AFC Playoff Watch: The Quest for the #1 seed

dynomite

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Worse than that actually, they could end up as the 4 seed if they lose. Which means playing SD/KC at home in the WC round and then playing the other on the road in the divisional round.
I suppose it goes without saying, but if the Pats can’t win a home game against a 4-11 Jets team that’s in contention for the 1st pick in the draft to clinch a bye week they don’t deserve one.

I understand the Jets are playing well and this shouldn’t be a cakewalk. Still, I’m not too worked up about this game. If the Pats can’t beat a team like the Jets at home, I don’t think they’ll make much of an impact in January no matter who or where they play.
 

SirPsychoSquints

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I suppose it goes without saying, but if the Pats can’t win a home game against a 4-11 Jets team that’s in contention for the 1st pick in the draft to clinch a bye week they don’t deserve one.

I understand the Jets are playing well and this shouldn’t be a cakewalk. Still, I’m not too worked up about this game. If the Pats can’t beat a team like the Jets at home, I don’t think they’ll make much of an impact in January no matter who or where they play.
I was going to point out that teams frequently lose to bad teams at home and still are good enough to win the Superbowl, but I could only find 2 in the last 10 years, 2011 Giants losing to the 11 loss Washington team and 2009 Saints losing to the 13 loss Bucs - but it still is plausible!
 

dynomite

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I was going to point out that teams frequently lose to bad teams at home and still are good enough to win the Superbowl, but I could only find 2 in the last 10 years, 2011 Giants losing to the 11 loss Washington team and 2009 Saints losing to the 13 loss Bucs - but it still is plausible!
True enough! Those 2011 Giants (ugh) are tough because they’re the exception to every rule — they finished 9-7, they had a negative (-6) point differential in the regular season, their regular season defense stunk, their leading rusher had just 659 yards, and they’re always in the conversation for worst Super Bowl champion ever (again, with feeling: UGGGHHHHHHHHHH).

But those 2009 Saints are a good example. I’d forgotten that loss at home to the 3-13 Bucs — it’s a solid counterpoint, even if a rare one. I don’t want to imagine the GOAT Thread here if, like those Saints, we miss a 37-yard FG at the end of regulation to win and then give up the game winning drive in OT on 10 consecutive runs (!). Yikes.
 

edoug

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https://www.cbssports.com/nfl/news/nfl-playoff-picture-week-17-standings-every-single-nfl-teams-clinching-and-seeding-scenarios/
New England Patriots (10-5)
Clinched playoff spot? Yes

No. 1 AFC seed: The Patriots need help to get home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. If they win and the Chiefs and Chargers lose, the Patriots could get the top seed.


No. 2 AFC seed: The Patriots already won their division but they very much want a bye. To get one, they need simply beat the Jets at home this week. They can also get home field if they tie the Jets and the Texans lose or tie against the Jaguars. If the Patriots lose, they can still get home field by the Ravens losing/tying, the the Texans losing and the Titans losing/tying.

No. 3 AFC seed: If the Patriots lose and ONE of the Titans, Texans and Ravens win, the Patriots would fall to the third seed. (Baltimore would beat Indianapolis and New England in a tiebreaker for the second seed.)

No. 4 AFC seed: If the Patriots lose and two of the Titans, Texans and Ravens win, the Patriots would fall to the fourth seed. Tennessee and Baltimore both have a tiebreaker over New England.
 

SirPsychoSquints

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https://www.cbssports.com/nfl/news/nfl-playoff-picture-week-17-standings-every-single-nfl-teams-clinching-and-seeding-scenarios/
New England Patriots (10-5)
Clinched playoff spot? Yes

No. 1 AFC seed: The Patriots need help to get home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. If they win and the Chiefs and Chargers lose, the Patriots could get the top seed.


No. 2 AFC seed: The Patriots already won their division but they very much want a bye. To get one, they need simply beat the Jets at home this week. They can also get home field if they tie the Jets and the Texans lose or tie against the Jaguars. If the Patriots lose, they can still get home field by the Ravens losing/tying, the the Texans losing and the Titans losing/tying.

No. 3 AFC seed: If the Patriots lose and ONE of the Titans, Texans and Ravens win, the Patriots would fall to the third seed. (Baltimore would beat Indianapolis and New England in a tiebreaker for the second seed.)

