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NFL Playoff Picture Scenarios -- Week 15

By Joe Ferreira | Special to CBSSports.com

Week 14 saw an incredible turn of events at the end of the 1 p.m. ET games as we went from Baltimore and Cincinnati leading and likely winning (and eliminating many AFC teams in their path) to having Washington and Dallas grab late victories.

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This means Baltimore missed a chance to clinch the AFC North last week (they need only one more victory to win the division) and the N.Y. Giants went from having a chance to take a two-game lead to needing to win to lead the division at all. Will anyone step up in the AFC North?

In this initial Week 15 blog, I'm going to list the scenarios we have come up with without detailed analysis -- there are a number of crazy scenarios that relate to teams tying and clinching. Honestly, it's some of the most bizarre situations I've seen working on the tiebreakers for many years. I'll add analysis as we go forward and will comment in the discussion thread as well below.

So here we go:

PLAYOFF PICTURE SCENARIOS: WEEK 15


AFC

In the AFC...

HOUSTON TEXANS

Houston can clinch the AFC South division with:

1) HOU win

Houston can clinch a first-round bye with:

1) HOU win + NE loss or tie + DEN loss

BALTIMORE RAVENS

Baltimore can clinch the AFC North division with:

1) BAL win OR

2) BAL tie + PIT loss or tie + CIN loss or tie OR

3) PIT loss + CIN loss

Baltimore can clinch a playoff berth with:

1) BAL tie OR

2) CIN loss or tie OR

3) PIT loss or tie

INDIANAPOLIS COLTS

Indianapolis can clinch a playoff berth with:

1) IND win OR

2) IND tie + CIN loss or tie OR

3) IND tie + PIT loss or tie OR

4) IND tie + BAL win OR

5) NYJ loss or tie + CIN loss OR

6) NYJ loss or tie + BAL win + CIN tie + PIT tie (are you kidding me?)

NFC

Over in the NFC, it's just as interesting, but most of it coming from "TIE +"...

ATLANTA FALCONS

Atlanta can clinch a first-round bye with:

1) ATL win + GB loss or tie OR

2) ATL win + SF loss OR

3) ATL tie + GB loss

Atlanta can clinch home-field advantage with:

1) ATL win + GB loss or tie + SF loss

SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS

San Francisco can clinch the NFC West division with:

1) SF win + SEA loss

San Francisco can clinch a playoff berth with:

1) SF win OR

2) SF tie + DAL loss or tie + WAS loss or tie + MIN loss or tie OR

3) SF tie + DAL loss or tie + WAS loss or tie + GB loss OR

4) SF tie + DAL loss or tie + WAS loss or tie + CHI loss OR

5) SF tie + DAL loss or tie + MIN loss or tie + CHI loss OR

6) SF tie + NYG los + CHI loss + MIN loss OR

7) MIN loss + DAL loss + WAS loss + SEA loss or tie

GREEN BAY

Green Bay can clinch the NFC North division with:

1) GB win

Green Bay can clinch a playoff berth with:

1) GB tie + DAL loss + WAS loss + STL-MIN tie OR

2) GB tie + DAL loss + WAS loss + MIN loss + SF win or tie OR

3) GB tie + DAL loss + WAS loss + MIN loss + SEA does not tie

We are likely going to see the hot teams take control of their destiny this week and some of the teams hanging on show their true mettle. Week 15 is often a great measuring stick. Stay tuned ...

Follow Joe Ferreira on Twitter: @JoeNFL

 
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