Our first ever regular season week 18 is fast approaching with a lot of playoff implications on the line. The AFC is a complete mess whereas the NFC is pretty much set besides the last couple seeds. We also have Saturday football again, as there are two games slotted on the Jewish day of rest! I am excited, and you should be as well. I’m going to run through all the playoff scenarios, and what’s on the line. A brief warning, this may be hard to follow so bare with me! I didn’t make the AFC this way, they did it to themselves!
Lets start off nice and slow! Here are the NFC Rankings and who clinched, and who is still battling:
1. Packers Clinched #1 seed, first round bye, and the NFC North
2. Rams Clinched playoffs
3. Bucs Clinched Playoffs, and NFC South
4. Cowboys Clinched Playoffs, and NFC East
5. Arizona Clinched Playoffs
6. Eagles Clinched Playoffs
In the Hunt:
As said before, the NFC is easy. The overall #1 (GB) is clinched as well as 3 of the 4 division winners.
Here is the scenario for the NFC West division winner:
· The Rams wins the division with a win or tie, or with Arizona loss or tie
· Arizona wins the division with a win and Arizona loss
With 1 remaining spot left in the NFC, it is a battle between the 49ers and the Saints. Also note, that if the 49ers clinch the playoffs, they will receive the #6 seed and PHI will be the 7 seed, and if NO gets the bid, they will be the 7th and PHI will be 6.
· 49ers get the 6 seed with a win or tie, OR a NO loss or tie
· NO gets the 7 seed with a win + SF loss.
Wow that was easy! Thank you NFC for working it out among yourselves!
Lets move on to the CHAOS. Each Team in the AFC has something on the line this weekend. 5 teams have clinched a spot, leaving 2 spots open. The #1 overall seed also hasn’t been solidified, and the AFC East is still up for grabs.
These are the current standings in the AFC:
In the Hunt:
Yikes, that’s a mess. Let’s begin to dissect what we have here. 4 teams still have a change to clinch the #1 Seed in the AFC: Titans, Chiefs, Bengals, and the Pats.
Titans Clinch #1 with a Win, OR tie and KC loss, OR KC loss + CIN loss or tie + NE loss or tie, OR KC loss + CIN Loss or tie + BUF win.
Chiefs Clinch # 1 with Win + TEN loss or tie, OR tie + TEN loss.
Bengals Clinch #1 with Win + TEN loss + KC loss + NE win or tie, OR Win + TEN loss + KC loss + BUF win.
Pats Clinch #1 with win + BUF loss or tie + KC loss + TEN loss
Yuck… Next lets talk about the AFC East:
· BUF wins division with win, or NE loss, or BUF tie + NE tie
· NE wins division with win + BUF loss or tie, OR tie + BUF loss.
OK, were almost there! The 2 remaining spots on paper look dicey, but it should be fine in the big picture. Let’s dive in to see each teams path to the playoffs:
· Colts with win or tie, OR LAC loss + BAL/PIT Tie, OR LAC loss + Pit loss + MIA win
· Chargers with Win or tie
· Raiders with Win, OR tie or IND loss, OR IND loss + Pit loss or tie
· Steelers with Win + IND loss + LV-LAC doesn’t end in tie
· Ravens with Win + KLAC loss + IND loss + MIA loss or tie
If you’re asking yourself “Hey Toxic, this is great, but can we just get a real quick summary. I got things to do, and I don’t feel like reading all this” then look no further because here you go:
2. Rams (77% chance to win division)
5. Cardinals (23% change to win division)
1. 49ers (61% chance to make playoffs) @ LAR
2. Saints (39% change to make playoffs) @ ATL
In the Hunt:
1. Colts (88% chance to make playoffs) @ JAX
2. Chargers (51% chance to make playoffs) @ LV
3. Raiders (52% chance to make playoffs) vs LAC
4. Steelers (6% chance to make playoffs) @ BAL
5. Ravens (2% chance to make playoffs) vs PIT
Here is what’s realistically going to happen:
Colts are going to beat Jacksonville and the winner of LAC and LV will get in as the last seed. I project the Saints are going to sneak their way in as the last seed in the NFC as they beat Atlanta and the Rams beat the 49ers. But hey, that’s my opinion.
I will have my updated bets tomorrow morning for the weekend. I’m sorry if this was too much, but I feel like it’s information we all need!
As always, get excited in a safe manner!
Your Neighborhood Sports Blogger,
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