No. 4 AFC seed: If the Patriots lose and two of the Titans, Texans and Ravens win, the Patriots would fall to the fourth seed. Tennessee and Baltimore both have a tiebreaker over New England.
A lot of this is badly written. For example, in the last paragraph, one of the winning teams must be the Ravens. If the Titans and Texans win but the Ravens lose, the Patriots are still the three seed.
 

edoug

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A lot of this is badly written. For example, in the last paragraph, one of the winning teams must be the Ravens. If the Titans and Texans win but the Ravens lose, the Patriots are still the three seed.
Thanks, I thought CBS would be able to get out the right info.
 

SirPsychoSquints

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Thanks, I thought CBS would be able to get out the right info.
I don’t blame you at all. Another is the use of “could” in the first paragraph which should be “would.”

In the second paragraph they say “home field” when they should say “bye.”

In the second paragraph they have an erroneous second consecutive “The.”
 

SirPsychoSquints

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Patriots are 1 (if LAC and KC lose) or 2
Texans are 2 (if LAC and KC lose) or 3
KC could be 1 (if they win) or 3 (if they lose and so does LAC) or 5 (if they lose and LAC wins)
LAC could be 1 (if they win and KC loses) or 5
BAL could be 4 (if they win or PIT loses) or out
PIT could be 4 (flip of BAL scenario) or 6 (if they win and IND/TEN ties) or out.
IND/TEN winner gets 6, IND gets 6 with Tie plus PIT loss.
 

wiffleballhero

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In the simulacrum
Patriots are 1 (if LAC and KC lose) or 2
Texans are 2 (if LAC and KC lose) or 3
KC could be 1 (if they win) or 3 (if they lose and so does LAC) or 5 (if they lose and LAC wins)
LAC could be 1 (if they win and KC loses) or 5
BAL could be 4 (if they win or PIT loses) or out
PIT could be 4 (flip of BAL scenario) or 6 (if they win and IND/TEN ties) or out.
IND/TEN winner gets 6, IND gets 6 with Tie plus PIT loss.
Funny how until about 7:30 the Pats (I think) have seven different possible opponents for their next game.
 

axx

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BTW, I am expecting the Patriots to get the Sat PM time slot. Figure the NFL will try to bury the Rams home game as the early Sat game. Lets just say the Chiefs would then get the Sun early slot and the Saints the late one.
 

JokersWildJIMED

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Isn’t it slightly more advantageous to play Saturday night as you would get an extra day going into the AFCCG...maybe mentioned upthread...surprised that wouldn’t factor (i.e. #1 seed would get it) if there was not a huge ratings differ in the teams.
 

tims4wins

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Isn’t it slightly more advantageous to play Saturday night as you would get an extra day going into the AFCCG...maybe mentioned upthread...surprised that wouldn’t factor (i.e. #1 seed would get it) if there was not a huge ratings differ in the teams.
Definitely a bit advantageous. But the Pats have been on Saturday every season since 2011, I believe, even when the two seed? Maybe they played Sunday once in 2012?
 

Kenny F'ing Powers

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Chiefs get 1...

With this Patriots team road woes, this is going to end up like Patriots/Denver 2015 all over again, isnt it?
 

mikeford

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Chiefs get 1...

With this Patriots team road woes, this is going to end up like Patriots/Denver 2015 all over again, isnt it?
The way this season has gone, I think it's pretty clear that the Colts knock off Houston and Baltimore beats San Diego LAC and then the Ravens come and stomp the Patriots at Gillette with the guy they probably shoulda drafted at QB.
 

NortheasternPJ

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The way this season has gone, I think it's pretty clear that the Colts knock off Houston and Baltimore beats San Diego LAC and then the Ravens come and stomp the Patriots at Gillette with the guy they probably shoulda drafted at QB.
I am not a huge fan of run first QBs because they get hurt a lot. I’m also not a fan of QBs who can’t pass. I’m good without Tebow, I mean Jackson.
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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... and then the Ravens come and stomp the Patriots at Gillette with the guy they probably shoulda drafted at QB.
Forgive me if I misunderstood you here but...

