Originally posted on Front Office Blogs  |  Last updated 12/26/12
As per usual, the end of the NFL regular season arrives this weekend and the playoff scenarios are wide and varied. Some teams just need to win to achieve their post season goals while others need help. And some need a lot of help. Here is how the AFC picture shapes up in week 17. Teams that have already clinched their post season berths are: Patriots, Broncos, Colts, Texans, Ravens, and Bengals. The AFC field is set, however the first round byes and home field advantage is still up for grabs. The Texans can clinch a first round bye with a Texans win or tie, a Patriots loss or tie or a Broncos loss. The Texans can clinch home field with a Texans win, a Texans loss AND a Broncos loss or tie or a Patriots loss or tie AND a Broncos loss. Are you still with me? I know it's maddeningly confusing. The Texans play the Colts on Sunday. The Broncos play the Chiefs and their scenarios play out as follows. The Broncos can clinch a first round bye with a Broncos win or tie, a Patriots loss or tie. The Broncos can clinch home field with a Broncos win AND a Texans loss and tie or a Broncos tie AND a Texans loss. The Patriots play the Dolphins and they can clinch a first round bye with a Patriots win AND a Broncos loss or a Patriots win AND a Texans loss. The Patriots can clinch home field with a Patriots win AND a Broncos loss AND a Texans loss. That's a lot of losing that needs to happen. The Texans/Colts game is not an easy one to pick a winner. The Texans have an up and down defense and the Colts have their beloved Coach Pagano back. I tend to lean towards a Colts win, so a Texans loss may be in the cards. The Broncos SHOULD win handily, so that probably eliminates a Patriots home field. However, the Patriots SHOULD also win, so if the Texans loss that would give the Pats a 1st round bye. It gets very murky at this time of the year. The scenarios can become head spinning. Some years the last regular season game doesn't mean a whole lot but in recent years the last regular season game has decided many aspects of the post season and this one will be no different it seems.
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