AFC Playoff Scenario

All AFC games have been completed for week 16.  Entering the final week of the season, the divisional champions are as follows:

  • The New England Patriots won the East.
  • The Pittsburgh Steelers won the North.
  • The Houston Texans won the South.
  • The Oakland Raiders won the West.

The number #1 seed is the New England Patriots.  Seeds 2 through 4 will be determined by the following scenarios:

  • If all three teams (Houston, Pittsburgh, and Oakland) finish with identical records: Houston will be the #2 seed since they beat both Pittsburgh and Oakland in Head-to-Head matchups. Pittsburgh will be the #3 seed since they own the better conference record compared to Oakland. Oakland would have the #4 seed.
  • If Houston loses their final game and Pittsburgh/Oakland both win their remaining game: Pittsburgh would be the #2 seed, Oakland would be the #3 seed and Houston would be the #4 seed.
  • If Houston/Oakland both lose and Pittsburgh wins:  Pittsburgh would be #2 seed, Houston would be #3, and Oakland would be #4.
  • If Oakland loses their final game they automatically become the fourth seed since they lost both tie-breakers (Head-to-Head and conference record).
  • If Oakland wins final game and Houston/Pittsburgh each lose: Oakland would be the #2 seed, Houston would be #3, and Pittsburgh would be #4 seed.

Miami and Baltimore enter the final week with identical records (9-6); however, Miami has already secured one of the two “Wildcard” spots.   Miami won their head-to-head matchup against San Diego and has a better winning percentage against common opponents when compared to Tennessee.  San Diego is still mathematically alive at (8-7) because they won their head-to-head matchup against Baltimore.  Although Tennessee has the same record as San Diego (8-7), they are eliminated because they lost their face-to-face matchup against Baltimore and have a lower winning percentage against common opponents when compared against Miami and San Diego. The following scenarios will determine the final “Wildcard” slot:

  • Baltimore wins OR San Diego loses. Baltimore can secure the fifth seed with a win and a Miami loss.
  • San Diego wins AND Baltimore loses.  Miami would be fifth seed and San Diego would be sixth seed.
  • Miami secures the fifth seed with a win OR Baltimore loss.  Miami owns better “Strength of Victory” tie breaker over Baltimore.

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