of being #5 seed; 7% chance for no playoffs
– Eliminated from #1 seed if Patriots win, or if Broncos and Bengals both win
– Eliminated from #2 seed with loss to Ravens, or if Patriots and Broncos both win
– Eliminated from #3 seed with loss to Ravens, plus Broncos win

6. New York Jets
8-5 [2-2 division, 6-4 conference]
Hold tiebreaker over Steelers based on conference record
at Cowboys, vs Patriots, at Bills
7% chance for #5 seed, 25% for #6 seed, 61% for no playoffs
– Wins by Chiefs and Steelers last week dropped Jet playoff chances from 39% to 31%
– No clinching or elimination scenarios for Jets this week

7. Pittsburgh Steelers
8-5 [2-2 division, 5-4 conference]
Conference records: Chiefs 7-2; Jets 6-4; Steelers 5-4
vs Broncos, at Ravens, at Browns
2% chance of winning AFCN and #3 seed; 25% for #5 seed; 43% for #6; 30% for no playoffs
– Chance of missing playoffs dropped from 67% last week to 30% this week
– Eliminated from #3 seed with loss to Broncos, or if Bengals beat 49ers

8. Oakland Raiders
6-7 [2-2 division, 6-4 conference]
All but technically eliminated from playoffs
vs Packers, vs Chargers, at Chiefs
2% chance for wild card, 98% chance for no playoffs
– Eliminated from #5 seed with loss, plus a win by either Jets or Chiefs or Steelers
– Eliminated from playoffs with loss, plus wins by two of Jets/Chiefs/Steelers

9. Buffalo Bills
6-7 [3-2 division, 6-5 conference]
All but technically eliminated from playoffs
at Washington, vs Cowboys, vs Jets
5% chance for wild card, 95% chance for no playoffs
– Eliminated from #5 seed with loss, or win by Chiefs
– Eliminated from #6 seed with loss, plus win by either Steelers or Jets

AFC teams eliminated from playoffs:
5-8 Miami Dolphins – at Chargers, vs Colts, vs Patriots
4-9 Baltimore Ravens – vs Chiefs, vs Steelers, at Bengals
3-10 San Diego Chargers – vs Dolphins, at Raiders, at Broncos
3-10 Cleveland Browns – at Seahawks, at Chiefs, vs Steelers
3-10 Tennessee Titans – at Patriots, vs Texans, at Colts

 

NFC Contenders

1. Carolina Panthers
13-0 [4-0 division, 9-0 conference]
Clinched NFC South division title and first round bye
at Giants, at Falcons, vs Giants
98% chance for #1 seed; 2% chance of being #2 seed
– Clinch #1 seed with a win, plus loss by Cardinals

2. Arizona Cardinals
11-2 [4-1 division, 8-1 conference]
Clinched a playoff spot last week
Hold tiebreaker over Seahawks (39-32 victory at Seattle)
at Eagles, vs Packers, vs Seahawks
92% chance for a bye
– Clinch first round bye with win at Eagles, plus Packers lose to Raiders
– Clinch division and #3 seed with win, or a Seahawks loss
– Clinch at least #5 seed with a loss by either the Vikings or Packers
– Eliminated from #1 seed with loss, plus win by Panthers

3. Green Bay Packers
9-4 [3-2 division, 7-3 conference]
Hold tiebreaker over Vikings based on Week 11 win at Minnesota
at Raiders, at Cardinals, vs Vikings
8% chance for #2 seed; 58% for #3; 34% for wild card; >1% for no playoffs
– Clinch playoff spot and at least #5 seed with win, plus Seahawks loss
– Clinch playoff spot with either a win, or a Giants loss, or a Redskins loss
– Eliminated from #2 seed with loss, plus Cardinals win

5. Seattle Seahawks
8-5 [2-2 division, 6-4 conference]
Moved up to #5 seed with wins in last two weeks while Vikings lost twice
vs Browns, vs Rams, at Cardinals
>1% chance of winning NFCW; 69% for #5; 29% for #6; 2% for no playoffs
– Clinch playoff spot with win, plus a loss by either Giants or Redskins
– Clinch playoff spot with win, plus Packers win, plus Vikings and Falcons lose
– Eliminated from NFCW title and #2 seed if Packers win and Vikings lose
– Eliminated from NFCW title and #3 seed with a loss, or if Cardinals win

