AFC Playoff Scenarios [Week 17]

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AFC Playoff Scenarios [Week 17]
Mon Dec 24, 2018 1:12 am
  • Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays Everyone,

    There is nothing like a Seattle win and a ticket to the playoffs to put one into the holiday spirit especially when the Grinch decided to pick on someone else in Week 16 (namely Pittsburgh). I hope everyone will forgive me if I post these articles a day early rather than post MNF since the MNF game (Denver@Oakland) has no bearing on the overall playoff picture whatsoever. Let's get on with the new playoff scenarios for week 17 and things are looking very well indeed. As always I will discuss the AFC scenarios here and discuss the corresponding NFC scenarios in a companion article in main forum under NFC Playoff Scenarios [Week 17]. As before, I will use the following symbols:
    *--Home Field Advantage
    z--First Round Bye
    y--Division Winner
    x--Playoff Spot
    (e)--Eliminated
    As before I will sometimes follow such a symbol with a number to reflect a specific seed if applicable. With all that said, let's dig in.

    AFC East
    The Patriots have finally clinched this division, and thanks to some help by the Philadelphia Eagles, they now have the inside track to at least a first week bye and an outside shot at home field advantage. All other teams in this division have been eliminated. Miami was the last to go.

    Name Record Conf. Div. Last Game
    New England-y 10-5 7-4 4-1 NY Jets
    Miami (e) 7-8 6-5 4-1 @Buffalo
    Buffalo (e) 5-10 3-8 1-4 Miami
    NY Jets (e) 4-11 3-8 1-4 @New England

    Clinching Scenarios:
    New England can still clinch home field with a WIN + Kansas City Loss [edit]+ LA Charger LOSS (otherwise New England will lose out to an AFC West Champion LA Chargers)[/edit]
    New England can clinch a first week bye with a WIN (or a tie and a Houston Tie or loss)
    New England can not finish lower than the #3 seed.

    Elimination Scenarios:
    All teams except New England have been eliminated from the playoffs. New England can be eliminated from any consideration of home field with a loss or tie OR a Kansas City win or tie [edit] OR an LA Chargers win or tie [/edit]. New England can be eliminated from a first week bye with a LOSS + Houston WIN.

    AFC South
    The Houston Texans are still in the lead in this division, but one more slip and they could lose it. Thankfully for the Texans, they have an easy week 17 opponent (Jacksonville). The next two teams Indianapolis and Tennessee are in competition for the last playoff spot (the #6 seed) with an outside shot at the division title should Houston stumble. What's interesting is that they play each other and even if Houston stumbles, the winner is in (either as AFC South champs OR the #6 wildcard) or is completely out (with Houston taking the #6 wildcard). If they (Tenn and Indy) TIE, this allows Pittsburgh an outside shot at the #6 seed.

    Name Record Conf. Div. Last Game
    Houston-x 10-5 7-4 3-2 Jacksonville
    Indianapolis 9-6 6-5 3-2 @Tennessee
    Tennessee 9-6 5-6 3-2 Indianapolis
    Jacksonville (e) 5-10 4-7 1-4 @Houston

    Clinching Scenarios:
    Houston wins the division and a first week bye with a WIN and a New England Loss
    Houston wins the division with a WIN or Tie
    Houston wins the division if Indianapolis and Tennessee TIE
    Indianapolis wins the division with a WIN AND Houston LOSS
    Tennessee wins the division with a WIN AND Houston LOSS
    Indianapolis clinches a playoff spot with a WIN
    Tennessee clinches a playoff spot with a WIN
    Houston is in the playoffs no matter what. If they get bounced from the AFC South, they are locked into the #6 seed.

    Elimination Scenarios:
    Houston is eliminated from the first week bye with a New England WIN or TIE.
    Houston is eliminated from the Division with a LOSS (unless Indy and Tenn tie)
    Indianapolis is eliminated from the playoffs with a LOSS or TIE + Pittsburgh win
    Tennessee is eliminated from the playoffs with a LOSS or TIE + Pittsburgh win

    AFC North
    Oh have the mighty fallen. Once proud Pittsburgh has fallen from being firmly control of this division to the #8 seed on the outside looking in with a big chance of missing out on the playoffs altogether. The best chance for Pittsburgh is to bounce Baltimore from the top spot of this division, but there is an outside shot that Pittsburgh could get the #6 seed if Indianapolis and Tennessee both happen to tie.

