The Playoff Race Is About Over
With two weeks to go in the 2015-16 NFL schedule, the 12 playoff teams are almost set in stone with just a few exceptions.
New England has clinched the division and has earned a first round bye. They need one win to clinch home field advantage throughout the AFC Playoffs (or a Bengal loss).
The New York Jets are on the outside looking in as the #7-seed. This week’s game with the Patriots is a virtual must-win game, because they lose tiebreakers to both Pittsburgh and Kansas City.
Cincinnati plays at Denver this week, and the winner is most likely to earn the second seed and get a bye, while the loser will host a wildcard playoff game.
Pittsburgh has the easiest closing stretch with games against Baltimore and Cleveland. If the Steelers win both games and Cincinnati loses their last two, the Steelers would earn the division title. Pittsburgh wins a tiebreaker with the Jets, but not with Kansas City.
This race is still up for grabs, as Indianapolis trails Houston by a game. The Texans can clinch the division with one more win or one Colt loss. Houston travels to 3-11 Tennessee, where the Titans would own the first pick in the 2016 draft if the season ended today, so the Texans are definitely in the driver’s seat.
Kansas City can still win the division, as the Chiefs win the divisional tiebreaker over Denver, if they both finish 11-5 or 10-6. The Chiefs hold the tiebreaker over both Pittsburgh and the New York Jets.
This is the one division with a lot still up for grabs. Washington leads Philadelphia and the New York Giants by a game, but the Redskins finish with road games against Philadelphia and Dallas. If the Eagles win this weekend, they will pass the Redskins based on better divisional record. The Giants can still win the division by winning out, which would include a week 17 victory over Philadelphia, while the Redskins lose twice.
Green Bay has clinched a playoff spot but not the division. If they lose to Minnesota in week 17 and finish in a tie, the Vikings will be the division winner. The Vikings can only lose out to the Falcons in a tiebreaker situation if Seattle also finishes in a tie all at 9-7.
Carolina must lose twice to have a chance to not have home field advantage throughout the NFC Playoffs. Atlanta must win twice, and Seattle and Minnesota must both lose twice for the Falcons to make the playoffs.
Arizona has already clinched the division, and Seattle has already clinched a wildcard spot. The Cardinals can clinch the number two seed with a win over Green Bay or a loss by Green Bay to Minnesota in week 17, and they can clinch the top seed if they win out and Carolina loses their final two games.
Our Playoff Projections and Predictions Follow the Ratings and Spreads Below
|Current NFL PiRate Ratings|
|N F C|
|A F C|
|N. Y. Jets||102.0||102.7||102.4||102.4||9-5-0||344||272|
|This Week’s Games|
|Date of Games:||December 24-28|
|NY Jets||New England||-4.4||-3.5||-3.3|
|NFL Playoff Projections|
|Wildcard Playoff Round|
|Pittsburgh over Cincinnati|
|Kansas City over Houston|
|Green Bay over Minnesota|
|Seattle over Washington|
|Divisional Playoff Round|
|New England over Pittsburgh|
|Kansas City over Denver|
|Carolina over Seattle|
|Arizona over Green Bay|
|Conference Championship Round|
|Kansas City over New England|
|Arizona over Carolina|
|Super Bowl 50|
|Arizona over Kansas City|