What does your team need to do to make the playoffs?

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THIS POST IS OUT OF DATE! CLICK HERE FOR THE UPDATED VERSION!

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This post will be similar to the posts I did last week. I will be laying out for each team what they need to do to make the playoffs, clinch their division, get a first-round bye, and/or get the #1 seed in their conference. First let’s layout what the NFL playoffs would look like if the season ended right now.

In the AFC the seeding would be as follows: 1. Indianapolis Colts, 2. San Diego Charger, 3. New England Patriots , 4. Cincinnati Bengals, 5. Baltimore Ravens, 6. Denver Broncos… so the Bengals and Pats flipped and the Ravens jumped both the Jags and the Broncos, knocking the Broncos down to the 6 seed and the Jags out all together.

In the NFC: 1. New Orleans Saints, 2. Minnesota Vikings, 3. Philadelphia Eagles, 4. Arizona Cardinals, 5. Green Bay Packers, 6. Dallas Cowboys. Absolutely nothing has changed here.

However, six of the 12 teams I just listed are still in danger of not making the playoffs at all. To determine how much danger they are in and what the other teams in the league need to do and have happen from them to replace one of those teams I will be using the NFL’s official tie-breaking procedures to see who needs to win which games to reach the postseason.  I will be grouping the teams into six categories (AI, COD, HAC, CFH, MML, AO) you’ll see what it all stands for below) to separate them by mathematical probability of making it to the playoffs. Here are the categories:

1. Teams already in (AI) – Pretty self explanatory:

  • Indianapolis Colts – Already locked up the first overall seed in the AFC.
  • San Diego Chargers – Already locked up the AFC West.
  • New Orleans Saints – Already locked up a top-2 seeding in the NFC.
  • Minnesota Vikings – Already locked up the NFC North.
  • Philadelphia Eagles – Already locked up a playoff spot.
  • Arizona Cardinals – Already locked up the NFC West.

2. Teams that control their own destiny (COD) – If they win the rest of their games they make the playoffs:

  • New England Patriots, Cincinnati Bengals, Green Bay Packers, Dallas Cowboys, Denver Broncos, and Baltimore Ravens.

3. Teams that still have a decent chance (HAC) – Either currently losing the tie-breaker or are one game back for the last wild-card spot and/or the lead in their division:

  • New York Giants, Miami Dolphins, Jacksonville Jaguars, New York Jets, Pittsburgh Steelers, Houston Texans, and Tennessee Titans.

4. Teams that if you’re a fan of you should cross your fingers and hope (CFH) – Two games behind the last wild-card spot and/or the division lead:

  • (All teams that would have been placed in this category are already out of the running)

5. Teams that make me laugh (MML) – because it’s still somehow mathematically possible for them to make the playoffs:

  • (All teams that would have been placed in this category are already out of the running)

6. Teams already out (AO) – Pretty self explanatory:

  • Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, San Francisco 49ers, Chicago Bears, Seattle Seahawks, Washington Redskins, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Detroit Lions, St. Louis Rams, Oakland Raiders, Buffalo Bills, Cleveland Browns, and Kansas City Chiefs.

Now that we’ve got the teams grouped together nicely let’s do a team-by-team break down. I’ll start with the teams in Group 1 and work down through the teams in Group 6:

(NB: If a team win their division they automatically make the playoffs. I won’t have any overlapping possibilities in any categories though. This means that anything under the “to clinch the division” section for each team won’t also be put under the “to make the playoffs section” because it is already understood to be a possible way for the given team to make the playoffs. The same goes for the “to get a first-round bye” and “to get the #1 seed” categories, because in order to get either of those you must win your division.)

Group 1 – AI:

Indianapolis Colts:

  • To make the playoffs – already done
  • To clinch the division – already done
  • To get a first-round bye – already done
  • To get the #1 seed in AFC – already done

(NB2: I won’t be including this category for the rest of the AFC teams because it’s obviously impossible for all of them to get the #1 seed with the Colts having already clinched it.)

New Orleans Saints:

  • To make the playoffs – already done
  • To clinch the division – already done
  • To get a first-round bye – already done
  • To get the #1 seed in NFC –
  1. Win or tie one more games.

  2. The Vikings lose or tie one more game.

Minnesota Vikings:

  • To make the playoffs – already done
  • To clinch the division – already done
  • To get a first-round bye –
      1. Win two more games (or win one and tie one).
      2. Win or tie one more game and the Eagles lose one more game.
      3. The Eagles lose two more games (or lose one and tie one).
  • To get the #1 seed in NFC –
      1. Win two more games and the Saints lose two more games.

(NB3: I will also be eliminating the #1 seed category from the rest of the NFC teams because only the Saints and Vikings are able to get it at this point.)