    Name Record Conf. Div. Last Game
    Baltimore 9-6 7-4 2-3 Cleveland
    Pittsburgh 8-6-1 5-5-1 3-1-1 Cincinnati
    Cleveland (e) 7-7-1 5-5-1 3-1-1 @Baltimore
    Cincinnati (e) 6-9 4-7 1-4 @Pittsburgh

    Clinching Scenarios:
    Baltimore can clinch the AFC North with:
    1) A Win
    2) A Pittsburgh loss
    3) A tie and Pittsburgh tie
    Pittsburgh can clinch the AFC North with:
    1) A WIN AND A Baltimore loss or tie
    2) A TIE and a Baltimore Loss (8-6-2 is the same as 9-7 and would be a tie with Baltimore going to division record)
    Pittsburgh can clinch the #6 seed with a WIN + Tenn/Indy TIE assuming that Pittsburgh does not win the AFC North

    Elimination Scenarios:
    Pittsburgh is eliminated from the AFC North with:
    1) A Baltimore WIN or TIE
    Pittsburgh is eliminated from the playoffs altogether with:
    1) A Loss
    2) A Baltimore WIN or TIE AND Tenn/Indy do not tie

    AFC West
    LA Charger fans were rooting hard for Seattle in week 16 because it allowed them a shot at the division title in week 17, but it's an outside shot. As a note unlike my usual procedure, I am writing this article before all AFC games are played (there is Denver@Oakland for MNF) but that has no impact on the playoff picture whatsoever. With everyone's indulgence I will include the current record now (as of 23 Dec) and update this article when the results of MNF come in on the night of the 24th. It will have no impact on the overall analysis. [Post MNF edit] Oakland won this completely meaningless game likely messing up their draft position. Updated records below. [/edit]

    Name Record Conf. Div. Last Game(s)
    Kansas City-x 11-4 9-2 4-1 Oakland
    LA Chargers-x 11-4 8-3 3-2 @Denver
    Denver (e) 6-9 4-7 2-3 LA Chargers
    Oakland (e) 4-11 3-8 1-4 @Kansas City

    Clinching Scenarios:
    Both Kansas City and the LA Chargers are locked into no worse than the #5 seed so whichever one doesn't win the division will be the #5 wildcard by default.

    Kansas City can clinch home field advantage with:
    1) A win
    2) A tie + LA Charger loss or tie
    3) A New England loss or tie + Houston loss or tie + LA Chargers loss
    Kansas City can clinch a first week bye with:
    1) A New England loss or tie + LA Chargers loss
    2) A Houston loss or tie + LA Chargers loss
    The LA Chargers can clinch the division AND Home Field Advantage with
    1) A WIN + Kansas City Loss or Tie.
    2) A TIE + Kansas City Loss
    Any other result gives the LA Chargers the #5 seed.

    Elimination Scenarios:
    Denver and Oakland are already eliminated, and either Kansas City or the LA Chargers will get the #5 seed (whichever one doesn't win the division). The following elimination scenarios apply:

    The LA Chargers are eliminated from the AFC West (and becomes the #5 seed) with:
    1) A LOSS
    2) A Kansas City Win
    3) A TIE and a Kansas City Tie
    Kansas City is eliminated from the AFC West (and becomes the #5 seed) with:
    1) A LOSS + LA Charger Win or Tie
    2) A TIE + LA Charger WIN
    Note in such a case the LA Chargers automatically get home field advantage.
    Kansas City is eliminated from Home Field but still wins the division with:
    1) A LOSS + New England Win [edit] + LA Charger loss [/edit]

    *Whew* I hope this helps everyone.
    Last edited by Polaris on Mon Dec 24, 2018 11:58 pm, edited 6 times in total.
    Polaris
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Re: AFC Playoff Scenarios [Week 17]
Mon Dec 24, 2018 8:54 am
  • So that is where we sent the Grinch.....The AFC and Pittyburgh. I feel better now. :twisted:
    Seahawkfan80
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Re: AFC Playoff Scenarios [Week 17]
Mon Dec 24, 2018 9:26 am
  • Hoping shitsburgh does not get in. Sounds like Tomlin could be fired too.
    Cyrus12
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