NFL Playoff Standings After Week 15

Its getting down to the nub with only 2 weeks remaining in the season and only 4 of the 12 playoff participants are known for certain.  Here is where things currently standing, beginning in the AFC:

1. Tennessee (clinched bye), 2. Pittsburgh (clinched bye), 3. New York (div record wrt MIA and NE), 4. Denver, 5. Indianapolis, 6. Baltimore (h2h wrt MIA, who is 2nd in East on conf record wrt NE) at 9-5

tied for 6th: 7. Miami, 8. New England

Still alive (for West division & not wildcard) 10. San Diego

Eliminated: 9. Houston, 11. Buffalo, 12. Jacksonville, 13. Cleveland, 14. Oakland, 15. Cincinnati, 16. Kansas City

NFC:

1. New York (clinched division) (conf rec wrt CAR), 2. Carolina, 3. Minnesota, 4. Arizona (clinched division), 5. Dallas (rec against opponents common wrt Atlanta or h2h wrt Tampa), 6. Atlanta (*rec against opponents common wrt TB) at 9-5

tied for 6th: 7. Tampa Bay

1/2 game back of 6th: 8. Philadelphia

1 game back of 6th: 9. Chicago

2 games back of 6th & still alive: 10. Washington

Eliminated: 11. New Orleans, 12. Green Bay, 13. San Francisco, 14. Seattle, 15. St. Louis, 16. Detroit

* Although some reputable online standings, including nfl.com, are currently scoring Tampa 2nd in the South/6th in the conference and Atlanta 3rd in the South/7th in the conference, I have chose to score the reverse.  The teams split head-to-head and are both 3-3 in the NFC South.  However, Atlanta is 9-4 against opponents common, and Tampa is 8-4, and that tiebreaker is used more primarily for divisional ties than conference record.  In conference games Tampa is 8-4 and Atlanta 6-4.  That is to say, if these teams win out to 11-5 they will end up with identical 10-4 marks in common games and 8-4 marks in conference games.  Should they tie at 10-6 and Atlanta’s loss is this coming Sunday to Minnesota, the Bucs will have the tiebreaker on record against common foes.  But should they tie at 11-5, or at 10-6 because Atlanta won the Vikings game but lost Week 17 to St. Louis, the tiebreaking will go down to strength of victory or perhaps beyond that to strength of schedule.  Buckeyenewshawk will crunch those numbers in the coming days and perhaps post an update here time permitting.

For the various clinching scenarios for this coming weekend:

http://www.sportsline.com/nfl/standings/playoffrace/scenarios

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