Philadelphia Eagles:

  • To make the playoffs – already done.
  • To clinch the division –
      1. Win both remaining games.
      2. Just beat the Cowboys in week 17.
      3. Win one more game and the Cowboys lose or tie one more game.
  • To get a first-round bye –
      1. Win two more games and the Vikings lose one more game.
      2. Win one more game and the Vikings lose both of their remaining games.

Arizona Cardinals:

  • To make the playoffs – already done
  • To clinch the division – already done
  • To get a first-round bye –
      1. Win both of their remaining games and have the Vikings lose both of their remaining games and the Eagles lose both of their remaining games (or lose one and tie one).

San Diego Chargers:

  • To make the playoffs – already done.
  • To clinch the division – already done.
  • To get a first-round bye –
      1. Win or tie one more game.

Group 2 – COD:

New England Patriots:

  • To make the playoffs –
    1. Lose both remaining games and the Ravens lose one more game and the Jaguars lose or tie one more game and the Texans lose or tie one more game and the Steelers lose or tie one more game.
  • To clinch the division –
      1. Win or tie one more game.
      2. The Dolphins lose or tie one more game.
  • To get a first-round bye –
      1. Win their two remaining games and the Chargers lose their two remaining games and the Benglas lose or tie one more game.

Cincinnati Bengals:

  • To make the playoffs –
      1. Lose both remaining games and the Jaguars lose or tie one more game and the Dolphins lose or tie one more game and the Jets lose or tie one more game and the Texans lose or tie one more game.
  • To clinch the division –
      1. Win one more game.
      2. The Ravens lose one more game.
  • To get a first-round bye –
      1. Win their two remaining games and the Chargers lose their two remaining games and the Patriots WIN their two remaining games and then hope that they have a higher strength of victory rating.

Green Bay Packers:

  • To make the playoffs –
      1. Win two remaining games (or win one and tie one).
      2. Win one more game and the Giants lose or tie one more game.
      3. Lose both remaining games but the Giants lose their two remaining games (or lose one and tie one).
  • To clinch the division – impossible
  • To get a first-round bye – impossible

Dallas Cowboys:

  • To make the playoffs –
      1. Win one more game and the Giants lose or tie one more game.
      2. Lose both remaining games and the Giants lose both of their remaining games (or lose one and tie one).
  • To clinch the division –
      1. Win both remaining games.
      2. Beat the Eagles in week 17 and the Giants lose or tie one more game.
  • To get a first-round bye – Impossible.

Denver Broncos:

  • To make the playoffs –
      1. Win both remaining games (or win one and tie one).
      2. Win one more game and the Steelers lose or tie one more game and the Jaguars lose or tie one more game and the Dolphins lose or tie one more game and the Jets lose or tie one more game and the Texans lose or tie one more game.
      3. Lose both remaining games and the Steelers lose their two remaining games (or lose one and tie one) and the Jaguars lose their two remaining games (or lose one and tie one) and the Dolphins lose their two remaining games (or lose one and tie one) and the Jets lose their two remaining games (or lose one and tie one) and the Texans lose their two remaining games (or lose one and tie one) and the.
  • To clinch the division – Impossible
  • To get a first-round bye – Impossible

Baltimore Ravens:

  • To make the playoffs –
  1. Win both remaining games.
  2. Win one more game and the Jaguars lose or tie one more game and the Dolphins lose or tie one more game and the Jets lose or tie one more game.
  3. Lose both remaining games and have the Jaguars lose both remaining games (or lose one and tie one) and the Dolphins lose both remaining games (or lose one and tie one) and the Jets lose both remaining games (or lose one and tie one) and the Steelers lose both remaining games and the Titans lose one more game and the Texans lose one more game.
  • To clinch the division –
  1. Win both remaining games and the Bengals lose both of their remaining games (or lose one and tie one).
  • To get a first-round bye – Impossible

Group 3 – SHC:

Jacksonville Jaguars:

  • To make the playoffs –
      1. Win both remaining games and the Dolphins lose or tie one more game and either the Broncos or Ravens lose one more game.
      2. Win one more game and the Dolphins lose both of their remaining games (or lose one and tie one) and the Steelers lose one more game and the Titans lose one more game and the Jets lose one more game and the Texans lose one more game and the Broncos or Ravens lose both of their remaining games.
  • To clinch the division – Impossible
  • To get a first-round bye – Impossible

New York Giants:

  • To make the playoffs –
  1. Win both remaining games and have the Cowboys lose one more game.
  2. Win one more game and the Cowboys lose both of their remaining games.
  • To clinch the division –
  1. Win both remaining games and the Eagles lose both remaining games and the Cowboys lose one more game and even then it might not be possible. At this point it would be a three-way tie between the Giants, Cowboys and Eagles and the tie-breaking procedures get a little sticky when it’s between more than two teams.
  • To get a first-round bye – Impossible

Miami Dolphins:

