Photo Credit: Chuck Cook/USA TODAY Sports
With Week 16 officially in the books, we are one week away from determining the 14 playoff teams. In the AFC, we have five teams battling for four spots. In the NFC, we have six teams battling for three spots.
In one of the wildest years in NFL history, Week 17 is set up for a wild finish. Every team in the NFC Least has a chance to win the division, with the exception of Philadelphia. Unbelievable. Seven teams have clinched, with six being division winners.
Here are all the playoff scenarios heading into Week 17:
Tennessee can clinch the AFC South division title with:
TEN win OR
IND loss OR
TEN tie + IND tie
Tennessee can clinch a playoff berth with:
BAL loss OR
MIA loss OR
TEN tie + CLE loss OR
TEN tie + MIA tie OR
TEN tie + BAL tie
Miami can clinch a playoff berth with:
MIA win OR
BAL loss OR
CLE loss OR
IND loss OR
MIA tie + BAL tie OR
MIA tie + CLE tie OR
MIA tie + IND tie OR
MIA tie + TEN loss
Baltimore can clinch a playoff berth with:
BAL win OR
CLE loss OR
IND loss OR
BAL tie + MIA loss OR
BAL tie + TEN loss OR
BAL tie + CLE tie OR
BAL tie + IND tie
Cleveland can clinch a playoff berth with:
CLE win OR
IND loss OR
TEN loss + MIA win or tie + BAL win or tie OR
CLE tie + BAL loss OR
CLE tie + MIA loss OR
CLE tie + TEN loss OR
CLE tie + IND tie OR
CLE tie + TEN tie + BAL win + MIA win
Indianapolis can clinch the AFC South division title with:
IND win + TEN loss or tie OR
IND tie + TEN loss
Indianapolis can clinch a playoff berth with:
IND win + BAL loss or tie OR
IND win + CLE loss or tie OR
IND win + MIA loss or tie OR
IND tie + BAL loss OR
IND tie + CLE loss OR
IND tie + MIA loss
Green Bay can clinch a first-round bye with:
GB win or tie OR
SEA loss or tie
New Orleans can clinch a first-round bye with:
NO win + GB loss + SEA win
Seattle can clinch a first-round bye with:
SEA win + GB loss + NO loss or tie
Washington can clinch the NFC East division title with:
WAS win OR
WAS tie + DAL loss or tie
Los Angeles can clinch a playoff berth with:
LAR win or tie OR
CHI loss or tie
Chicago can clinch a playoff berth with:
CHI win OR
ARI loss OR
CHI tie + ARI tie
Arizona can clinch a playoff berth with:
ARI win OR
ARI tie + CHI loss
Dallas can clinch the NFC East division title with:
DAL win + WAS loss or tie OR
DAL tie + WAS loss
New York can clinch the NFC East division title with:
NYG win + WAS loss
Before we advance to Week 17, let’s take a look back at what happened in Week 16.
Notes from Week 16
- The Browns fumbled away a chance to clinch their first playoff berth since 2002, losing to the 1-win Jets. Cleveland was decimated at the wide receiver position with the current top-four being ruled out due to COVID-19 protocols. However, that isn’t an excuse. The Browns get another crack at a playoff berth this weekend when they host Pittsburgh, who will start Mason Rudolph and not Ben Roethlisberger. Cleveland wins and they are in.
- The Jets have now won two in a row after starting 0-13.
- Tom Brady tossed four touchdowns in his return to Michigan to down the Lions 47-7. With the win, the Buccaneers clinched a playoff berth for the first time since 2007.
- Jeff Wilson Jr. had a career-high 204 scrimmage yards in San Francisco’s 20-12 victory over Arizona.
- Jason Sanders booted a game-winning 44-yard field goal with one second left to keep the Dolphins’ playoff hopes alive and eliminating the Raiders in the process. Miami is 9-2 since Week 5 after starting 1-3.
- The Steelers clinched the AFC North for the first time since 2017 with a 28-24 come-from-behind victory at home over the Colts.
- Kansas City clinched the one seed in the AFC with a 17-14 victory over the Falcons.
- Here comes Chicago? The Bears defeated the Jaguars 41-17 to keep their playoff hopes alive. Chicago has scored 30 or more points in four-straight games, the first time doing so since 1965.
