FanPost

Pioneering the Puzzling Playoff Picture

Going into week 17, there has been some conversation about who can make the playoffs, how, and how the seeding will work out. I started writing a post about playoff scenarios; foolishly, I planned on going through each one and determining the seeding of each team. The top two seeds are locked; as for the others, I got this far before I realized the extent of the undertaking:

If the Patriots win:

The Patriots will have locked up the 3rd seed. (They win out over the Bengals, even if Cincinnati wins against the Jets, based on strength of schedule.)

Cincinnati wins (NY loses), Baltimore wins, Denver wins, Pittsburgh wins.

               New England (3) vs Pittsburgh (6), Cincinnati (4) vs Baltimore (5)

Cincinnati wins, Baltimore loses, Denver wins, Pittsburgh wins.

               New England (3) vs Denver (6), Cincinnati (4) vs Pittsburgh (5)

Cincinnati wins, Baltimore loses, Denver loses, Pittsburgh wins.

               New England (3) vs Jacksonville (6), Cincinnati (4) vs Pittsburgh (5)

Wait, Jacksonville? That's right. The Jaguars have an outside shot of making the playoffs at 8-8. In these scenarios, I was assuming that Jacksonville would win; I didn't include them in the bolded teams because I didn't think they could even make the playoffs. In fact, if the Jets, Texans, Ravens, Broncos, and Steelers all lose, the Jaguars will actually be the 5th seed, with the Broncos taking the 6th seed--that's right, two 8-8 teams both making the playoffs. Miami also isn't statistically eliminated. With losses from Houston, New York, Baltimore, and Denver, and a win over Pittsburgh, the Dolphins would squeak by with the 6th seed. It's just too hard to explain every single scenario and what it would mean for seeding. So I stopped trying. My solution after the jump.

So, I won't bother with seeding. I'll just go through what it would take in week 17 to get each team into the playoffs. Easier for me to write, and hopefully easier for everyone to digest. The Colts, Chargers, Patriots, and Bengals are all in, leaving two spots available. I'll go through team by team, and I'll ignore ties because they almost never happen. If there's a tie in week 17, feel free to criticize my lack of foresight. But there won't be. Trust me.

Ravens

Ravens win (I'm pretty sure that's the only way they can get in)

Jets

Jets win (Again, I think this is the only way for them)

Broncos

Broncos win AND Ravens loss AND Jets loss
Broncos win AND Ravens loss AND Texans win
Broncos win AND Ravens loss AND Steelers loss
Broncos win AND Jets loss AND Texans win
Broncos win AND Jets loss AND Steelers loss
Steelers loss AND Jets loss AND Ravens loss AND Jaguars loss
Steelers loss AND Jets loss AND Texans loss AND Jaguars loss
Steelers loss AND Texans loss AND Ravens loss AND Jets loss
Steelers loss AND Texans loss AND Ravens loss AND Jaguars loss
Jets loss AND Ravens loss AND Jaguars loss AND Texans loss AND Dolphins loss

Texans

Texans win AND Jets loss AND Ravens loss
Texans win AND Ravens loss AND Broncos loss
Texans win AND Jets loss AND Broncos loss

You know when you look at a word for a long time, and it doesn't seem like a word anymore? My brain no longer recognizes the word "loss." Alas, I trudge wearily on.

Steelers

Steelers win AND Texans loss AND Jets loss
Steelers win AND Texans loss AND Ravens loss
Steelers win AND Jets loss AND Ravens loss AND Broncos loss

Jaguars

Jaguars win AND Jets loss AND Broncos loss AND Texans loss AND Ravens loss
Jaguars win AND Steelers loss AND Broncos loss AND Texans loss AND Jets loss
Jaguars win AND Steelers loss AND Ravens loss AND Broncos loss AND Texans loss
Jaguars win AND Steelers loss AND Ravens loss AND Broncos loss AND Jets loss
Jaguars win AND Steelers loss AND Ravens loss AND Texans loss AND Jets loss

Dolphins

Dolphins win AND Texans loss AND Jets loss AND Ravens loss AND Broncos loss

 

In conclusion, it would take a small miracle for us to see the Dolphins in January. My prediction? The Jets and Ravens make it. They have the easiest road: just win the last game. If they each win, the Ravens will be the 6th seed, and the Jets the 5th. I hope this helps everyone and serves as a handy reference guide as you speculate on the playoffs this week and follow Sunday's action.

The views expressed in these FanPosts are not necessarily those of the writers or SBNation.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

Join Pats Pulpit

You must be a member of Pats Pulpit to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Pats Pulpit. You should read them.

Join Pats Pulpit

You must be a member of Pats Pulpit to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Pats Pulpit. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9341_tracker