Wild Week 17 AFC and NFC Playoff Scenarios

Cold, Hard Football Facts for Dec 26, 2013



Expect a wild ride here in Week 17, with so much to be determined across the NFL. In fact, you might want to keep this guide handy on Sunday.

The nail-biting chaos will be especially profound in the hugely competitive NFC, where all four division titles, three playoff spots and the two first-round byes are all up for grabs entering the final game of the season.

For a little perspective, consider this: 13 of 16 games this week will have an impact on the composition of the 2013 playoff field. Only one of four first-round byes (Denver in AFC) and one of 12 playoff seeds (Kansas City No. 5 in the AFC) has been determined. Eight of 12 teams already know they're in the playoffs, with four spots still to be determined.

It should be fun. Here are the scenarios in each conference, team by team. (Playoff scenarios below come courtesty of NFL Media services.)

 

NFC

The playoffs start six days early in the NFC, where it will be a wild Week 17, with nearly the entire playoff picture still to be determined.

Most notably: two division titles will be determined in do-or-do games: Green Bay visits Chicago in the late afternoon games, with the NFC North crown hanging in the balance; and Philadelphia visits Dallas in the nightcap on the 2013 regular season, with the NFC East title to be determined.

The loser in each case misses the playoffs.

Just three NFC teams have clinched playoff spots, but all four divisional titles are up for grabs as we enter Week 17. Six teams are fithing for the remaining three playoff positions.

Only two NFC games will have zero impact on the playoff picture: Detroit-Minnesota and Washington-N.Y. Giants. All four of those teams have already been eliminated.

CLINCHED: Seattle, playoff spot; Carolina, playoff spot; San Francisco, playoff spot

SEATTLE SEAHAWKS (vs. STL)
Seattle clinches NFC West division and home-field advantage throughout NFC playoffs with:
1)    SEA win or tie OR
2)    SF loss or tie

CAROLINA PANTHERS (at ATL)
Carolina clinches NFC South division and a first-round bye with:
1)    CAR win or tie OR
2)    NO loss or tie

Carolina clinches home-field advantage throughout NFC playoffs with:
1)    CAR win + SEA loss + SF win

PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (at DAL)
Philadelphia clinches NFC East division with:
1)    PHI win or tie

CHICAGO BEARS (vs. GB)
Chicago clinches NFC North division with:
1)    CHI win or tie

SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS (at ARI)
San Francisco clinches NFC West division and a first-round bye with:
1)    SF win + SEA loss

San Francisco clinches NFC West division and home-field advantage throughout NFC playoffs with:
1)    SF win + SEA loss + CAR loss or tie

NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (vs. TB)
New Orleans clinches NFC South division and a first-round bye with:
1)    NO win + CAR loss

New Orleans clinches a playoff spot with:
1)    NO win OR
2)    NO tie + ARI tie OR
3)    ARI loss

ARIZONA CARDINALS (vs. SF)
Arizona clinches a playoff spot with:
1)    ARI win + NO loss or tie OR
2)    ARI tie + NO loss
 
DALLAS COWBOYS (vs. PHI)
Dallas clinches NFC East division with:
1)    DAL win

GREEN BAY PACKERS (at CHI)
Green Bay clinches NFC North division with:
1)    GB win


AFC

The AFC playoff picture is far more secure entering Week 17: with all four division titles already wrapped up, the Kansas City Chiefs locked into No. 5 seed and only the No. 6 wildcard spot still outstanding.

However, seven of eight AFC games this week will have an impact on the final AFC playoff picture, with Houston-Tennessee the only exception.

Four teams are fighting for that final playoff spot: Miami, Baltimore, San Diego, Pittsburgh. Not one of those four teams contorl their own destiny. Each needs a win and help.

So expect a lot of scoreboard watching around the NFL in Week 17.

CLINCHED: Denver, AFC West and first-round bye; New England, AFC East; Cincinnati, AFC North; Indianapolis; AFC South; Kansas City, playoff spot

DENVER BRONCOS (at OAK)
Denver clinches home-field advantage throughout AFC playoffs with:
1)    DEN win or tie OR
2)    NE loss or tie

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (vs. BUF)
New England clinches a first-round bye with:
1)    NE win or tie OR
2)    CIN loss or tie + IND loss or tie

New England clinches home-field advantage throughout AFC playoffs with:
1)    NE win + DEN loss

CINCINNATI BENGALS (vs. BAL)
Cincinnati clinches a first-round bye with:
1)    CIN win + NE loss

INDIANAPOLIS COLTS (vs. JAX)
Indianapolis clinches a first-round bye with:
1)    IND win + NE loss + CIN loss or tie

KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (at SD)
Cincinnati clinches a first-round bye with:
1)    CIN win + NE loss

MIAMI DOLPHINS (vs. NYJ)
Miami clinches a playoff spot with:
1)    MIA win + BAL loss or tie OR
2)    MIA win + SD win OR
3)    MIA tie + BAL loss + SD loss or tie OR
4)    MIA tie + BAL tie + SD tie

BALTIMORE RAVENS (at CIN)
Baltimore clinches a playoff spot with:
1)    BAL win + SD loss or tie OR
2)    BAL win + MIA loss or tie OR
3)    BAL tie + MIA loss + SD loss or tie OR
4)    BAL tie + MIA tie + SD loss OR
5)    MIA loss + SD loss + PIT loss or tie
 
SAN DIEGO CHARGERS (vs. KC)
San Diego clinches a playoff spot with:
1)    SD win + MIA loss or tie + BAL loss or tie OR
2)    SD tie + MIA loss + BAL loss

PITTSBURGH STEELERS (vs. CLE)
Pittsburgh clinches a playoff spot with:
1)    PIT win + MIA loss + BAL loss + SD loss








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