- With the loss and the Jets win, the Jaguars have clinched the first overall pick in the 2021 draft, where the likely selection will be Clemson quarterback, Trevor Lawrence.
- The Ravens are getting hot at the right time, winners of four straight after a 27-13 victory over the Giants. J.K. Dobbins has a rushing touchdown in each of the last five games, a new Baltimore rookie record.
- The Panthers knocked off Washington for the 200th victory in franchise history.
- Justin Herbert broke the NFL rookie quarterback touchdown record (28) surpassing Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield in the process. The Chargers defeated the Broncos 19-16.
- Dallas has won three in a row after downing Philly 37-17 and has put themselves in position to win the division and host a playoff game. 2020, man.
- The Seahawks clinched the NFC West for the fifth time under head coach Pete Carroll after defeating the Rams 20-9.
- The Packers beat down the Titans 40-14 on Sunday Night Football, behind Aaron Rodgers’ four touchdown passes. Three of his touchdowns were to Davante Adams.
- Josh Allen surpassed Jim Kelly for most touchdown passes in a single season in Buffalo history with his 34th of the season. Allen also tossed four touchdowns, three of which were to Stefon Diggs. The Bills swept the Patriots for the first time since 1999.
- The Patriots entered the game eliminated from playoff contention. This was the first game since Week 17 of the 2000 season that this has occurred.
Santa Kamara Came to Town
- Alvin Kamara exploded for six touchdowns on Christmas day in the Saints’ 52-33 victory over the Saints.
- Kamara tied Hall of Famer Ernie Nevers for most rushing touchdowns in a single game in NFL history. Nevers accomplished the feat all the way back in Week 11 of the 1929 season.
- Kamara had 155 rushing yards and 17 receiving yards. This ended a seven-game drought for Kamara who had not registered 100+ scrimmage yards.
Quarterbacks That Played Well in Week 16
Tom Brady – TB – 22/27, 348 yards, 4 touchdowns – W @ DET
Andy Dalton – DAL – 22/30, 377 yards, 3 touchdowns, INT – W vs PHI
Brandon Allen – CIN – 29/37, 371 yards, 2 touchdowns – W @ HOU
Aaron Rodgers – GB – 21/25, 231 yards, 4 touchdowns, INT – W vs TEN
Josh Allen – BUF – 27/36, 320 yards, 4 touchdowns – W @ NE
Running Backs That Played Well in Week 16
Alvin Kamara – NO – 22 carries, 155 yards, 6 touchdowns – W vs MIN
AJ Dillon – GB – 21 carries, 124 yards, 2 touchdowns – W vs TEN
Samaje Perine – CIN – 13 carries, 95 yards, 2 touchdowns – W @ HOU
Jeff Wilson Jr. – SF – 22 carries, 183 yards – W @ ARI
David Johnson – HOU – 12 carries, 128 yards, touchdown – L vs CIN
Wide Receivers That Played Well in Week 16
Mike Evans – TB – 10 catches, 181 yards, 2 touchdowns – W @ DET
Davante Adams – GB – 11 catches, 142 yards, 3 touchdowns – W vs TEN
Stefon Diggs – BUF – 9 catches, 145 yards, 3 touchdowns – W @ NE
Michael Gallup – DAL – 6 catches, 121 yards, 2 touchdowns – W vs PHI
Brandin Cooks – HOU – 7 catches, 141 yards, touchdown – L vs CIN
Notable Week 17 Matchups
Steelers (12-3) @ Browns (10-5) 1 PM CBS
Cowboys (6-9) @ Giants (5-10) 1 PM FOX
Ravens (10-5) @ Bengals (4-10-1) 1 PM CBS
Dolphins (10-5) @ Bills (12-3) 1 PM CBS
Packers (12-3) @ Bears (8-7) 4:25 PM FOX
Cardinals (8-7) @ Rams (9-6) 4:25 PM FOX
Jaguars (1-14) @ Colts (10-5) 4:25 PM CBS
Titans (10-5) @ Texans (4-11) 4:25 PM CBS
Washington (6-9) @ Eagles (4-10-1) SNF 8:20 PM NBC
That wraps up this week’s overview. If you are reading this, you are appreciated more than you will ever know. Be sure to follow me on Twitter @KingEdward15 and let me know how you feel about your team’s playoff chances heading into Week 17. Next week I will have playoff predictions and award winners. Happy New Year to all!