NFL Playoff Picture and Scenarios After Week 16

With the Philadelphia Eagles’ surprising loss to Washington on Saturday, clarity was finally cast upon the NFC playoff picture. The AFC? That’s a question that will be better answered following Week 17.

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Sunday’s action only proved to muddy the picture further in the AFC, with multiple teams above .500 jostling for position heading into the season’s final week.

On Saturday, the San Diego Chargers kept themselves alive with a three-touchdown comeback from the dead-on-arrival San Francisco 49ers, while the AFC North is a complicated riddle yet to be solved.

The Pittsburgh Steelers clinched a playoff berth after a win against Kansas City. The Baltimore Ravens, meanwhile, shot themselves in the foot with a dispiriting loss to the Houston Texans, who were forced to start Case Keenum at quarterback due to injuries.

While there are still some positions left to be filled, this week has helped pare down the field. The Eagles’ loss in Washington eliminated them from contention, Kansas City and Baltimore both have work to do and Detroit further solidified its playoff status.

But as much as some things changed, others stayed the same. The New England Patriots are the top seed in the AFC and clinched home-field advantage after the Denver Broncos’ loss to the Cincinnati Bengals on Monday.

To cap off Sunday’s action, the Seattle Seahawks looked as strong as ever in their Super Bowl defense, dominating the Arizona Cardinals 35-6 on the road to ascend to No. 1 in the NFC.

Let’s take a quick look at the updated playoff picture, courtesy of theNFL‘s official press release, and assess how everything should shake out.

Week 17 AFC Scenarios

Broncos clinch first-round bye with:

  1. Denver win vs. Oakland OR
  2. Denver tie vs. Oakland + Cincinnati loss or tie vs. Pittsburgh OR
  3. Cincinnati loss OR
  4. Cincinnati tie + Indianapolis win vs. Tennessee

Bengals clinch AFC North with:

  1. Cincinnati win vs. Pittsburgh

Bengals clinch first-round bye with:

  1. Cincinnati win + Denver loss or tie OR
  2. Cincinnati tie + losses by both Denver and Indianapolis

Steelers clinch AFC North with:

  1. Pittsburgh win vs. Cincinnati

Chargers clinch playoff spot with:

  1. San Diego win vs. Kansas City OR
  2. San Diego tie + Baltimore loss or tie vs. Cleveland

Ravens clinch playoff spot with:

  1. Baltimore win + San Diego loss or tie OR
  2. Baltimore tie + San Diego loss

Chiefs clinch playoff spot with:

  1. Kansas City win + loss by Baltimore + loss or tie by Houston

Texans clinch playoff spot with:

  1. Houston win + losses by both Baltimore and San Diego

Week 17 NFC Scenarios

Cowboys clinch home-field advantage throughout NFC with:

  1. Dallas win + loss or tie by Arizona vs. San Francisco + Detroit vs. Green Bay tie OR
  2. Dallas win + win by Seattle vs. St. Louis + Detroit vs. Green Bay tie

Cowboys clinch first-round bye with:

  1. Dallas win + loss or tie by both Seattle and Arizona OR
  2. Dallas win + Detroit vs. Green Bay tie OR
  3. Seattle and Arizona both lose OR
  4. Dallas and Seattle both tie + Arizona loses or ties + Detroit vs. Green Bay does not end in a tie

Lions clinch NFC North with:

  1. Lions win or tie

Lions clinch home-field advantage throughout NFC playoffs with:

  1. Lions win + Seattle loss or tie + Arizona loss or tie OR
  2. Detroit tie + losses by both Seattle and Arizona + Dallas loses or ties

Lions clinch first-round bye with:

  1. Detroit win OR
  2. Detroit tie + Dallas loss or tie OR
  3. Detroit tie + both Arizona and Seattle lose

Packers Clinch NFC North and first-round bye with:

  1. Green Bay win

Packers clinch home-field advantage throughout NFC playoffs with:

  1. Green Bay win + loss or tie by Seattle

Seahawks clinch NFC West with:

  1. Seattle win OR
  2. Seattle tie + loss or tie by Arizona OR
  3. Arizona loss

Seahawks clinch home-field advantage throughout NFC playoffs with:

  1. Seattle win + Detroit vs. Green Bay does not end in tie OR
  2. Seattle win + Dallas loss or tie OR
  3. Seattle tie + losses or ties by both Arizona and Dallas + Detroit vs. Green Bay tie

Seahawks clinch first-round bye with:

  1. Seattle win OR
  2. Seattle tie + Arizona loss or tie + Dallas loss OR
  3. Seattle tie + Arizona loss or tie + Detroit vs. Green Bay tie

Cardinals clinch NFC West with:

  1. Arizona win + Seattle loss or tie OR
  2. Arizona tie + Seattle loss

Cardinals clinch home-field advantage throughout NFC playoffs with:

  1. Arizona win + Seattle and Green Bay both lose or tie OR
  2. Arizona tie + Seattle loss + Dallas loss or tie + Detroit vs. Green Bay tie

Cardinals clinch first-round bye with:

  1. Arizona win + Seattle loss or tie OR
  2. Arizona tie + Seattle loss + Dallas loss or tie OR
  3. Arizona tie + Seattle loss + Detroit vs. Green Bay tie

Panthers clinch NFC South with:

  1. Carolina win or tie vs. Atlanta

Falcons clinch NFC South with:

  1. Atlanta win

Read more at the Bleacher Report

Original article here: http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2306994-nfl-standings-2014-15-results-playoff-picture-and-scenarios-after-week-16 

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