  • To make the playoffs –
  1. Win both remaining games and the Titans lose or tie one more game and the Broncos or Ravens lose both remaining games (or lose one and tie one).
  • To clinch the division –
  1. Win both remaining games and the Patriots lose both of their remaining games.
  • To get a first-round bye – Impossible

New York Jets:

  • To make the playoffs –
  1. Win both remaining games and the Dolphins lose or tie one more game and the Jaguars lose or tie one more game and the Ravens lose one more game.
  2. Win one more game and the Dolphins lose both of their remaining games (or lose one and tie one) and the Jaguars lose both of their remaining games (or lose one and tie one) and the Ravens lose both of their remaining games and the Steelers lose one more game and the Titans lose one more game and the Texans lose one more game.
  • To clinch the division – Impossible
  • To get a first-round bye – Impossible

Pittsburgh Steelers:

  • To make the playoffs –
  1. Win both remaining games and the Dolphins lose or tie one more game and the Jaguars lose or tie one more game and the Jets lose or tie one more game and the Texans lose or tie one more game and the Broncos lose one more game.
  2. Win one more game and the Dolphins lose both of their remaining games (or lose one and tie one) and the Jaguars lose both of their remaining games (or lose one and tie one) and the Jets lose both of their remaining games (or lose one and tie one) and the Texans lose both of their remaining games and the Broncos lose both of their remaining games and the Titans lose one more game.
  • To clinch the division – Impossible
  • To get a first-round bye – Impossible

Houston Texans:

  • To make the playoffs –
  1. Win both remaining games and the Jaguars lose or tie one more game and the Titans lose or tie one more game and the Jets lose or tie one more game and the Ravens lose one more game.
  2. Win one remaining game and the Jaguars lose both of their remaining games (or lose one and tie one) and the Titans lose both of their remaining games (or lose one and tie one) and the Jets lose both of their remaining games (or lose one and tie one) and the Ravens lose both of their remaining games and the Steelers lose one more game and the Dolphins lose both of their remaining games (or lose one and tie one) and the Broncos lose one more game.
  • To clinch the division – Impossible
  • To get a first-round bye – Impossible

Tennessee Titans:

  • To make the playoffs –
  1. Win both remaining games and the Ravens lose both of their remaining games (or lose one and tie one) and the Broncos lose both of their remaining games (or lose one and tie one) and the Steelers lose or tie one more game and the Jaguars lose or tie one more game and the Jets lose or tie one more game.
  • To clinch the division – Impossible
  • To get a first-round bye – Impossible

Group 4 – CFH:

Group 5 – MML:

Group 6 – AO:

The only way that these teams can even hope to make the playoffs is for a massive scandal that involves over half of the league to be revealed and the commissioner rushes to make a decision on the punishment and disqualifies all of the teams involved in the scandal from the playoffs. Even then, you’d still better have your fingers crossed.

10 Responses

  1. […] THIS POST IS OUT OF DATE! CLICK HERE FOR THE UPDATED VERSION! […]

  2. I have absolutely no idea why the formatting on this is so screwy… especially with the post thinking that some of the stuff should be in quote boxes… I don’t know what that’s about but I promise the info is good.

  3. Nice, so the Texans still have a slight chance! I thought they were out already, and my BOLD prediction was off that they’d make the playoffs, but there’s still a chance :) I’m more interested to see if Chris Johnson can put up 270 yards today to get to 2,000 on the season! Merry Christmas from http://doin-work.com

    • Yes, the Texans still have a chance to make a wild-card spot. I actually thought it was still possible for the Falcons to still make the playoffs but they are out. I didn’t realize that until I wrote this post. The best they can do at this point is tie for the last wild-card spot but would lose the tie-breaker.

  4. Oh, I had a question for you guys. How do you get it so you have to click on the “read more” to see the rest of your post. I’ve tried to figure it out for our blog, but it doesn’t seem to work…

    • There is a button up at the top of the post editing page that is called the “insert more tag” button and it looks like two white blocks separated by a horizontal dotted line. It’s right next to the spell check button. Click that with your text cursor at the point at which in the post you would like to have the “read more” on the main page.

  5. Nice! I’ve always wondered how to do that! Thanks a bunch!

    It’s funny when I read this post all I could think about was Baseketball! I actually don’t care if the Texans make it or not that much, but it’s always good to see your predictions to come through!

  6. […] That means we are having second ever special edition Friday 5, which simply means we didn’t get around to doing it on Friday and thus had to do it on Saturday. This special Saturday edition is going to be the top five NFL games this week based on how much they will have an impact on the playoff picture. […]

  7. New York Jets scenario 2: You say that the Jets need Miami to lose out, the Ravens to lose out, and the Steelers to lose one… but the steelers next two games are the Ravens and the Dolphins… so is it impossible for the Jets to get the playoffs if they lose today?

  8. […] the playoffs? Posted on December 29, 2009 by colts18 This post will be similar to all of the other posts I have done on this very topic. The only difference for this one is that I will have four […]

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