6. Minnesota Vikings
8-5 [3-1 division, 5-4 conference]
The Vikes have lost two in a row but are still in good shape to make the playoffs
vs Bears, vs Giants, at Packers
cannot get a bye; 34% chance for #3 seed; 60% for a wild card; 6% for no playoffs
– Clinch playoff spot with win, plus Falcons lose, plus either Giants or Redskins lose
– Clinch playoff spot with win, plus Seahawks lose, plus either Giants or Redskins lose

 

NFC East

4. Washington Redskins
5-6 [2-1 division, 5-3 conference]
Head-to-head: 1-0 vs Eagles, 1-1 vs Giants, 0-1 vs Cowboys
at Bears, vs Bills, at Eagles, at Cowboys
39% chance of winning NFCE; 60% chance of missing playoffs
– Eliminated from #3 seed with loss, or Packers win, or Vikings win

9. Philadelphia Eagles
6-7 [2-2 division, 3-6 conference]
Head-to-head: 0-1 vs Skins, 1-0 vs Giants, 1-1 vs Cowboys
vs Cardinals, vs Redskins, at Giants
44% chance of winning NFCE; 56% chance of missing playoffs
– Eliminated from #3 seed with loss, or Packers win, or Vikings win

10. New York Giants
6-7 [2-3 division, 4-5 conference]
Head-to-head: 1-1 vs Skins, 0-1 vs Eagles, 1-1 vs Cowboys
vs Panthers, at Vikings, vs Eagles
15% chance of winning NFCE; 83% chance of missing playoffs
– Eliminated from #3 seed with loss, or Packers win, or Vikings win

16. Dallas Cowboys
4-9 [3-2 division, 3-8 conference]
Head-to-head: 1-0 vs Skins, 1-1 vs Eagles, 1-1 vs Giants
vs Jets, at Bills, vs Redskins
2% chance of winning NFCE; 98% chance of missing playoffs
– Eliminated from #3 seed with loss, or two of Redskins/Eagles/Cowboys win

 

Rest of the NFC

7. Atlanta Falcons
6-7 [0-4 division, 4-6 conference]
Falcons could lose nine straight to end the season after a 5-0 start
at Jaguars, vs Panthers, vs Saints
99% chance of missing the playoffs
– Eliminated from #5 seed with a loss
– Eliminated from playoffs with loss, plus Vikings win

10. St. Louis Rams
6-8 [3-1 division, 5-5 conference]
The Rams have not had a winning season since 2003, and Jeff Fisher has not coached a winning team since 2008
won vs Bucs, at Seahawks, at Niners
99% chance of missing playoffs
– Eliminated from #5 seed if either Vikings or Seahawks win
– Eliminated from playoffs if both Vikings and Seahawks win

11. Tampa Bay Bucs
6-8 [3-2 division, 5-5 conference]
Hey, four more wins than last year was a decent start
lost at Rams, vs Bears, at Panthers
99% chance of missing playoffs
– Eliminated from #5 seed if either Vikings or Seahawks win
– Eliminated from playoffs if both Vikings and Seahawks win

12. New Orleans Saints
5-8 [2-3 division, 4-6 conference]
Off-season plan: defense, defense, and more defense
vs Lions, vs Jaguars, at Falcons
99% chance of missing playoffs
– Eliminated from #5 seed if either Vikings or Seahawks win
– Eliminated from playoffs with a loss, or if both Vikings and Seahawks win

13. Chicago Bears
5-8 [2-3 division, 4-6 conference]
A 1-6 record at home, including a loss to the Niners? Huh?
at Vikings, at Bucs, vs Lions
99% chance of missing playoffs
– Eliminated from #5 seed if Seahawks win
– Eliminated from playoffs with a loss to Vikings

14. Detroit Lions
4-9 [2-3 division, 3-6 conference]
Jim Caldwell is probably the next head coach to be fired
at Saints, vs Niners, at Bears
– Eliminated from playoffs last week

15. San Francisco 49ers
4-9 [0-5 division, 3-7 conference]
14.5 points per game – pathetic.
vs Bengals, at Lions, vs Rams
– Eliminated from playoffs last week

 

NFL Playoff Picture, Week 13: Panthers Clinch, Patriots Drop To #3 Seed

John Morgan
December 7, 2015 at 1:00 pm ET

Prior to their come from behind victory over New Orleans, Carolina became the first team to clinch a playoff spot when Tampa Bay defeated Atlanta 23-19. The Panthers have won their third straight NFC South title and are a virtual lock for a first round bye. Meanwhile New England’s upset loss to Philadelphia dropped the Patriots to the number three seed in the AFC – though what many are overlooking is that the Pats still control their own destiny for a first round bye since Denver and Cincinnati play each other in Week 16.

