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The Jeff Falconio Blog

Week 17 Playoff Picture

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Five of the six playoff spots on the NFC side are in place but there's still some sorting out to do and there's some real drama on the AFC side.  Here's what to look for:

NFC East

The winner of the Giants-Cowboys game wins the NFC East and will be the #4 seed.  It's winner-take-all so the loser goes home.  A tie means New York wins the division.

First Round Bye

San Francisco needs a win or a New Orleans loss to get the #2 seed and a first round bye.  The Saints need a win and a 49ers loss.

Wild Card Seeding

A Detroit win locks the Lions into the #5 seed and that means avoiding a likely matchup against New Orleans.  Atlanta needs a win and a Detroit loss to be the #5.


The AFC is much more wide open.  Homefield advantage, two divisions and a wild card spot are on the line.

New England

The Patriots get homefield advantage throughout with a win or losses by both Baltimore and Pittsburgh.


The Ravens win the AFC North and a first round bye with a win or a Pittsburgh loss.  Baltimore can also nab homefield advantage with a win and a New England loss.


Due to the season sweep by Baltimore the Steelers need a win and a Baltimore loss to win the division and receive a first round bye.  Pittsburgh gets homefield advantage with a win, a Baltimore loss and a New England loss.


The Texans have won the AFC South and are locked into the #3 seed.


After two straight losses the AFC West is up for grabs.  Denver wins the division with a win or an Oakland loss


Unlike Denver the Raiders have three paths to the postseason.  The first is by winning the division, which would require a win and a Denver loss.  The Raiders could also win a wild card birth with a win, a Cincinnati loss and a Tennessee loss.  A second wild card scenario is a Raiders win, Cincinnati loss and a New York win.


Win and you're in.  That's the situation for the Bengals who will seal the final wild card spot with a victory over Baltimore.  Cincinnati also gets in with a Jets loss and a loss by either Oakland or Denver.

New York

Just two weeks ago the Jets controlled their own destiny.  Now they need help.  To get the final wild card birth the Jets need a win, a Cincinnati loss, a Tennessee loss, and a loss to either Oakland or Denver.


Tennessee gets in with a win, a Jets win, a Cincinnati loss and a loss to either Oakland or Denver.  The Titans win the award for most outrageous playoff scenario: a Tennessee win, a Cincinnati loss, a New York loss, a Denver win and an Oakland win will put the Titans in the postseason.

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