Lamar Jackson may well be a great NFL QB but he has looked fairly pedestrian in terms of projectable skills as the Ravens starting QB. And if he runs the ball 20 times per game, projectable doesn't matter because his career won't be that long. In short, Jackson doesn't seem like a Patriots type of QB though who knows what that is when TB12 finally retires. However, I would bet more on Patriots fans being fine with facing Jackson as a Raven each season more than I would Jackson coming to New England and succeeding.
 

wiffleballhero

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In the simulacrum
It is pretty hard to beat a team twice, both times on the road, in a few weeks. I'm not counting LAC out just yet. They had a hell of a season. I'd be curious to know why people are down on them, other than the obvious rotten egg they laid a couple weeks ago.
 

NortheasternPJ

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It is pretty hard to beat a team twice, both times on the road, in a few weeks. I'm not counting LAC out just yet. They had a hell of a season. I'd be curious to know why people are down on them, other than the obvious rotten egg they laid a couple weeks ago.
You need more pronouns. Who are you referring to?
 

Mystic Merlin

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Pats/Denver in 2015 in what sense? I mean, the Pats could've lost to JAX at home last year, easy. I could see a close loss to KC in Arrowhead, sure, but that game against Denver saw Brady nearly get killed by one of the best defenses we've seen in the past decade. There were 34 points total in that game.
 

DrewDawg

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It is pretty hard to beat a team twice, both times on the road, in a few weeks. I'm not counting LAC out just yet. They had a hell of a season. I'd be curious to know why people are down on them, other than the obvious rotten egg they laid a couple weeks ago.
I assume you're referring the the Ravens beating the Chargers a few weeks ago. While that was in LA, this game will be in Baltimore, so it's not 2 on the road.
 

Kenny F'ing Powers

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Pats/Denver in 2015 in what sense? I mean, the Pats could've lost to JAX at home last year, easy. I could see a close loss to KC in Arrowhead, sure, but that game against Denver saw Brady nearly get killed by one of the best defenses we've seen in the past decade. There were 34 points total in that game.
In the sense that we blew easily winnable games in the regular season that cost us HFA and it very likely cost us a SB bid.
 

DeadlySplitter

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you can argue Houston is the weakest of all the 3-6 seeds. in the end though all these teams are between 10-6 and 12-4.

how we feel about the 2 is going to come down to IND @ HOU in 6 days.
 

Kenny F'ing Powers

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I don't know why they bother to play the games, the outcome is so obvious.
I'd love to know your point.

Is this your super special way of saying, "any given Sunday?"

If so...bravo. Brilliant. Really well done. Seriously.
 
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Ed Hillel

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Chiefs get 1...

With this Patriots team road woes, this is going to end up like Patriots/Denver 2015 all over again, isnt it?
Pats beat every playoff team they faced and nobody who beat them made the playoffs.

I’d say this bodes well for the playoffs.
 

wilked

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If we allow Houston win as an assumption.... would you prefer #1 seed or 2? I’ll take 2 in that scenario
 

johnmd20

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I'd love to know your point.

Is this your super special way of saying, "any given Sunday?"

If so...bravo. Brilliant. Really well done. Seriously.
You did the opposite, which is to assume the Pats would lose on the road. Which is worse, saying anyone can win any game or automatically assuming the Pats can't win on the road, should they advance to the Championship Game?
 

BaseballJones

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Pats beat every playoff team they faced and nobody who beat them made the playoffs.

I’d say this bodes well for the playoffs.
For sure. Of the other 5 AFC playoff teams, the Pats went 3-0 against them.

But....they were all at home.

But....having the #2 seed, any team but KC that they play in the AFC playoffs would be at home.

So the road trip to KC is the big potential land mine here, and it sticks out like a sore thumb. But let's worry about that when the time comes I guess.
 

Kenny F'ing Powers

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You did the opposite, which is to assume the Pats would lose on the road. Which is worse, saying anyone can win any game or automatically assuming the Pats can't win on the road, should they advance to the Championship Game?
I was merely trying to point out the odd similarity between the paths these two Patriots teams have taken.

Teams that struggle on the road blow easily winnable divisional games late in the season that cost a very important HFA. I thought they were interesting parallels.

But, of course. Any given Sunday or whatever.
 

Ed Hillel

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I was merely trying to point out the odd similarity between the paths these two Patriots teams have taken.

Teams that struggle on the road blow easily winnable divisional games late in the season that cost a very important HFA. I thought they were interesting parallels.