There are three 7-5 and two 6-6 AFC teams battling for two wild card spots. The Chiefs won their sixth straight game to currently control the number five spot, while at the same time crushing division rival Oakland’s playoff hopes with their 34-20 victory over the Raiders. The difference between being the number five seed and number six seed cannot be understated. The #5 seed gets whichever mediocre team wins the pathetic AFC South, while the #6 seed has to go on the road and face one of the 10-2 teams. Meanwhile in the NFC the Packers and Vikings swapped positions as number three and five seeds after Green Bay’s improbable win with no time remaining and the Vike’s loss to Seattle. The Seahawks went on the road and blew Minnesota out 38-7 for a fifth victory in their last six games, with three very winnable games on the horizon.

 

AFC

1. Cincinnati Bengals
10-2 [4-0 division, 8-1 conference]
3-game division lead over Pittsburgh with 4 to play
vs Steelers, at 49ers, at Broncos, vs Ravens
22% chance for #1 seed; 50% for a bye; 99% for #3 or better

2. Denver Broncos
10-2 [3-1 division, 6-2 conference]
3-game division lead over Kansas City with 4 to play
vs Raiders, at Steelers, vs Bengals, at Chargers
52% chance for #1 seed; 77% for a bye; 99% for #3 or better

3. New England Patriots
10-2 [4-0 division, 7-1 conference]
3-game division lead over New York Jets with 4 to play
at Texans, vs Titans, at Jets, at Dolphins
27% chance for #1 seed; 73% for a bye; 99% for #3 or better

4. Indianapolis Colts
6-6 [3-0 division, 4-4 conference]
Tied with Houston, wins tiebreaker based on head-to-head victory
at Jaguars, vs Texans, at Dolphins, vs Titans
65% chance of winning AFCS and #4 seed; 34% chance of missing playoffs

5. Kansas City Chiefs
7-5 [3-1 division, 6-2 conference]
Hold tiebreaker over Jets and Steelers based on conference record
vs Chargers, at Ravens, vs Browns, vs Raiders
2% chance of winning AFCW and #3 seed; 79% for #5 seed; 14% for #6

6. New York Jets
7-5 [2-2 division, 5-4 conference]
Hold tiebreaker over Steelers based on conference record
vs Titans, at Cowboys, vs Patriots, at Bills
10% chance for #5 seed, 29% for #6 seed, 61% for no playoffs

7. Pittsburgh Steelers
7-5 [1-2 division, 4-4 conference]
Next two games will determine own fate, plus top three seeding
at Bengals, vs Broncos, at Ravens, at Browns
1% chance of winning AFCN and #3 seed; 7% for #5 seed; 25% for #6; 67% for no playoffs

8. Buffalo Bills
6-6 [3-2 division, 6-5 conference]
Hold tiebreaker over Houston with Sunday’s victory over Texans
at Eagles, at Redskins, vs Cowboys, vs Jets
Cannot win AFCE; 2% chance for #5 seed; 27% for #6; 71% chance for no playoffs

9. Houston Texans
6-6 [2-1 division, 4-4 conference]
Blew chance to take division lead with Sunday’s loss at Buffalo
vs Patriots, at Colts, at Titans, vs Jaguars
34% chance of winning AFCS and #4 seed; 2% chance for #6 seed; 64% chance for no playoffs

10. Oakland Raiders
5-7 [1-2 division, 5-4 conference]
Sunday’s home loss to Chiefs all but mathematically eliminated Oakland
at Broncos, vs Packers, vs Chargers, at Chiefs
1% chance for the #6 seed; 99% chance for no playoffs

11. Miami Dolphins
5-7 [0-5 division, 3-6 conference]
Despite Sunday’s victory over Baltimore, Miami is toast
vs Giants, at Chargers, vs Colts, vs Patriots
Less than 1% chance of making playoffs as a wild card

