2015 NFL Playoff Picture right now

AFC East

PatriotsNew England Patriots clinched its seventh consecutive AFC East division title with a win at the Texans and a combination of the Pittsburgh Steelers’ win and the Miami Dolphins’ loss clinched at least a tie with the New York Jets in strength of victory (record of teams that a team has beaten). And since New England already clinched the next tiebreaker step, better strength of schedule, the Patriots clinched the division title.

The Patriots have clinched at least the AFC’s No. 3 seed and can clinch a top two seed and a first-round bye with:
1) Patriots win + Broncos loss

2) Patriots win + Bengals loss + Broncos tie

 

 

The Jets find themselves in a tight wild-card race with the Steelers and Chiefs.

Buffalo will be eliminated from playoff contention with:
1) Bills loss +Jets win/tie
2) Bills loss + Steelers win/tie
3) Bills tie + at least 2 of these 3 occur (Jets win, Chiefs win, Steelers win/tie)

The Patriots can clinch a first-round bye with a win and a Broncos loss.

 

AFC NORTH

The Bengals’ loss to the Steelers last week delayed their division title quest, so here are their scenarios for week 15:

Cincinnati can clinch the NFC North division title with:Bengals Steelers
1) Bengals win or tie + Steelers tie
2) Steelers loss
Cincinnati can clinch a playoff berth with:
1) Bengals win
2) Jets loss
3) Chiefs loss
4) Bengals tie + Chiefs tie
5) Bengals tie + Jets tie

 

 

 

AFC SOUTH

Colts TexansThis division is up-in-the-air for anyone who really wants to become the leader, and right now it seems like no one really wants to claim it.  The critical (and maybe deciding) game will be played this week as the Indianapolis Colts host the Houston Texans. Since the Colts have a head-to-head over the Texans already, a Colts win would give them a season sweep and, in effect, means that any Indy win or Houston loss would clinch the division for the Colts. If the Texans win they would split the season series but would have a one-game lead and a better division record (3-1 vs. 3-2).

Jacksonville will be eliminated from playoff contention with:
1) Jaguars loss + Colts win

 

 

AFC WEST

The Denver Broncos fumbled their opportunity to solidify the division last week with a loss to the Oakland Raiders at home and now they have to travel to Heinz Field to face the red-hot Steelers before hosting the Bengals in week 16. The Chiefs are hot and coming close in the Broncos’ rear-view mirror with a pretty easy schedule and own a tiebreaker advantage with the division record over the Broncos.  Denver can lock up playoff spots with the following:

Denver can clinch the AFC West division title with:Broncos Chiefs
1) Broncos win + Chiefs loss or tie
2) Broncos tie + Chiefs loss

Denver can clinch a playoff berth with:
1) Broncos win
2) Broncos tie + Jets loss

This division can also see Oakland drop off the playoff radar:

Oakland can be eliminated from playoff contention with:
1)Raiders loss/tie + Chiefs win/tie + Jets win/tie (if Raiders tie, other two must win)
2) Raiders loss/tie + Chiefs win/tie + Steelers win/tie (if Raiders tie, other two must win)
3) Raiders loss/tie + Jets win/tie + Steelers win/tie (if Raiders tie, other two must win)
4) Raiders tie + Jets win + Steelers tie + Bills loss + Colts loss
5) Raiders tie + Jets win + Steelers tie + Bills loss + Texans loss

 

NFC EAST

Eagles Giants SkinsWe have a three-way battle between the New York Giants, Philadelphia Eagles and Washington while the Dallas Cowboys fade back to irrelevancy, although the Cowboys are still alive if they win out and the other division teams all lose at least two games. No team can clinch this week since we have three teams tied and still would have two games left after this week, but I’ll point out that both Washington and the Eagles control their playoff fate and can secure the No. 4 seed and those two teams play week 16.

 

 

 

 

Here’s the scenarios for the final rodeo for the Cowboys:

Dallas can be eliminated from playoff contention with:
1) Cowboys loss/tie
2) Giants win/tie + Eagles win/tie (both teams can’t tie)
3) Giants win/tie + Washington win/tie (both teams can’t tie)
4) Washington win/tie + Eagles win/tie (both teams can’t tie)
5) Giants tie + Eagles tie + Washington tie

 

 

NFC NORTH

The Green Bay  Packers had a key victory over the Cowboys last week and gained a one-game lead on the Minnesota Vikings with their loss. Even though Minnesota is one game back, the division title will come back to the Packers-Vikings clash in week 17. If both teams are tied at the end of the season, the winner of that game will be the division champ (Green Bay would win on season sweep and Minnesota would win on division record). If that games ends in a tie and both teams are tied, the division title would go to the Packers on head-to-head with a 1-0-1 record vs. the Vikings 0-1-1. Packers Vikings

