AFC Playoff Scenarios

The NFC only has some seeding issues to determine because the teams to make the playoffs are all set. The AFC on the other hand is as crazy as it has been in years. The four division winners are set except for some minor seeding questions, but the wild card is totally wide open. As you get ready to watch and bet on the games today here’s a cheat sheet to try to clarify the picture a bit.

Baltimore
– Simply, they are in if the win at Oakland in the late afternoon game. If they don’t win that game then they need to wait for the rest of the teams to eliminate themselves in order to make it.

N.Y. Jets
– Like Baltimore, the Jets are in if they win. If they lose they also need to sit back and hope the rest of the teams knock themselves out. They are at home to the Bengals, and Cincinnati will likely be resting players for the playoffs, so for the second straight week the Jets could benefit from their scheduling. If any team can mess this up, though, it’s the Jets.

Denver
– If the Broncos had won one of their last three games then they wouldn’t be in the mess that they are in. Now they need a bunch of help, though they do have the most chances of any team that doesn’t control their own destiny. They play at home against the Chiefs. They should be able to win that one, but they don’t have to – though it would obviously be easier if they did. If they win then they need either Baltimore or the Jets to lose or tie and either Pittsburgh to lose or Houston to win. If both the Ravens and Jets lose then the Broncos are in with a win. If the Broncos lose then they could still get in four different scenarios which all include a Pittsburgh loss. In addition to that they would need loss by Baltimore, Houston, and Jacksonville or the Jets, or from Baltimore, the Jets, and Jacksonville, or from Houston, Jacksonville, and the Jets. Finally, the Broncos have an unlikely longshot possibility – they could get in win or lose if Pittsburgh wins but Baltimore, Miami, the Jets, Jacksonville, and Houston all lose. Confused yet?

Pittsburgh
– The Steelers are eliminated if the lose at Miami. If they win that game then they need losses from either the Jets and Baltimore as well as Denver, or from the Jets or Ravens and Houston.

Houston
– The Texans need to win against the Pats at home. That shouldn’t be to tough if, as expected, the Pats take it easy with their starters. If they win then they either need losses from both the Jets and Ravens, or from one of the two and the Broncos.

Jacksonville
– The Jags are one of two 7-8 teams that are still alive. The obviously need to beat the Browns in Cleveland. If they do that then they still need a lot of help. If Baltimore and the Jets both lose then they also need losses from Denver and Pittsburgh, or Houston and Pittsburgh, or Denver and Houston. If just one of the Jets or Ravens loses then they need Denver, Houston and Pittsburgh all to lose. In other words, if you are a Jacksonville fan don’t plan your playoff trip just yet.

Miami
– The Dolphins can get into the playoffs in one very unlikely scenario – if they win (which means Pittsburgh loses), and the Jets, Ravens, Texans, and Jaguars all lose. They don’t exactly control their own destiny.

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Posted by on Jan 3 2010. Filed under NFL. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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