The AFC Playoff picture is a little clearer than it looks. Five team are 8-7 at this point in the regular season. Here are the five teams and their opponents this week (playoff teams are in bold)
New York Jets - Cincinnati Bengals (8:20pm EST, Sunday Night Football)
Baltimore Ravens - Oakland Raiders (4:15pm EST, CBS)
Kansas City Chiefs - Denver Broncos (4:15pm EST, CBS)
Pittsburgh Steelers - Miami Dolphins (1:00pm EST, CBS)
New England Patriots - Houston Texans (1:00pm EST, CBS)
If you look on most Web sites, it will show the Denver Broncos as the fifth seed in the AFC and the New York Jets as the sixth seed. It is true, even though the Broncos do not control their own destiny.
The NFL tie-breakers for the Wild Card are as follows when it comes to a three or more team tie.
1. Head-to-head sweep (a team must have been swept by all tied teams) *THIS TIE-BREAKER DOES NOT APPLY IN THE AFC IN 2009.
2. Best win-loss percentage in CONFERENCE GAMES. *Denver, Baltimore, and New York would all be 7-5 in the conference with victories
3. Best win-loss percentage in COMMON GAMES. *At this point, this tie-breaker cannot be used because there needs to be a minimum of four common opponents. After Week 17 there will be, giving the Jets a one-game advantage over Denver.
4. Best STRENGTH OF VICTORY. *Denver leads in this category right now with a strength of victory of 62-58, but after next week they play a team with a record of 3-12 and New York plays a team that is 10-5. It would therefore flip-flop the two teams and the New York Jets would make the playoffs.
HERE ARE THE FOLLOWING CLINCHING SCENARIOS
New York Jets
- Win against the Cincinnati Bengals
- Win against the Oakland Raiders
- Win against Kansas City + New York or Baltimore Lose + Pittsburgh Loses
- Win against Kansas City + New York or Baltimore Lose + Houston Wins
They also would have a good chance if it came down to an 8-8 tie because of their conference record, but it would depend upon the teams that were 8-8.
- Win against New England + New York or Baltimore Lose + Denver Loses
They would need the Chiefs to pull a miracle at Mile High to have a shot, but Texans fans Denver has had chances to win the division against bad teams before and failed.
- Win against Miami + New York or Baltimore Lose + Houston Lose
They can't finish in a three-way tie with Denver and Houston. They also can't finish in a head-to-head tie with Houston. Tough for the Steelers because they might not even win the game they're playing in.
According to playoffstatus.com, here are the probabilities of the each team and their chances to make the playoffs.
No. 5 Seed - 14%
No. 6 Seed - 38%
OUT OF PLAYOFFS - 48%
No. 5 Seed - 33%
No. 6 Seed - 29%
OUT OF PLAYOFFS - 28%
New York Jets
No. 5 Seed - 46%
No. 6 Seed - 0.01%
OUT OF PLAYOFFS - 54%
No. 5 Seed - 6%
No. 6 Seed - 14%
OUT OF PLAYOFFS - 80%
No. 5 Seed - 1%
No. 6 Seed - 12%
OUT OF PLAYOFFS - 87%
GOOD LUCK TO ALL TEAMS AND THEIR FANS!!!