EAGLES WIN GIVES COWBOYS HOME FIELD THROUGHOUT NFL PLAYOFFS!

By Harry Allison

It’s Friday morning, Dec. 23, and last night’s Eagles win over the Giants is just now settling in.

So, here is what the NFL playoff situation looks like:

NFC
y*-1. Dallas Cowboys (12-2): NFC East champions. The Giants’ loss gives Dallas the division crown and home-field advantage. [Remaining games: vs. Lions, at Eagles]
y-2. Seattle Seahawks (9-4-1): NFC West champions. They can snag a first-round bye in Week 16 with win and losses by Atlanta and Detroit. [Remaining games: vs. Cardinals, at 49ers]
3. Atlanta Falcons (9-5): NFC South leader. A win and Bucs loss would sew up division. A win plus a loss by either the Lions or Packers gives Atlanta at least a wild card. Strength of victory keeps Falcons ahead of Detroit. [Remaining games: at Panthers, vs. Saints]
4. Detroit Lions (9-5): NFC North leader. A win and Packers loss earns Detroit its first division title since 1993. But a loss at Dallas on Monday sets up a de facto division championship game against Green Bay in Week 17 at Ford Field. The Lions guarantee a playoff berth with a win and loss by Tampa Bay. [Remaining games: at Cowboys, vs. Packers]
5. New York Giants (10-5): Wild card No. 1. They failed to clinch their first playoff berth since 2011 with Thursday’s loss at Philadelphia, which also cost New York any shot at winning the NFC East. A loss by the Lions, Packers, Bucs or Falcons this week would still secure a wild card for the Giants. [Remaining game: at Redskins]
6. Green Bay Packers (8-6): Wild card No. 2. They’re currently ahead of Bucs on strength of schedule tiebreaker and could clinch berth this weekend with a win and some help (losses by Washington and Tampa Bay combined with an Atlanta win). If Green Bay wins out, it reclaims NFC North title. [Remaining games: vs. Vikings, at Lions]

In the hunt
7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (8-6):
They’re back in the playoffs for first time since 2007 with a win Saturday combined with losses by the Packers, Lions and Redskins. Tampa Bay could still claim NFC South by winning out and hoping Falcons stumble. Bucs’ wild-card possibilities could be bolstered by fact Detroit and Green Bay meet in Week 17. It would also help in tiebreaker department if Lions lose to Cowboys on Monday. [Remaining games: at Saints, vs. Panthers]
8. Washington Redskins (7-6-1): The best they can do is earn the second wild card, which would require winning and a heavy combination of losses from Atlanta, Detroit, Green Bay and/or Tampa Bay. [Remaining games: at Bears, vs. Giants]
9. Minnesota Vikings (7-7): They can’t win NFC North. But winning out and getting plenty of help could put them back in play for the sixth seed. [Remaining games: at Packers, vs. Bears]
10. New Orleans Saints (6-8): They must win out and get significant help to be in running for sixth seed. [Remaining games: vs. Buccaneers, at Falcons]
11. Carolina Panthers (6-8): They must win out and get significant help to be in running for sixth seed. [Remaining games: vs. Falcons, at Buccaneers]

AFC
yz-1. New England Patriots (12-2): AFC East champions. Division winners for eighth consecutive season, they can lock up home field in Week 16 with a win plus an Oakland loss. [Remaining games: vs. Jets, at Dolphins]
x-2. Oakland Raiders (11-3): AFC West leader. Back in playoffs for first time in 14 years, they win division and bye with victory and a K.C. loss. [Remaining games: vs. Colts, at Broncos]
3. Pittsburgh Steelers (9-5): AFC North leader. They’ll clinch division by beating Baltimore on Christmas but would lose control of it if Ravens complete season sweep. [Remaining games: vs. Ravens, vs. Browns]
4. Houston Texans (8-6): AFC South leader. Now 5-0 in divisional games, they maintain tiebreaker advantage while sharing first place with the Titans. Houston needs only to beat Tennessee in Week 17 to keep its crown. The Texans can also clinch Saturday with a win plus Titans loss. [Remaining games: vs. Bengals, at Titans]
5. Kansas City Chiefs (10-4): Wild card No. 1. A win against Denver on Christmas night will lock Chiefs into playoffs and would put them back atop AFC West if Raiders also lose. Kansas City would also clinch a berth if Baltimore loses. [Remaining games: vs. Broncos, at Chargers]
6. Miami Dolphins (9-5): Wild card No. 2. They lock in with a win plus a loss by the Broncos. But Miami can’t afford to slip given losses to Ravens and Titans earlier this season could hurt dearly if this spot winds up being decided by tiebreakers.[Remaining games: at Bills, vs. Patriots]

In the hunt
7. Baltimore Ravens (8-6): They’ll claim AFC North by winning final two games. Defeating Miami would also serve them well in wild-card race if they wind up tied. [Remaining games: at Steelers, at Bengals]
8. Tennessee Titans (8-6): They’ll claim AFC South by winning final two games. They also beat Dolphins and would own head-to-head tiebreaker for wild card. [Remaining games: at Jaguars, vs. Texans]
9. Denver Broncos (8-6): They’re only in running for wild card at this point and would be eliminated this week by loss and a Miami win. [Remaining games: at Chiefs, vs. Raiders]
10. Indianapolis Colts (7-7): Any loss eliminates them. They still have path to AFC South crown but need to finish tied atop division with Tennessee or benefit from Titans-Texans tie in Week 17. [Remaining games: at Raiders, vs. Jaguars]
11. Buffalo Bills (7-7): Any loss eliminates them. They must win out and receive significant help to get sixth seed. [Remaining games: vs. Dolphins, at Jets]

x β€” clinched playoff spot
y β€” clinched division
z β€” clinched first-round bye
* β€” clinched home-field advantage

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