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If the season ended today; Complete AFC Playoff Scenarios after Week 14

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  • If the season ended today; Complete AFC Playoff Scenarios after Week 14

    It's good to be able to do these again, like I used to do 4-5 years ago, and while you can see where the teams currently stand anywhere, here you'll get the in-depth scenarios on what has to happen for teams to make the playoffs.

    Here's how things shake up after Week 14 in the AFC.

    1. Houston Texans (11-2)*
    2. New England Patriots (10-3)*
    3. Denver Broncos (10-3) -X
    4. Baltimore Ravens (9-4)
    5. Indianapolis Colts (9-4)
    6. Pittsburgh Steelers (7-6)

    Still alive:

    7. Cincinnati Bengals (7-6)
    8. NY Jets (6-7)
    9. Cleveland (5-8)
    10. San Diego (5-8)

    Explanations, scenarios, etc.
    *-denotes first round bye
    X- denotes clinched division, one of the top 4 seeds

    The top seeds
    --New England has the tiebreaker over us from beating us in Week 5. The only way we can get a seeding over them would be to finish with a better record. Based off how they have looked at home, we need to win out and hope they lose one of their last few.

    --Indianpolis still controls its own destiny in terms of winning the AFC south. If they win out OR if Houston loses out, Indy will likely become the #3 or #4 seed in the AFC. Bet ya didn't know that. The Colts have 2 games remaining against the Texans and are currently two games back of them.

    --Baltimore only needs one win in their last 3 games to clinch the AFC North, or they need Pittsburgh and Cincinnati to lose 1 game each. While they haven't clinched anything just yet, the specifics for what would have to happen for them to change are not worth getting into at this point. Update on them next week.

    How Denver stands

    --Our only chance of passing the Texans is if we finish ahead of them in the standings since they hold the tiebreaker over us from Week 3. We'll need to win out and have them lose two games to jump them in the seeding

    --It's worth noting that if the Colts win the AFC South, there's only a few ways in which we would NOT be seeded lower than them. We would need it to result from either a) us winning out b) Colts losing their game to KC while Houston loses out or c) us losing 1 of our 3 last, while Houston-Indy tie one of their matchups, with Houston losing the other game they have left against Minnesota.

    In terms of the likelihood of those things happening...the only way we pass the AFC south division winner in the seeding is if we win out and the Texans lose any two of their games.

    Even at 10-3 right now, we'd pretty much need to go 13-3 AND get help to be one of the top 2 seeds in the AFC.

    Sorting out the rest of the AFC mess

    --The Steelers beat the Bengals once this season, so they currently hold the tiebreaker, but they meet again in Week 16. If either the Steelers or Bengals win out, they will make the playoffs, most likely as the 6 seed.

    -However, that 6th seed is very much up in the air right now. The Bengals and Steelers schedules are tough (@Philly, @Pitt, vs. Balt for Cincy, @Dallas, vs. Cincy and vs Cleveland for Pittsburgh). If BOTH teams lose one game (and since they play each other, that means at least one team has to), that opens up the door for the Jets and Browns.

    The Jets--how are they still alive?

    --The Jets remaining schedule is fairly easy (@TEN, vs SD @BUF) but they'll need a lot of help. If Pittsburgh and Cincy both lose 2/3 and the Jets win out, they're in. Pittsburgh beat them head to head though, so they'll need to win out and have PIT lose 2/3, or win 2 and have Pittsburgh lose out. If they win 2 and Pittsburgh loses out though, they'll still need help. If the Bengals win their last two games, but lose this week and the Jets lose 1 of the their last 3, the Jets are eliminated due to conference record. So what happens if the Bengals lose one of their three, beating Pittsburgh, and the Jets win out? If the Bengals lose to Philly, the two will have the same conference record at 7-5.

    BUT, if Pittsburgh has the same record as the Bengals and the three teams are tied, FIRST, one AFC North team has to be eliminated. For the 3 way tie to still be in place, Cincy would need to lose to Philly and not to Baltimore, leaving them at 3-3 in the division. If Pittsburgh loses to Cincy but beats Cleveland in Week 17, they'll also be 3-3. The next tie-breaker is common opponents, which would be the 4 AFC West teams and 4 NFC East teams. Pittsburgh's record in those games is 4-3 with one game to go against Dallas, Cincy's is 5-2 with one game to go against Philly. So if Cincy only wins their last two games and Pittsburgh beats Dallas, loses to Cincy and beats Cleveland, their both 5-3 in those games. Next comes conference record, which hurts Pittsburgh. They're 4-6 right now while Cincy is 5-5. So if Cincy beats Pittsburgh, and all the previous scenarios play out, that'd give Cincy the divisional tie-breaker.

