So we're gonna change things up now that we're in the last two weeks. Instead of examining the implications of each game one by one, I'm simply going down the conference standings and giving some info on what each team can clinch in the next couple of weeks. 10 of the 12 openings have already been claimed, but not a single seed is locked in as of yet. As usual, the NFC wild card race is a huge pain in the ass. I'm NOT going to try and tackle that monster this week, so you'll notice none of the 6-8 or 5-9 teams were included here. If they are still alive next week they will of course be covered here.
(11-3) (8-3) (5-0) - Clinched AFC North | @NYG, @BAL
The Steelers can't finish worse than 3rd and can clinch homefield this week with a win and losses by Houston and Oakland.
(11-3) (7-3) (4-1) - Clinched AFC South | vs NE, vs JAX
The Texans can clinch a first round bye with a win and an Oakland loss.
(10-4) (8-2) (3-2) - Clinched Playoff Berth | vs DEN, @TEN
The Raiders can clinch the AFC West with a win this week over Denver. If they lose, it gives the division tiebreaker to San Diego. Depending on how things shake out, Oakland could finish anywhere from 1st to 6th.
(8-6) (6-4) (4-1) - Clinched AFC East | @HOU, @MIA
The Patriots can't finish worse than 4th. The only way they could get up to 3rd is if they win out, Oakland loses out and San Diego loses this week against the Jets.
(9-5) (8-3) (4-2) - Clinched Playoff Berth | vs NYJ, vs CAR
If the Raiders lose to the Broncos this week then San Diego will own the tiebreaker for the AFC West and will clinch as long as they can at least draw even. Should the Chargers get to 11-5 and win the West AND Pittsburgh and Houston both lose out, they'd clinch homefield.
(9-5) (6-4) (3-3) | vs MIA, vs OAK
Tennessee can still finish as high as 5th, and will claim the 6th seed unless they lose out and either Denver or Baltimore win out.
(7-7) (5-5) (2-2) | @OAK, @KC
The Broncos must win out, Tennessee must lose out and Baltimore must lose at least one game in order for the Broncos to clinch the 6th seed.
(7-7) (5-5) (2-2) | vs CIN, vs PIT
Baltimore must win out and Tennessee must lose out in order to clinch the 6th seed.
(12-2) (10-0) (5-0) Clinched NFC South and First Round Bye | @GB, vs NO
The Bucs will clinch homefield with a win since they already own the head to head tiebreaker over Seattle, and a victory over the Packers will clinch the common games tiebreaker over Arizona. If Tampa loses this week then that Arizona tiebreaker moves to strength of victory, which Tampa does currently lead but could still potentially shift I guess.
(11-3) (8-3) (5-1) Clinched Playoff Berth | @BUF, vs WSH
In any situation I could find where Seattle and Arizona end up tied, the Seahawks will win the West based on the common games tiebreaker. Seattle could still claim homefield by winning out and Tampa losing out.
(9-5) (7-3) (4-1) Clinched NFC North | vs TB, @MIN
Green Bay could still get up to the 2nd seed, but the only way I could figure it is if they and Washington win out and both Seattle and Arizona lose out. Outside of that scenario, the Packers will be 3rd as long as they at least tie with Washington thanks to a head to head win.
(9-5) (7-3) (4-1) Clinched NFC East | @DAL, @SEA
Washington could also still get up to the 2nd seed, but they'd need to win out, both Arizona and Seattle lose out and Green Bay lose at least one game. Failing that, they'd need to finish ahead of Green Bay to claim the 3rd seed.
(11-3) (9-2) (5-1) Clinched Playoff Berth|
Arizona must finish the season with a better record than Seattle in order to claim the West. If that happens, they'll have a first round bye. As mentioned earlier, Arizona still has a shot to clinch homefield if they're able to win out and Tampa loses this week against Green Bay(but it would require a significant shift in SoV).
(7-7) (5-5) (3-2) | vs WSH, @ATL
It'd be nice if I could say that either Dallas or Chicago will clinch the 6th seed if they win out. Technically, I can say that, but I have no idea which one will get the nod since the tiebreaker comes down to strength of victory. Chicago currently leads .388 to .378.
(7-7) (5-5) (1-4) | vs ARZ, vs DET
See above. If neither Chicago or Dallas wins this week then I'm probably going to have to spend way more time than I want to cracking the code for the 6th seed.