Week 17 NFL Playoff Picture and Scenarios

 

Before getting into the week 17 playoff scenarios, first a recap of what was resolved Sunday.

- The Denver Broncos had already clinched a playoff spot; they also clinched the NFC West and a first-round bye with their victory at Houston.

- The Patriots clinched a playoff spot and the AFC East when the clock reached 0:00 in Buffalo, giving Miami their seventh loss of the season.


Role players like Michael Hoomanawanui have been vital to the Patriots in their 2013 march to the playoffs

- Cincinnati clinched a playoff spot with that loss by the Dolphins and their victory over Minnesota; then when the Ravens lost to the Pats they also clinched the AFC North.

- Kansas City‘s unlikely chances of winning the AFC West went down the drain when they lost to the Colts and the Broncos were running up the score in Houston.

- San Diego‘s playoff chances got better thanks to their victory over Oakland, plus losses by Miami and Baltimore.

- Pittsburgh‘s extremely slim playoff chances stayed alive when everything they needed to happen went their way: a victory at Green Bay, the Jets winning, plus losses by the Dolphins and Ravens.

- Carolina clinched a playoff berth with their victory over the Saints.

- Detroit was eliminated from the playoffs when they blew a fourth-quarter lead to lose for the fifth time in their last six games; within moments of the end of that overtime game rumors that Jim Schwartz would be fired began to circulate.

A few other week 16 topics of interest:

- Peyton Manning broke the NFL record for most touchdown passes in a season, with reaction being split: some congratulated him for the feat, while others wondered aloud why the Broncos passed the ball 51 times against the team with the worst record in the league in an easy victory.

- Luke Kuechly had 24 tackles and an interception in Carolina’s 17-13 win over New Orleans. That ties an NFL record for the most tackles in a game, or at least since it became an official stat in 1994. Greg Hardy was big in that game as well with three sacks.

- Kickers Dan Carpenter and Nick Novak were both 4 for 4 on field goal attempts, instrumental in their team’s victories: 19-0 for Carpenter’s Buffalo Bills over Miami, and 26-13 for Novak’s San Diego Chargers over Oakland.

- Carson Palmer managed to put together a stat line that you will very rarely see. Palmer threw four interceptions – yet he still gets credit for being the winning quarterback. Arizona’s defense bailed Palmer out, handing Seattle their first home loss since 2011. Since week 8 the Cardinals are allowing only 17.5 points per game, and during that span they rank first in the NFL with 4.4 yards per play and 74 rushing yards per game.

 

AFC Week 17 Team-by-Team Playoff Scenarios

#1 seed Denver Broncos (12-3) – at Oakland
88% chance of being the #1 seed, #12% chance of being #2
- The Broncos have already clinched a playoff spot, the AFC West, and a first-round bye.

Denver clinches the number one seed and home field throughout the playoffs with either:
(a) a win, OR
(b) a loss by New England

 

#2 seed New England Patriots (11-4) – home vs Buffalo
12% chance of being the #1 seed, 73% chance of being #2, 5% chance of being #3, 10% chance of being #4
- The Patriots have clinched a playoff spot and the AFC East.

New England clinches the number one seed and home field throughout the playoffs with both:
(a) a win, PLUS
(b) a loss by Denver
New England clinches at least the number two seed and a bye with either:
(a) a win, OR
(b) a loss by both Cincinnati and Indianapolis

New England clinches at least the number three seed with:
(a) a loss by Cincinnati, OR
(b) a loss by Indianapolis

New England finishes with the number four seed with:
(a) a loss, PLUS
(b) a win by Cincinnati, PLUS
(c) a win by Indinapolis

 

#3 seed Cincinnati Bengals (10-5) – home vs Baltimore
11% chance of being the #2 seed, 65% chance of being #3, 24% chance of being #4
- The Bengals have clinched a playoff spot and the AFC North.
- Cincinnati cannot be the number one seed.

