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NFL playoff scenarios

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The NFC is pretty set, but there seems to be about 100 teams vying for the six AFC playoff spots as the NFL heads into the final week of the season. A look at how it breaks down in the AFC, courtesy of the Associated Press:

CLINCHED: Indianapolis-AFC South and homefield advantage throughout playoffs; San Diego-AFC West and first-round bye; Cincinnati-AFC North; New England-AFC East
ELIMINATED: Cleveland, Kansas City, Oakland, Buffalo, Tennessee

Baltimore
— Clinches a playoff spot with a win over Oakland

N.Y. Jets
— Clinches a playoff spot with a win over Cincinnati

Denver
— Clinches a playoff spot with:
1) Win over Kansas City and N.Y. Jets loss or tie and Baltimore loss or tie OR
2) Win over Kansas City and N.Y. Jets loss or tie and Pittsburgh loss or tie OR
3) Win over Kansas City and N.Y. Jets loss or tie and Houston win OR
4) Win over Kansas City and Baltimore loss or tie and Pittsburgh loss or tie OR
5) Win over Kansas City and Baltimore loss or tie and Houston win OR
6) Pittsburgh loss and Baltimore loss and Houston loss and Jacksonville loss OR
7) Pittsburgh loss and Baltimore loss and Houston loss and N.Y. Jets loss OR
8) Pittsburgh loss and Baltimore loss and Jacksonville loss and N.Y. Jets loss OR
9) Pittsburgh loss and Houston loss and Jacksonville loss and N.Y. Jets loss OR
10) Miami loss or tie and N.Y. Jets loss and Baltimore loss and Houston loss and Jacksonville loss or tie

Pittsburgh
— Clinches a playoff spot with:
1) Win over Miami and Houston loss or tie and N.Y. Jets loss or tie OR
2) Win over Miami and Houston loss or tie and Baltimore loss or tie OR
3) Win over Miami and N.Y. Jets loss or tie and Baltimore loss or tie and Denver loss or tie

Houston
— Clinches a playoff spot with:
1) Win over New England and N.Y. Jets loss or tie and Baltimore loss or tie OR
2) Win over New England and N.Y. Jets loss or tie and Denver loss or tie OR
3) Win over New England and Baltimore loss or tie and Denver loss or tie

Jacksonville
— Clinches a playoff spot with:
1) Win over Cleveland and Pittsburgh loss and Baltimore loss and Denver loss and Houston loss OR
2) Win over Cleveland and Pittsburgh loss and Baltimore loss and Denver loss and N.Y. Jets loss OR
3) Win over Cleveland and Pittsburgh loss and Baltimore loss and Houston loss and N.Y. Jets loss OR
4) Win over Cleveland and Pittsburgh loss and Denver loss and Houston loss and N.Y. Jets loss OR
5) Win over Cleveland and N.Y. Jets loss and Denver loss and Houston loss and Baltimore loss

Miami
— Clinches a playoff spot with:
1) Win over Pittsburgh and N.Y. Jets loss and Baltimore loss and Houston loss and Jacksonville loss or tie
Baltimore, N.Y. Jets, Denver, Pittsburgh and Houston can also make the playoffs if they tie this week in combination with various other results.
Jacksonville and Miami cannot make the playoffs with a tie.

See? It’s all clear now, isn’t it?

-- Houston Mitchell


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