    Now that the Jets would need to win tie-breakers against Cincy, they haven't played head to head, so it comes down to common opponents, which you'd need a minimum of 4 for. The opponents that apply to these two are SD, MIA, PIT and JAX. The Jets record in those games would be 3-2, while Cincy's would also be 3-2 (of course!). Next up would be strength of victory: Right now, if this scenario played out teams Cincy would have played would have 52 wins, and Jets would have 49 wins. That could change based on how their opponents do in the next few weeks, so it's too close to call.

    As you can see though, clearly the Jets have a shot, but need a lot of help, especially if they lose one game.

    The rest

    --Finally, the Browns are still alive! If all 3 of those AFC North teams finish 8-8, they'd have a best Head to Head percentage between the three of them be the tie-breaker. Cleveland would be 3-1 against those two, Cincy 2-2 and Pitt 1-3. This eliminates Pittsburgh and Cincy in one quick tie-breaker, giving Cleveland the nod from the AFC north. They would then have to beat out the Jets only, because the Chargers lose to Cleveland this year. Because the Jets already have a 4-5 conference record, the only way they could beat out Cleveland if Cleveland wins out is if the Jets also win out. If the teams all wind up tied at 8-8, Cleveland will get the tie-breaker!

    --Now we get to the last possible AFC playoff team, the Chargers. With a head-to-head victory over the Steelers, and a loss to the Bengals, their only hope of playoffs starts simply: The Steelers need to beat the Bengals and no one else, and the Bengals need to lose all 3 remaining games. In addition, the Browns need to lose to the Broncos in Week 16, and the Chargers need to win all three of their games.

    Can't they all be that simple?

    Summary

    The Patriots are probably the favorite for the #1 seed right now, Houston is the favorite for the #2 (based of how the teams have been playing and what's likely to happen). The #3 seed will almost certainly be the winner of the Broncos-Ravens game, and the #4 seed will likely be the loser. The #5 seed will almost definitely be Indy, but it could also be the Texans. The #6 seed, based off remaining schedules is likely to be Pittsburgh based off remaining schedule, but it's really more likely to be whoever wins that week 16 matchup. If Cincy can win their next two games though, they become the favorites. The Jets need a lot of complicated help, but if they win out their odds improve a lot. A loss all but eliminates the Jets. The Browns still have a small shot, and the Chargers are alive but have practically no chance at making the playoffs.

    If anyone sees anything they think is inaccurate, let me know.
    Last edited by RunYouOver; 12-11-2012, 12:58 PM.
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  • #2
    Adding on to this...

    Who to root for this week

    We're already in the playoffs as a top 4 seed, so who to root for this week is really all a matter of your own opinion of our potential opponents. To me, it's either #1 or #2 seed or bust for us. I don't want to be the #3 seed and play New England if they're the #2, but I don't want to be the #4 seed and play New England if they're #1. So that makes everything pretty complicated, but as of now, we're alive for the top 2 seeds so we might as well root for ourselves to win.

    So, in this order:

    1) Denver--A win could put us over New England if they lose to the 49ers
    2) San Francisco-A win over the Pats would put us in GREAT shape to be seeded over them and get a 1st round bye.
    3) Indy--If we can beat Baltimore and Indy beats the Texans we're, at the very least, in a 3 way tie with Houston and New England. They both have the tie-breaker over us, but it puts us in a better position if Houston loses either of its last two games.

    Now it's all about who you want to play. I think the Browns would be the weakest opponent we could play, then the Jets (even though I don't want to see them make the playoffs), then the Bengals, then the Steelers. Based off that, here's what we want:

    4) Cleveland over Washington
    5) Jets over Titans
    6) Philly over Cincy
    7) Dallas over Pittsburgh
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    • #3
      I just want to avoid the pats in the playoffs. Can we beat them? Yes. But for whatever reason, we always get trounced.