4-8 Jaguars, 4-8 Ravens, 3-9 Titans, 3-9 Titans
All virtually (but not technically) eliminated
2-10 Cleveland Browns are first and only team to be eliminated thus far

 

NFC

1. Carolina Panthers
12-0 [3-0 division, 8-0 conference]
Clinched NFC South; magic number of one for a bye, three for home field throughout playoffs
vs Falcons, at Giants, at Falcons, vs Giants
97% chance for #1 seed; less than 1% chance of not getting a bye

2. Arizona Cardinals
10-2 [4-1 division, 7-1 conference]
3-game division lead over Seattle with four to play
vs Vikings, at Eagles, vs Packers, vs Seahawks
3% chance for #1 seed; 81% for a bye; 97% for #3 or better

3. Green Bay Packers
8-4 [3-2 division, 6-3 conference]
Hold tiebreaker over Vikings based on Week 11 win at Minnesota
vs Cowboys, at Raiders, at Cardinals, vs Vikings
11% chance for #2 seed; 48% for #3; 35% for wild card; 4% for no playoffs

4. Washington Redskins
5-6 [2-1 division, 5-3 conference]
Head-to-head: 1-0 vs Eagles, 1-1 vs Giants
vs Cowboys, at Bears, vs Bills, at Eagles, at Cowboys
59% chance of winning NFCE; 40% chance of missing playoffs

5. Minnesota Vikings
8-4 [3-1 division, 5-3 conference]
Similar to AFC situation, the #5 seed has a much easier game (vs NFC East winner) than #6 seed
at Cardinals, vs Bears, vs Giants, at Packers
7% chance for #2 seed; 31% for #3; 20% for #5; 29% for #6; 11% for no playoffs

6. Seattle Seahawks
7-5 [2-2 division, 6-4 conference]
Seahawks would take tiebreaker over Vikings based on Sunday’s victory at Minnesota
at Ravens, vs Browns, vs Rams, at Cardinals
3% chance of winning NFCW and #3 seed; 48% for #5; 34% for #6; 15% for no playoffs

7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
6-6 [3-1 division, 5-3 conference]
Bucs win tiebreaker over Falcons based on season series sweep
vs Saints, at Rams, vs Bears, at Panthers
6% chance for #5 seed; 14% for #6; 80% for no playoffs

8. Atlanta Falcons
6-6 [0-3 division, 4-5 conference]
Falcons have lost five straight after a 5-0 start to season
at Panthers, at Jaguars, vs Panthers, vs Saints
2% chance of being a wild card; 98% chance of no playoffs

9. Philadelphia Eagles
5-7 [2-2 division, 3-6 conference]
Head-to-head: 0-1 vs Skins, 1-0 vs Giants, 1-1 vs Cowboys
vs Bills, vs Cardinals, vs Redskins, at Giants
31% chance of winning NFCE and #4 seed; 69% for no playoffs

10. New York Giants
5-7 [2-3 division, 4-5 conference]
Blown opportunity with loss to Jets; 1-1 vs Skins, 0-1 vs Philly, 1-1 vs Dallas
at Dolphins, vs Panthers, at Vikings, vs Eagles
7% chance of winning NFCE and #4 seed; 92% for no playoffs

11. Chicago Bears
5-7 [1-3 division, 2-6 conference]
A home loss to SF? Stick a fork in these Bears, they are done
vs Skins, at Vikings, at Bucs, vs Lions
4% chance of being the #6 seed; 95% for no playoffs

4-8 Saints, 4-8 Rams, 4-8 Lions, 4-8 49ers
All virtually (but not technically) eliminated
3-8 Cowboys could move to within two games back in NFCE with a win Monday night

 

PHOTO: Brady at the Center of Playoff Picture From NFL.com

Ian Logue
November 9, 2015 at 5:30 am ET

The NFL previously left Tom Brady out of the mix of Super Bowl Elite QBs in a Tweet they later deleted, but on Sunday night Brady was front and center in another photo showing the Playoff Picture if the season ended today.

The photo has Brady leading the way in front of other top NFL quarterbacks, with Cincinnati’s Andy Dalton and Carolina’s Cam Newton standing behind him in a photo the league published in a Tweet Sunday night, with the quarterbacks presumably standing in order of their respective teams’ records.

Following Denver’s loss to the Colts on Sunday, New England, Cincinnati and Carolina are the final remaining unbeaten teams left in the NFL heading into Week 10.