Week 16 brings Christmas presents for all NFL teams. The NFC North and wild card races got interesting during Week 15 with a win by the Packers, Giants and Falcons and losses by the Lions, Buccaneers, Redskins and Vikings. Let’s take a look at the playoff scenarios for this week.
Detroit at Dallas
Minnesota at Green Bay
Tampa Bay at New Orleans
Washington at Chicago
Carolina at Atlanta
Arizona at Seattle
New York Giants at Philadelphia
NFC North Race
The race is down to Detroit and Green Bay for the North title and home playoff game. Detroit can clinch this week with a win over the Cowboys and Packers loss to the Vikings. Otherwise, the North comes down to Week 17 in the head to head matchup between the Lions and Packers at Ford Field.
The wildcard race for the sixth seed is really down to five teams in Detroit, Green Bay, Atlanta, Tampa Bay and Washington with two of these teams winning their division. Giants should get in but could lose the last two games.
Giants clinch a playoff berth with a win over the Eagles any of Green Bay, Washington, Tampa Bay, Atlanta or Detroit losing this week.
Atlanta leads the South at 9-5 and is the 3rd seed currently. Atlanta plays Carolina and clinches the South with a win and Tampa Bay loss to the Saints.
Atlanta clinches a playoff berth with:
ATL win + ATL clinches strength of victory tiebreaker over DET OR
ATL win or tie + GB loss or tie OR
ATL win + DET loss or tie OR
ATL tie + DET tie OR
WAS loss or tie + GB loss OR
WAS loss or tie + GB tie + DET loss
Detroit clinches a wildcard berth at least with a win over Dallas and Tampa Bay loss to the Saints. Also, a Tampa Bay loss to the Saints and Redskins loss to the Bears would clinch Detroit a playoff spot if they don’t win the division and lose out. Detroit could win this week against Dallas and have Tampa Bay lose to Carolina next week as well to clinch a playoff spot.
Green Bay clinches a wildcard berth at least with a win and Tampa Bay and Washington losses as well. Green Bay must clinch strength of victory over Tampa Bay as well to get the berth.
Tampa Bay clinches a wildcard berth with a win and Green Bay loss and Detroit loss and Washington loss.
Saints, Vikings and Panthers need miracles and those won’t happen for 9-7 and 8-8 playoff appearances for them.
First Round Bye and Home Field Advantage
Seattle clinches a bye with a home win over Arizona and losses by Detroit and Atlanta.
Dallas could win only to clinch home field advantage, a first round bye and the NFC East or the Giants lose to the Eagles on Thursday night to clinch all that for Dallas.
There will be much more clarity this week for the playoff races. It should be a fun final two weeks of the regular season.