NFL playoff picture: Examining the early Week 16 ramifications

Tony Romo and Jason Garrett will have to come up with a Week 17 plan. (USATSI)
Tony Romo and Jason Garrett will have to come up with a Week 17 plan. (USATSI)

More postseason: Playoff Picture, scenarios

We had a few dramatic endings to the early Week 16 games that will impact the playoff races overall.  Dallas' late win over Washington and Carolina's comeback win over New Orleans will help determine playoff spots and seedings.

In the NFC:

  • DALLAS win makes the Philadelphia at Dallas game for all the marbles in the NFC East.
  • Philadelphia vs. Chicago on Sunday night is meaningless in the division for Philadelphia, but could be a factor in No. 3 vs. No. 4 seeding for division champions.
  • CAROLINA win over New Orleans gives the Panthers a one-game lead over the Saints and a season split head to head.
  • NEW ORLEANS can still win the division next week with a win and Carolina loss (New Orleans would win on division record)
  • NEW ORLEANS can still clinch playoff berth this week with Arizona loss OR a Seattle tie + San Francisco loss
  • ARIZONA will be eliminated if they lose to Seattle due to Carolina's win (Arizona lost to New Orleans head to head).
  • SAN FRANCISCO would clinch spot if Arizona loses today or with a win on Monday night.
Over in the AFC:
  • NEW ENGLAND CLINCHED THE AFC EAST TITLE with the Miami loss and cannot clinch a bye but still controls their playoff fate for a first-round bye.
  • MIAMI loss was a killer.  The Dolphins can be eliminated from the playoffs now with a Baltimore win + Oakland win or tie.
  • MIAMI can still get playoff berth at 9-7 if they tie with Baltimore and San Diego (based on conference record).
  • CINCINNATI will clinch the AFC North title with a Baltimore loss or tie Sunday afternoon.
  • CINCINNATI can control playoff fate for a first-round bye with a New England loss (Bengals beat New England and Indianapolis head to head).
  • BALTIMORE can stay alive for division title with a win over New England.
  • BALTIMORE can clinch a playoff berth with a win + San Diego loss or tie.
  • PITTSBURGH amazingly remains alive for a playoff berth as both Miami lost and the New York Jets won.  Pittsburgh needs a win + Baltimore loss to remain alive this week.
  • INDIANAPOLIS remains alive for a first-round bye with a win today but can no longer win the No. 1 seed due to Denver's win.
  • INDIANAPOLIS has won the AFC South title and can clinch a first-round bye with a win and one New England loss + Cincinnati loss/tie against Baltimore.
  • DENVER CLINCHED THE AFC WEST TITLE and FIRST ROUND BYE with win and Kansas City's loss.
  • DENVER clinches the No. 1 seed in the AFC with a New England loss today (or next week).
  • KANSAS CITY has already clinched a playoff spot and will be the No. 5 seed in the AFC.
Lots of key games going on right now.  I'll update after and live on twitter at @JoeNFL.
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