Green Bay can clinch a playoff berth with:
1) Packers win or tie
2) Buccaneers loss or tie + Washington loss or tie
3) Buccaneers loss or tie + Giants loss or tie

Minnesota can clinch a playoff berth with:
1) Vikings win + Buccaneers loss or tie + Washington loss or tie + Falcons loss or tie
2) Vikings win + Buccaneers loss or tie + Washington loss or tie + Seahawks loss or tie
3) Vikings win + Buccaneers loss or tie + Giants loss or tie + Falcons loss or tie
4) Vikings win + Buccaneers loss or tie + Giants loss or tie + Seahawks loss or tie
5) Vikings tie + Buccaneers loss + Falcons loss or tie + Eagles loss or tie + Washington loss
6) Vikings tie + Buccaneers loss + Falcons loss or tie + Eagles loss or tie + Giants loss
7) Vikings tie + Buccaneers loss + Falcons loss or tie + Washington loss or tie + Giants loss or tie (as long as WAS and NYG both don’t tie)

Chicago can be eliminated from playoff contention with:
1) Bears loss or tie

 

 

NFC SOUTH

Panthers 2The Carolina Panthers are still undefeated and put a Master Lock on securing the No. 1 seed, having already locked up at least a No. 2 seed and a first-round bye. There’s still games to play this season, and if the Panthers were to stumble a bit and end up at 14-2 and the Arizona Cardinals win out to get to 14-2, Arizona would claim the No. 1 seed based on conference record.

Carolina can clinch home field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs with:
1) Panthers win + Cardinals loss or tie
2) Panthers tie + Cardinals loss

If anybody cares about the rest of the division, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Atlanta Falcons are two games back of the current No. 6 seed, the Vikings, and both teams fell in key losses last week. The New Orleans Saints are one game behind both. We may lose some of these teams this week if these teams continue to lose on week 15 and, in particular, Seattle and Minnesota win this week.

Tampa Bay can be eliminated from playoff contention with:
1) Buccaneers loss or tie + Seahawks win or tie + Vikings win or tie (if TB ties, both SEA and MIN must win)
Atlanta can be eliminated from playoff contention with:
1) Falcons loss + Vikings win or tie
2) Falcons tie + Seahawks win or tie + Vikings win
3) Falcons tie + Seahawks win or tie +Vikings tie + Washington loss or tie
4) Falcons tie + Seahawks win or tie + Vikings tie + Eagles loss or tie

New Orleans can be eliminated from playoff contention with:
1) Saints loss or tie
2) Seahawks win or tie + Vikings win or tie

 

 

NFC WEST

The Arizona Cardinals are in the drivers’ seat with a playoff spot secured at 11-2 and a three-game lead over the surging Seattle Seahawks with a Magic Number of 1.

Arizona can clinch the NFC West division title with:Cardinals
1) Cardinals win or tie
2) Seahawks loss or tie
3) Cardinals clinches strength of victory tiebreaker over Seahawks
(Note: ARI clinches strength of victory tiebreaker over SEA in scenario 3 if all of the following occurs: CIN Win, NO Win, DAL Loss, PIT Loss)

Arizona can clinch a first-round bye with:
1) Cardinals win + Packers loss or tie
2)Cardinals tie + Packers loss

The scenario No. 3 for division clinching is technically where three of those four scenarios can occur if the fourth is a tie … but it shows that Arizona is very close to clinching a division title.

The Seahawks, similar to the Packers and Vikings, can secure a playoff spot this week with a positive result at home against the Browns and some help from Tampa Bay losing or tying at St. Louis.

Seattle can clinch a playoff berth with:
1) Seahawks win + Buccaneers loss or tie + Giants loss or tie
2) Seahawks win + Buccaneers loss or tie + Washington loss or tie
3) Seahawks win + Buccaneers loss or tie + Falcons loss or tie + Vikings loss + Packers win or tie
4) Seahawks tie + Buccaneers loss + Falcons loss or tie + Giants loss
5) Seahawks tie + Buccaneers loss + Falcons loss or tie + Washington loss + Eagles loss or tie

As for the St. Louis Rams, they can help Seattle with a win this week over the Buccaneers, but can also be eliminated from the playoffs.

St. Louis can be eliminated from playoff contention with:
1) Rams loss or tie
2) Seahawks win or tie + Vikings win or tie

 

Which teams will be next for the garbage pick-up after Week 15?

Garbage Teams after Week 15

 

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