AFC Playoff Picture

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

1. Tennessee Titans (12-2)
Remaining Schedule: Pittsburgh, @Indy
Can Clinch Homefield With: A Win over Pittsburgh or A Win over Indy and a Pittsburgh loss to Cleveland

The Titans can lock up the #1 seed this week with a win over Pittsburgh. A loss however sets up a situation where they would need Cleveland to show up and beat the Steelers in week 17. Doubtful.

2. Pittsburgh Steelers (11-3)
Remaining Schedule: @Tennessee, Cleveland
Can Clinch Homefield With: A Win over Tennessee and Either A Win over Cleveland or a Tennessee loss to Indy

Thanks to the Texans the Steelers now control their own destiny. Win out and the AFC title travels through Pittsburgh. Lose to the Titans and they may have to schedule a return trip to the land of country music.

3. New York Jets (9-5)
Remaining Schedule: @Seattle, Miami
Can Clinch Division With: Two Wins or A Win over Miami and a Patriot Loss
Holds Tie-Breakers Over: Patriots and Dolphins in the Event They Beat the Dolphins. Nobody if they lose to the Dolphins.

The Jets currently hold the tie-breaker over both the Dolphins and Patriots thanks to division record. If the Pats lose in either week 16 or 17 than all the Jets need to do is beat the Dolphins. Beating Seattle wouldn't be necessary. If the Jets lose to the Dolphins they are almost certainly done. They would need to beat Seattle and have both the Ravens and Pats drop their final two games, meaning the Jets would need big efforts from the Jaguars and Bills in the final week. Doubtful.

4. Denver Broncos (8-6)
Remaining Schedule: Buffalo, @San Diego
Can Clinch Division With: A Win over Buffalo, A Win over San Diego or a San Diego Loss
Holds Tie-Breaker Over: New York Jets

It's simple win 1 more game or get a Chargers loss and they are in. The Broncos lost to both the Pats and the Dolphins so in order to get the 3 seed they would need the Jets to win the division at 10-6 which isn't overly likely.

5. Indianapolis Colts (10-4)
Remaining Schedule: @Jacksonville, Tennessee
Can Clinch 5 Seed With: A Win over Jacksonville or Tennessee
Holds Tie-Breaker Over: Everyone, thanks to a 8-2 conference record which at worst would be 8-4 in addition to wins over Baltimore and New England.

Take care of business against the Jaguars and the Colts can rest up in week 17. If the Colts lose both of their remaining games they will need a maximum of one of the Ravens, Patriots, Jets and Dolphins to win out.

6. Baltimore Ravens (9-5)
Remaining Schedule: @Dallas, Jacksonville
Can Clinch the Wildcard With: Two Wins
Holds Tie-Breaker Over: Miami

The Ravens currently hold the tie-breaker over the Dolphins and the Patriots thanks to a victory over Miami and a better conference record than the Patriots. If the Ravens fall to 10-6, a loss to the Cowboys would maintain their tie-breakers over both the Dolphins and the Pats. The tie-breaker with the Jets is a bit more confusing as the Jets could also wind up with an 8-4 conference record. Than it would come down to Common Games which are Cincy, Tenn, Oakland, Miami. Both teams would likely be 5-1 against those oppnents. Than it comes down to Strength of Victory which would likely go to Baltimore's favor thanks to the NFC east competition.

7. Miami Dolphins (9-5)
Remaining Schedule: @Kansas City, @New York Jets
Can Clinch the Division With: Two Wins
Holds Tie-Breaker Over: Patriots

The Dolphins currently hold the tie-breaker over the Pats thanks to conference games so they win out and they not the Pats win the division. If they lose to the Jets and the Pats beat the Bills that tie-breaker flip-flops. If they lose to Kansas City and beat the Jets than they would win the tie-breaker if the Pats also finished 10-6.

8. New England Patriots (9-5)
Remaining Schedule: Arizona, @Buffalo
Can Clinch Division With: Two Wins and a Jets and Dolphins Loss
Holds Tie-Breaker Over: Denver

The Patriots do not control their destiny for either the wildcard or the division and will need help to get either. The reason is because all of their losses have come within the conference where as their competition has lost at least once to an NFC opponent. A Ravens loss or a Jets and Dolphins loss will give them back their own destiny. The Pats are the only team that could go 11-5 and miss out on the playoffs.

9. San Diego Chargers (6-8)
Remaining Schedule: @Tampa Bay, Denver
Can Clinch Division With: Two Wins and Two Denver Losses

The Chargers path is simple. Win these week and put on your Buffalo Bills cap at 4 PM.

Posted by Simon at 9:22 AM   Digg! submit to reddit BallHype: hype it up!

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