Happy New Year everybody! As we go into a New Year, I thought I would try and help everyone understand the situation in the NFL that comes with the New Year.
X = clinched playoff berth
Z = locked in current seed
1: New England Patriots 13-2 Z
2: Pittsburgh Steelers 11-4 X
3: Kansas City Chiefs 10-5 X
4: Indianapolis Colts 9-6
5: Baltimore Ravens 11-4 X
6: New York Jets 10-5 X
Patriots – Clinched home field advantage throughout playoffs and AFC East
Steelers – Clinch 2nd seed with win
Chiefs – Clinch 3rd seed with win and clinched AFC West
Colts – Clinch AFC South with win or Jacksonville loss – Clinch 3rd seed with win and Chiefs loss.
Jacksonville Jaguars – Clinch AFC North and 4th seed with win and Indianapolis loss
Ravens – Clinch 2nd seed with win and Pittsburgh loss
Jets – Clinch 5th seed with win, Baltimore win, and Pittsburgh loss
The Jaguars will be missing David Garrard and Maurice Jones-Drew for their matchup with the Texans, so it should not be a problem for the Colts to clinch the South. The Steelers could have a tough time with the Browns, but they may also blow them out. The Ravens host the Bengals who have already beaten them once this year, so the AFC North could be shaken up a bit.
1: Atlanta Falcons 12-3 X
2: Chicago Bears 11-4 X
3: Philadelphia Eagles 10-5 Z
4: St. Louis Rams 7-8
5: New Orleans Saints 11-4 X
6: Green Bay Packers 9-6
Falcons – Clinch home field advantage with win
Bears – Clinch home field with win, Atlanta loss, New Orleans loss – Clinched bye/NFC North
Eagles – Clinched 3rd seed and NFC East
Rams – Clinch NFC West and 4th seed with win
Seattle Seahawks (6-9) – Clinch NFC West and 4th seed with win
Saints – Clinch NFC South and 1st seed with win and Atlanta loss
Packers – Clinch wildcard/6th seed with win
New York Giants (9-6) – Clinch wildcard/6th seed with win and Green Bay loss
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (9-6) – Clinch wildcard/6th seed with win, Green Bay loss, New York loss
The Falcons host the Panthers, so they should not have a problem clinching the top seed. The Bears will probably believe the same, so they will likely rest their starters and go easier on the Packers. If the Packers pull that one off, then it’s game over for the Giants and Bucs. The Bucs have a tough game against the Saints who still have something to play for, so they can almost be counted out. The Giants play the Redskins who are coming off an upset against the Jaguars. The Giants are very injured and are coming off two crushing defeats, so their chances are very slim at this point. The Rams battle the Seahawks for the NFC West crown. The Seahawks are starting Charlie Whitehurst. That being said, the Rams should win.