NFL Playoff Scenarios: Green Bay Packers and 8 Teams on the Outside Looking in

Tom Kinslow@@TomKinslowFeatured ColumnistDecember 26, 2010

NFL Playoff Scenarios: Green Bay Packers and 8 Teams on the Outside Looking In

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    NFL playoff scenarios will be in major play for today's games and we're looking at the teams who are currently out of the playoffs but still have a shot to make it.

    There are eight teams still alive between the two conferences, and we're breaking down each one and what it would take to make the playoffs. The biggest game today is between New York Giants and Green Bay Packers, but here's all you need to know heading into Week 16.

    Who do you think is making the playoffs? Make sure you let it be known in the comments.

No. 8: Tennessee Titans

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    This is the most unlikely scenario to make the playoffs, and it will likely come crashing down around the Titans today.

    To make the playoffs, the Titans will have to win the AFC South and to do that, the Titans need to go on the road and beat Kansas City, with Indianapolis losing to Oakland and Jacksonville losing to Washington.

    After that, the Titans must beat the Colts on the road and have the Jaguars lose to Houston.

    Sound impossible? Well it is, and the Titans are just delaying the inevitable.

No. 7: San Francisco 49ers

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    The San Francisco 49ers have a long road ahead of them and it starts today against St. Louis.

    San Francisco must win today against the Rams and then hope for either Tampa Bay to beat Seattle or St. Louis to turn around and beat Seattle next week to win the NFC West and get a home playoff game.

    It's a bit of a longshot, and it would be undeserving for a team that played so poorly this year, but that's the NFC West for you.

    I don't see this happening, but we've seen crazier things.

No. 6: Oakland Raiders

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    The Oakland Raiders have been one of the best stories in football this year, and it has certainly shown as they can still make the playoffs.

    To get into the dance, Oakland must win out and get help in the Kansas City and San Diego games down the stretch. Remember, the Raiders have beaten the Chargers twice, so one Chargers loss is all Oakland needs to hop San Diego.

    It's not going to be easy, but seeing a team like Oakland make the playoffs would be great. Those fans deserve it.

No. 5: Seattle Seahawks

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    For Seattle, the road to the playoffs is an easy one.

    The Seahawks need to win the final two games of the season against Tampa Bay and St. Louis to clinch a playoff spot. If Seattle loses this week, the situations get a little more complex and there will need to be outside help.

    It's going to be a wild ride in the NFC West these final two weeks. Buckle up.

No. 4: San Diego Chargers

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    It's hard to believe that a team as good as the San Diego Chargers might miss the playoffs, but it's true.

    Two losses to Oakland and an opening night loss against Kansas City have seriously hurt San Diego's chances, but the Chargers are in great position to make the playoffs with just a little help. If the Chargers win out and Kansas City loses once, San Diego sneaks into the playoffs.

    San Diego is rooting for Tennessee and Oakland down the stretch as the Chargers play Cincinnati and Denver.

No. 3: Tampa Bay Buccaneers

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    Tampa Bay hasn't been able to beat good teams this year, and while a home loss to Detroit didn't help matters, the Buccaneers can still make the playoffs.

    To get in, the Bucs need to beat Seattle and New Orleans in the final two games of the year and have Atlanta win the big Monday Night showdown against the Saints. If New Orleans wins that game, Tampa Bay is in big trouble.

    However, the Bucs would be alive if Green Bay wins today. That would leave the door open for both the Giants and Packers to lose and get Tampa Bay in.

    Simple, right?

No. 2: Jacksonville Jaguars

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    The Jacksonville Jaguars are on the very fringe of the playoff picture, and all they need to do is win out and get a tiny amount of help.

    If either the Raiders or Titans can beat the Colts in the final two games of the season, winning out would get the Jags into the playoffs with the AFC South crown. That's a more likely scenario than Tennessee's, who is on life support right now.

    Jacksonville will likely be without Maurice Jones-Drew today, so that's not exactly helping its hopes today. The Jags can also get in if the Colts lose out and the Jags get one of two.

No. 1: Green Bay Packers

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    For Green Bay, the playoffs might as well start today.

    The Packers must win today to stay alive in the playoff hunt against the New York Giants. Aaron Rodgers will be back in the lineup and if the Packers win out, they will make the playoffs after what has been an injury-plagued season.

    After how the Giants lost last week, I'm not sure you could blame them if they didn't recover in time for today's game.