One last day will decide everything in the NFL. Ten of the twelve playoff spots have been locked up but there is still a lot of movement that could occur based on the results of today’s games. And that last playoff spot will be very interesting to watch. Here are all of the possible scenarios for the teams still alive in week 17.
New England Patriots:
With a win today against the Dolphins or a Denver loss against San Diego, the Patriots lock up homefield advantage throughout the playoffs. However, if the Pats lose to Miami and Denver hold of the Chargers, the Patriots drop to the second seed. That is as far as they can drop.
A win today and a Patriots loss would place Denver in the top spot in the conference. If New England wins then the Broncos would have to settle for second, assuming they beat the Chargers. The Broncos can fall as far as the sixth seed though. A loss to San Diego paired with wins by the Chiefs and Jets would knock Denver down to the final wildcard spot. If Kansas City also loses Denver would still win the division but a win by the Bengals would push Denver to the third seed. Assuming that Denver loses still, they could end up with the fifth seed if Kansas City wins but the Jets lose. Denver really could end up all over the map after today.
This is much simpler. A win and a Denver loss would push the Bengals up to the second seed. A loss or a Bronco victory would keep them third, not landing a bye in round one. Those are the only possibilities for Cincy here.
A win would lock up the AFC South for the Texans and a trip to the playoffs. They could still make it if they lose with a Colts loss or a win by the Browns, Jets, Raiders, Saints, Chargers, Bengals or Patriots. Yes that is crazy. Houston will only be the fourth seed if they make it.
Kansas City Chiefs:
Entering week 17, Kansas City isn’t in line for a first round bye but they could get a home playoff game with a win against Oakland and a Denver loss to San Diego. Wins by both the Broncos and Chiefs would keep Kansas City at the five seed, as would a loss to Oakland as long as the Jets lost too. If the Chiefs lose to the Raiders though and the Jets win against Buffalo, Kansas City drops to the sixth seed.
New York Jets:
It’s simple, win and they’re in. As long as the Jets beat Buffalo, they will secure a playoff spot. The Jets could lose and still make it, as long as Pittsburgh loses too. New York could only move as high as fifth, but they would need some help. A win over Buffalo paired with either a Chiefs loss, or a Chiefs win and a Broncos loss would jump them up a spot.
Here is a team that does not control its own destiny. The Steelers need a win against the Browns and a loss by the Jets to get in. They can only be the sixth seed.
Chuck Pagano might want to play the lottery because he has a better shot at winning that than making the playoffs. The Colts need a win and losses by the Texans, Jets, Browns, Saints, Chargers, Patriots, Bengals and Chiefs to make the postseason. If any of that goes wrong, the Colts are done.
This is pretty simple, win and they lock up homefield advantage. If Carolina loses to Tampa Bay, but Arizona falls against Seattle, they still hold onto the NFC’s top seed. A win by Arizona paired with Panther loss would drop Carolina to two though.
A win over Seattle is meaningless unless the Panthers lose, as it would move them into first in the conference. Otherwise, Arizona will stay as the two seed in the NFC.
Green Bay Packers:
A win over the Vikings means the Pack get to host a home playoff game in the wildcard round as the three seed. A loss to Minnesota would relegate Green Bay to a wildcard spot. The Packers can only be the third or fifth seeds.
This game is meaningless for them no matter what. They are the four seed in the playoffs.
There is a lot on the line for Minnesota here. A win would give them the division and a home playoff game. A loss to Green Bay and a loss by Seattle would mean they stick as the five seed. However, if Minnesota loses and the Seahawks upset Arizona, then the Vikings will drop to the sixth seed.
Seattle is in the postseason no matter what and they are going to be a wildcard team, this is just a matter of seeding. A win and a Viking loss would give Seattle the five seed and a matchup with Washington. A Viking win or a loss to the Cardinals would leave the Seahawks as the NFC’s sixth seed.
Those are all of the playoff scenarios on the line for Week 17. Hope you enjoy watching as the madness unfolds.