Cincinnati clinches the number two seed and a bye with both:
(a) a win, PLUS
(b) a loss by New England

Cincinnati clinches at least the number three seed with either:
(a) a win, OR
(b) a loss by Indianapolis

Cincinnati finishes with the number four seed with both:
(a) a loss, PLUS
(b) a win by Indianapolis

 

#4 seed Indianapolis Colts (10-5) – home vs Jacksonville
4% chance of being the #2 seed, 30% chance of being #3, 66% chance of being #4
- The Colts have clinched a playoff spot and the AFC South.
- Indianapolis cannot be the number one seed.

Indianapolis clinches the number two seed and a bye with:
(a) a win, PLUS
(b) a loss by New England, PLUS
(c) a loss by Cincinnati

Indianapolis clinches at least the number three seed with both:
(a) a win, PLUS
(b) a loss by Cincinnati

 

#5 seed Kansas City Chiefs (11-4) – at San Diego
- The Chiefs are locked into the number five seed.

 

#6 seed Miami Dolphins (8-7) – home vs NY Jets
58% chance of being the #6 seed, 42% chance of missing the playoffs

Miami clinches a playoff spot as the #6 seed with:
(a) a win, PLUS a loss by Baltimore; OR
(b) a win, PLUS a win by San Diego

Miami misses the playoffs with:
(a) a loss, PLUS a win by Baltimore; OR
(b) a win by Baltimore, PLUS a loss by San Diego (regardless if they win or lose); OR
(c) a loss, PLUS a loss by San Diego, PLUS a win by Pittsburgh

 

#7 seed Baltimore Ravens (8-7) – at Cincinnati
23% chance of being the #6 seed, 77% chance of missing the playoffs

Baltimore clinches a playoff spot as the #6 seed with:
(a) a win, PLUS a loss by Miami; OR
(b) a win, PLUS a loss by San Diego; OR
(c) a loss by Miami, PLUS a loss by San Diego, PLUS a loss by Pittsburgh

Baltimore misses the playoffs with:
(a) a loss, PLUS a win by Miami; OR
(b) a loss, PLUS a win by San Diego; OR
(c) a loss, PLUS a loss by Miami, PLUS a loss by San Diego, PLUS a win by Pittsburgh
(d) a win by Miami, PLUS a win by San Diego

 

#8 seed San Diego Chargers (8-7) – home vs Kansas City
10% chance of being the #6 seed, 90% chance of missing the playoffs

San Diego clinches a playoff spot as the #6 seed with:
(a) a win, PLUS
(b) a loss by Miami, PLUS
(c) a loss by Baltimore

The Chargers miss the playoffs with any other combination of outcomes of those games.

 

#9 seed Pittsburgh Steelers (7-8) – home vs Cleveland
9% chance of being the #6 seed, 91% chance of missing the playoffs

Pittsburgh clinches a playoff spot as the #6 seed with:
(a) a win, PLUS
(b) a loss by Miami, PLUS
(c) a loss by Baltimore, PLUS
(d) a loss by San Diego

The Steelers are eliminated with any other outcome of those four games.

 

NFC Week 17 Team-by-Team Playoff Scenarios

#1 seed Seattle Seahawks (12-3) – home vs St. Louis
94% chance of being the #1 seed, and 6% chance of being #6
- The Seahawks have already clinched a playoff spot.

Seattle clinches the NFC West, number one seed and home field throughout the playoffs with either:
(a) a win, OR
(b) a loss by San Francisco

Seattle finishes as the number five seed with both a loss, PLUS a win by San Francisco.

 

#2 seed Carolina Panthers (11-4) – at Atlanta
5% chance of being the #1 seed, 77% chance of being #2, 9% chance of being #5, and 8% chance of being #6
- The Panthers clinched a playoff spot Sunday.

Carolina clinches the NFC South, number one seed and home field throughout the playoffs with:
(a) a win, PLUS
(b) a loss by Seattle, PLUS
(c) two wins by San Francisco

Carolina clinches the NFC South and at least a number two seed (first round bye) with either:
(a) a win, OR
(b) a loss by New Orleans

 

#3 seed Philadelphia Eagles (9-6) – at Dallas
45% chance of being the #3 seed, and 55% chance of missing the playoffs

The Eagles clinch the NFC East and the #3 seed with a win.

Philly misses the playoffs with a loss.