But, of course. Any given Sunday or whatever.
That 2013 offense not very good at all with Gronk dead, and Denver was a juggernaut on both sides of the ball. It would have probably been considered a top 5 team ever had Manning et al not choked and gotten stopped by an all-time D in the Superbowl. New England overperformed in 2013. Kenbrell Thompkins, Aaron Dobson, Josh Boyce, Austin Collie, and Matthew Slater were playing WR, for Chrissakes.

I wouldn’t call the Pats the favorites in the AFC this year (KC is), but they have a hell of a lot better chance than that 2013 squad imo, especially in a potential SB. Seattle would have destroyed New England in 2013.
 

BaseballJones

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The Pats are 8-0 at home this year. They're 3-0 against the other AFC playoff teams. The only team they'd play on the road is Kansas City (which would be a bear of a game). However....KC has to get past either Indy, Baltimore, or the Chargers.

They didn't play Indy. But against Baltimore and the Chargers, both games were in KC. They barely beat Baltimore in OT after Mahomes made one of the best (and luckiest) plays of the year late in regulation on 4th and very very long. The Ravens should have won that game. Either way, they played KC very very tough in Arrowhead.

And then they split with the Chargers - beat them in LA and then lost to them at KC in a thriller.

The point being that both Baltimore and the Chargers went into Arrowhead and more than went toe-to-toe with the Chiefs. So if I'm KC, I'm rooting REALLY hard for Indy this week, because I do NOT want to see either the Ravens or the Chargers in the divisional round.

It's no foregone conclusion at ALL that KC gets out of the divisional round if they play Baltimore or LA.
 

RedOctober3829

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The Pats are 8-0 at home this year. They're 3-0 against the other AFC playoff teams. The only team they'd play on the road is Kansas City (which would be a bear of a game). However....KC has to get past either Indy, Baltimore, or the Chargers.

They didn't play Indy. But against Baltimore and the Chargers, both games were in KC. They barely beat Baltimore in OT after Mahomes made one of the best (and luckiest) plays of the year late in regulation on 4th and very very long. The Ravens should have won that game. Either way, they played KC very very tough in Arrowhead.

And then they split with the Chargers - beat them in LA and then lost to them at KC in a thriller.

The point being that both Baltimore and the Chargers went into Arrowhead and more than went toe-to-toe with the Chiefs. So if I'm KC, I'm rooting REALLY hard for Indy this week, because I do NOT want to see either the Ravens or the Chargers in the divisional round.

It's no foregone conclusion at ALL that KC gets out of the divisional round if they play Baltimore or LA.
I’m not sure they want Indy either. Given the struggles of the KC defense, seeing Andrew Luck come in can’t be what they want either. They’re going to have a tough game no matter who they play.
 

BaseballJones

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I’m not sure they want Indy either. Given the struggles of the KC defense, seeing Andrew Luck come in can’t be what they want either. They’re going to have a tough game no matter who they play.
Agreed. But we don't really know how Indy would fare against KC. We have at least - and very recently - examples of Baltimore and LAC giving KC all they can handle and more, in Arrowhead.

Honestly, I think the AFC playoffs this year are going to be extremely difficult. KC has to be the favorite because of home field, but honestly, I think any of the six teams in the tournament could win it.
 

SirPsychoSquints

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Current odds to win the AFC:

  1. KC 7/4
  2. NE 5/2
  3. BAL 6/1
  4. LAC 7/1
  5. HOU & IND 10/1 - interesting!
NFC:
  1. NO 5/4
  2. LAR 11/4
  3. CHI 9/2
  4. DAL & SEA & PHI 14/1
SB:
  1. NO 5/2
  2. KC 9/2
  3. LAR 5/1
  4. NE 6/1
  5. CHI 8/1
  6. BAL 14/1
  7. LAC 16/1
  8. DAL & HOU & SEA & IND & PHI 25/1
 

Jungleland

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Seattle and Indy both seem like good value to me, and Chicago and Baltimore quite overrated by those odds.
 

lostjumper

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I'll be rooting for Houston and Baltimore. Gillette seems like a house of horrors for this Texans team, and I would much rather play Ravens at home than KC on the road.
 

mwonow

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Current odds imply IND has a 45% chance of beating HOU, SEA has a 44% chance in DAL, LAC has a 44% chance in BAL and PHI has a 32% chance in CHI.
The PHI odds seem, well, odd. If they played nine times, Philly would win only three? I'm not at all sure that I agree.