• 2015 Playoff Picture After Week 12


    By: Amy

    5 weeks to go. What did Thanksgiving weekend do to shape the field? Quite a bit!

    AFC:

    East:

    New England: The loss to Denver is not a positive thing. That said, we are still in the driver's seat for the Division. Miami and Buffalo cannot win the division. The Jets can, but only if they win out and we lose out. If we win one more game, or they lose one more game, we win the AFC East.

    We are currently the AFC #1 seed.

    New York: The Jets win over Miami ensured that Miami cannot win the division. While New York can still win the division, they are most likely fighting for a wild card spot. At the moment, however, they are not in the playoffs. Houston has the better conference record tiebreaker.

    Buffalo: Buffalo's loss to Kansas City was a major blow to their playoff chances. If they had won, they would be a wild card team. With the loss, they are on the outside looking in. They get Houston next and that game is critical for both teams.

    Miami: Miami was supposed to win the division this season. Things have not gone well for them. While they are not mathematically out (no one is yet), with a 2-6 conference record and an 0-5 division record, it is not too likely that they would win tiebreakers.

    North:

    Cincinnati: The Bengals win, combined with the Steelers loss, puts them in good shape. They have a three game lead with two to go. A win over the Steelers on December 13th gives them the division.

    Cincinnati is currently the AFC #2 seed.

    Pittsburgh: Much like Buffalo, Pittsburgh's loss puts them in a precarious position. They went from the 5th seed down to 9th in the AFC. At the moment, they lose tiebreakers to all of the other 6-5 teams. For Pittsburgh, next week is crucial. A win over the Colts would give them a tiebreaker over a potential wild card competitor. It would also keep pressure on Cincy. (If the Steelers beat the Colts and Bengals, they'd be at most 2 games back with three to go.). Conversely, a loss to the Colts would make a playoff push much harder.

    Ravens: Done.

    Browns: Done.


    South:

    Indianapolis: The Colts got another win they didn't really deserve against Tampa. They are one of two division leaders (Washington is the other), with negative point differential. Next week's game against Pittsburgh is as important for them as it is for the Steelers.

    At the moment, they are the #4 seed and would host Kansas City.

    Houston: Houston is keeping itself in play. It's neck and neck with Indy, and they play the Colts in three weeks. They get the Bills this week, and that game has major playoff implications. They are currently the #6 seed and would go to Denver.

    Jacksonville: The Jags are only 2 games back. It is unlikely that they could win the division, but it is still possible. I do not think they have any real wild card chances.

    Titans: Done.

    West:

    Denver: I'm still not sold on Denver. I don't think they can win three playoff games to get to the Super Bowl.

    Denver is the current AFC 3 seed and would host Houston in the Wild Card round.

    Kansas City: Kansas City controls it's own fate. It's the #5 seed at the moment, and Raiders (who they play twice in the last 5), are the best team they play. They should win out and finish at 11-5.

    They are currently the #5 seed and would play at Indianapolis.

    Oakland: Oakland has put itself in a very bad situation. The schedule does not help them, with four division games and the Packers in the last 5. The three losses by 6 or less, one of which was to Denver, have really come back to haunt them.

    San Diego: Done.


    NFC:

    East: The NFC East is still up for grabs.

    Washington: Washington helped itself a lot with the win over New York. At the moment, they hold division and conference tie breakers over New York. To give them even more of an edge, Washington has three division games left, and New York has one. They are the favorites.

    They are currently the NFC #4 seed and would host Green Bay.

    New York: The Giants narrow loss hurt them as much as it helped Washington. The Giants also have three a rough road compared to Washington as they get the Jets, Panthers, and Vikings among the last five they play.

    Philadelphia: The Eagles are not out of it! While a wild card berth is not likely, they are only one game back for the division. They get an angry New England team next - if the Pats have anyone to put on the field!

    Dallas: Dallas is still only two back. With no Romo, it is not likely they can make a push for the division, but stranger things have happened.

    North:

    The NFC North has become very interesting.

    Minnesota: The Vikings took advantage of the Packers Thanksgiving night stumble to grab the division lead. While it's not a very secure lead, it's hard to see them missing the playoffs.

    They are currently the #3 seed and would host Seattle.

    Green Bay: The loss to Chicago on Brett Favre day hurt badly. Green Bay is back one game in the division, but up at least one on all the wild card teams. This puts them in good shape.

    They are the current #5 seed and would go to Washington.

    Bears: The Bears are in play. They are just one game back from playing into the 6 seed. However, as I said last week, tiebreakers are not good for them.

    Lions: While the Lions are pretty much done, they could sneak into the six seed if they run the table. They actually have better tiebreakers than the Bears, even if not by much. Yes, this is exactly what I said last week, and it is still perfectly accurate.

    South:

    Carolina: Carolina is playing for the NFC #1 seed. They are the last undefeated team, and any win by the Panthers, or any loss by Atlanta, gives them the NFC South. With 5 games against the NFC South (and one against the Giants), 16-0 is very possible. They should win the division Sunday against the Saints.

    Carolina is currently the NFC 1 seed and would have a first round bye.

    Atlanta: Atlanta is in free fall. Another loss Sunday dropped them to the 7 seed, and just out of the playoffs. A 4-4 conference record gives them hope, if they can find a way to stop giving games away.

    Tampa Bay: Tampa was in great shape to give themselves a solid playoff chance when a turnover was wiped out by a phantom penalty late in the Colts game. If they had won, they'd be the 6 seed, currently, they are at 8, behind Seattle and Atlanta. They are not out of it, yet, but they have a lot of work to do,

    New Orleans: Done.

    West:

    The NFC West is Arizona's division.

    Arizona: The Cardinals are looking great. They are a top scoring offense, but #11 for scoring defense. There's no reason for expect them to not be the #2 seed in 5 weeks and a very hard playoff out.

    Arizona is currently the NFC 2 seed and would have a first round bye.

    Seattle: Seattle fought it's way back in. The win over Pittsburgh puts them back in the seeding, and while nothing is settled, they are in good shape. They play in Minnesota this weekend, which is exactly where they would play if the season ended this weekend. It is a playoff preview.

    They are currently the NFC 6 seed and would go to Minnesota.

    Rams: Done.

    San Francisco: Done.

    Comments 1 Comment
    1. iwatt's Avatar
      The Bears have way too many tie-brakers against them. They loose out on division tiebreakers agaist the Vikings, they loose aout against the Seahawks head to head. They have a bad conference record, but that can be made up because their early schedule was front loaded with either top notch NFC teams or AFC teams. Their 4th place schedule starts to kick in now (Tampa, Washington, San Francisco)

      Still, it hs been a good season (and a very fun one with a lot of close games except when the "Clausening" happened)