 

#4 seed Chicago Bears (8-7) – home vs Green Bay
35% chance of being the #3 seed, 29% #4, and 36% chance of missing the playoffs

The Bears clinch the NFC North with a win.

Chicago misses the playoffs with a loss.

 

#5 seed San Francisco (10-4) – home vs Atlanta (Monday), at Arizona next week
1% chance of being the #1 seed, 5% chance of being #2, 39% chance of being #5, 48% chance of being #6, and 7% chance of missing the playoffs

San Francisco clinches the NFC West and a the number one seed with:
(a) two wins, PLUS
(b) a loss by Seattle, PLUS
(c) a loss by Carolina

San Francisco clinches the NFC West and a first round bye with:
(a) two wins, PLUS
(b) a loss by Seattle

San Francisco clinches a playoff berth with:
(a) a win versus Atlanta, OR
(b) a win at Arizona, OR

San Francisco misses the playoffs with:
(a) loss versus Atlanta, PLUS
(b) a loss at Arizona

 

#6 seed New Orleans Saints (10-5) – home vs Tampa Bay
18% chance of being the #2 seed, 43% chance of being #5, 34% chance of being #6, and 6% chance of missing the playoffs

New Orleans clinches the NFC South and a first round bye with:
(a) a win, PLUS
(b) a loss by Carolina

New Orleans clinches a playoff spot with:
(a) a win, OR
(b) a loss by Arizona, OR
(c) two losses by San Francisco

New Orleans misses the playoffs with:
(a) a win by San Francisco vs Atlanta, PLUS
(b) a win by Arizona vs San Francisco, PLUS
(c) a loss to Tampa Bay

 

#7 seed Arizona Cardinals (10-5) – home vs San Francisco
3% chance of being the #5 seed, 10% chance of being the #6 seed, and 87% chance of missing the playoffs

Arizona clinches a playoff spot with:
(a) a loss by San Francisco vs Atlanta tonight, PLUS
(b) a win vs San Francisco next week

Arizona clinches a playoff spot with:
(a) a win, PLUS
(b) a loss by New Orleans

 

#8 seed Dallas Cowboys (8-7) – home vs Philadelphia
20% chance of being the #3 seed, 35% chance of being #4, and 45% chance of missing the playoffs

The Cowboys clinch the NFC East with a win.

Dallas misses the playoffs with a loss.

 

#9 seed Green Bay (7-7-1) – at Chicago
36% chance of being the #4 seed, 64% chance of missing the playoffs

The Packers clinch the NFC North with a win.

Green Bay misses the playoffs with a loss.

 

AFC Seeding Probabilities

#1: Broncos 88%; Patriots 12%
#2: Patriots 73%; Broncos 12%, Bengals 11%; Colts 4%
#3: Bengals 65%; Colts 30%; Patriots 5%
#4: Colts 66%; Bengals 24%; Patriots 10%
#5: Chiefs 100%
#6: Dolphins 58%; Ravens 23%; Chargers 10%; Steelers 9%

NFC Seeding Probabilities

#1: Seahawks 94%; Panthers 5%; 49ers 1%
#2: Panthers 77%; Saints 18%; 49ers 5%
#3: Eagles 45%; Bears 35%; Cowboys 20%
#4: Packers 36%; Cowboys 35%; Bears 29%
#5: Saints 43%; 49ers 39%; Panthers 9%; Seahawks 6%; Cardinals 3%
#6: 49ers 48%; Saints 34%; Cardinals 10%; Panthers 8%

 

Team-by-Team Playoff Probabilities

100% — Denver Broncos
100% — New England Patriots
100% — Cincinnati Bengals
100% — Indianapolis Colts
100% — Kansas City Chiefs
58% — Miami Dolphins
22% — Baltimore Ravens
10% — San Diego Chargers
9% —- Pittsburgh Steelers

100% — Seattle Seahawks
100% — Carolina Panthers
94% — New Orleans Saints
93% — San Francisco 49ers
64% — Chicago Bears
55% — Dallas Cowboys
45% — Philadelphia Eagles
36% — Green Bay Packers
13% —- Arizona Cardinals

 

 

 

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