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      • #4
        The AFCN situation is still undecided. Baltimore has not clinched. Depending on how they play out, there could be a shuffle.
        "Stultum est timere quod vitare non potes." ~ Publilius Syrus

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        • #5
          Originally posted by samparnell View Post
          The AFCN situation is still undecided. Baltimore has not clinched. Depending on how they play out, there could be a shuffle.
          Good call, although all they need is one win to clinch the AFC North. They've wrapped up a better conference record than the Steelers and Bengals and all they need to do is win any 1 of their last 3 games or have Pittsburgh or Cincy lose 1 of their last 3 games to clinch the AFC North.
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          • #6
            Originally posted by RunYouOver View Post
            Good call, although all they need is one win to clinch the AFC North. They've wrapped up a better conference record than the Steelers and Bengals and all they need to do is win any 1 of their last 3 games or have Pittsburgh or Cincy lose 1 of their last 3 games to clinch the AFC North.
            Right.

            Ravens last three games: Broncos, Giants, @ Cincinnati.

            Bengals last three games: @ Philly, @ Pitt, Baltimore.

            Steelers last three games: @ Dallas, Cincy, Cleveland.

            It will be interesting.

            Cincinnati missed a big opportunity losing at home to Dallas by one point.
            Last edited by samparnell; 12-11-2012, 01:04 PM.
            "Stultum est timere quod vitare non potes." ~ Publilius Syrus

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            • #7
              As long as we win out the AFC north will not affect our seeding. In fact if we can win out, the Patriots and Texans are the only ones that affect us. Now if we lose to Ravens then it is wide open.
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              • #8
                I have watched these boards for years and this is my first post. I live in Boston and just heard on the radio that the only team the announcers said they are afraid of is the Denver Broncos...they think we are the only team that can beat the Pats. I was very excited to hear that.
                Adopted Bronco: DeMarcus Ware

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                • #9
                  Great post! NE's drubbing of Hou really changed the complexion of the rest of the season for us. It's unclear whether 3 or 4 is better for us, and we probably won't know until week 16. Makes sense to still gun for #2, but 3 or 4 is still most likely even if we win out, so the outcome of the Balt game could end up not mattering much. If we lose to Balt this weekend, then resting starters becomes a real possibility.

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                  • #10
                    If there ends up being a 3 way tie between us, NE, and Houston doesnt the tiebreak scenario change to something other than head to head. Interested to see what the 3 way tiebreak would be to determine to top 2 seeds if im right about it not being head to head if 3 way tie.

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                    • #11
                      Thanks RYO, Great thread...

                      but I though we all cheered based on FF?
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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by LGBoogie19 View Post
                        If there ends up being a 3 way tie between us, NE, and Houston doesnt the tiebreak scenario change to something other than head to head. Interested to see what the 3 way tiebreak would be to determine to top 2 seeds if im right about it not being head to head if 3 way tie.
                        The 3 way tie-break is head-to-head between the three teams, if applicable, and it is in this case as all 3 teams played each other. The Patriots swept us and the Texans, so they're the #1 seed, and then it resets and the Texans beat us as well, so they'd be #2.
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                        • #13
                          I don't think we could sit in a better spot. (staying third seed).

                          3rd seed plays the 6th seed to go on to play the second seed.

                          4th and 5th seed play for a shot against the 1st seed.

                          All I'm hoping for is One loss from Houston putting them in our bracket. That lets Indy and the ravens get a shot at the PATs. INDY is dangerous right now and could put the points up against the Pats D. Giving us a shot against an inexperienced, although highly talented Rookie.

                          I take a guaranteed match against Houston before the Patriots in the playoffs

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                          • #14
                            Always love these threads, RYO!!!

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by DT88 View Post
                              I just want to avoid the pats in the playoffs. Can we beat them? Yes. But for whatever reason, we always get trounced.
                              Not to many people are talking about it but the Patriots will have to deal with Randy Moss coming back to foxboro trying to show the Pats he still has it.It could be a little bitter blood letting him go and him having a big game with playoff implications on it.What if he scored 3 TDs and caught over 200 yards,i would love it.Just throw the ball to Moss against the Pats secondary would be my game plan.

                              The #2 spot looks sweet like candy right about now
                              Last edited by BroncoSexyDaddy; 12-12-2012, 06:06 PM.

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